Travel Insurance is something what you should always have when you are in abroad.
I know there will be at some point, someone who is reading this and thinking “I don’t need insurance, I’m never sick.” Or “I will be careful, nothing happens…”
That shouldn’t be like that, really. First of all, you can’t never know what happens. And sometimes it is not even up to you. Even if you are trying to be careful, sometimes the reason of accident is not you, and sometimes there is nothing you could have done differently.
I know some people might even think that it is way too expensive to get insurance, but if you have enough money to go for a travel, then you just have to have enough money to get the insurance.
And at the end, if you are unlucky and something happens, it quickly pays itself back.
For me insurance was higher than normally, as I wanted to include my hammer throw training and especially Taekwon-Do training. Taekwon-Do was little bit hard to get into my insurance, as at least in Finland it belongs as “risky sport”, and normal insurance doesn’t cover accidents happened in the trainings. So I had to ask separately from insurance company what it will cost and also get insurance for longer than 90 day’s travel. – But I couldn’t go to Singapore without having an insurance, and actually I got the insurance at the last minute, meaning the departure day.
You never know
Anyhow, something happened for me just few days ago. Nothing related to sport injuries which I am quite unlucky to get… but something what was not for sure in my travel plans while having exchange time in Singapore.
I had to spend one night in hospital. And I will soon tell the whole story.
But first, imagine yourself as 19 years old girl (or boy), you have gone for holiday or having study exchange or work practice etc. in totally different country. Your family, friends and everyone else are in your home country. You are thousands kilometres far away, in different continent.
Imagine, that you have been there just couple weeks, and then you are starting to feel sick.
You might have some people who you can trust in school or in your free time activities, and you probably have got new friends already. – But am I right, it is not same as in your home country? You don’t have your best friend by your side, nor your parents to tell you everything will go alright.
You just have phone contact with them, and they have many hours more or less time there, so you don’t want to interrupt them at night time.
So what happens when you need someone? When you start to feel homesick? Or when you need someone over 21 years old to sign your documents that you can get out of hospital? Who is first person to ask, as you might not have so close relationship with anyone yet…?
Hard questions, where you need answers fast when that moment comes for you.
So what happened?
This is hard to tell shortly, but I still try.
Everything started actually already last Thursday when I had almost 39° fever.
That really freaked me out. When you are in tropical country you probably know all those serious illnesses what you might get; for example, Malaria, Dengue fever, Zika virus etc.
I know, do not never check your symptoms from Google, but it is hard not to check.
It wasn’t hard decision to choose to go to see doctor at Friday morning when I still had a fever. In Finland, I would’ve probably just stay home and wait to get better. Here I couldn’t do that, as there is possibility to have something serious
(of course it is possible also in Finland).
And also here in school, it is very important to get medical certification whenever you can’t get to school.
I got diagnose, that I only have some kind of flu and with medications I was free to go to home.
I had already better feeling, and went to school. But just out of suddenly I felt dizzy and I had serious difficulties to breath. I was scared and I didn’t have any idea what was going on.
I have an asthma, but I have never had any difficulties with it. Sometimes I have been even thinking that do I really have it or is it wrong diagnose 😀
I have never had any serious asthma attack, and all about asthma is still little bit new for me.
I went to see doctor again, and they took me new blood test from my wrist, and said that I should go to lie down, because of dizziness… that was just start of my whole long day..
6 hours waiting
It was long time to wait results of the blood test. I was hungry and tired. They couldn’t give me any medications, because they didn’t know what I have. And they couldn’t give me food, because of the same reason.
Nurses came to ask once in a while am I okay, do I need anything, is there someone coming to see me – maybe my parents.
They were extremely friendly for me, and especially when I told that I am in Singapore as exchange student and I am here all alone.
Finally, after 6 hours of waiting, doctor came to told me what is happening. I didn’t have any serious illness, but there was some kind of infection in my blood. It was impossible to say what it is without further medical examinations.
They asked me if I want to stay in hospital overnight. It was more like recommendation.
So I decided to stay, because I still felt sick, and I had feeling like having 5kg extra weight on my chest.
I waited few hours in nice double-bed hospital room, and finally doctor with very good English came to see me.
He asked me how I am feeling, what symptoms I have etc.
It was awesome feeling, that there was someone who really wanted to find out what I have. And why I have so much difficulties to breath even I have taken all of my medications. Finally I felt like, that there is possibility to find out why I feel so sick.
It wasn’t easy to find what I have, especially when medications didn’t help at all.
I had to go to chest X-ray on Tuesday morning, after my doctor heard some weird voice from my right lung while listening it with stethoscope.
But finally after all, I get to know that I have some kind of virus infection in my lungs. But I wanted to go home, not staying in hospital anymore. One night, and almost two full days there was enough. I wanted to get good sleep, and normal food and just relax in normal environment.
As finding diagnose wasn’t easy, neither was getting out from hospital. Much harder than I was thinking, harder than no one could even imagine. It was like ”okay I have been in good hospital, but how am I supposed to get out?”
Trouble with payment agreement
No, I didn’t had so much troubles that they would’ve called police 😉 The problem was, that they ”didn’t”
I’m sure they did have any idea about my insurance company agreement. That is biggest lie what you can hear in these hospitals. Don’t ever get into that lie, don’t trust them, hold on your opinion. I am sure if you know that your insurance company is having corporation with hospital, then you are right. Especially if you have asked beforehand which hospital you should go to.
The lady asked if I have my credit card with me, I said no, of course, because I am sure they just wanted to get money from my card. For real, the biggest problem is, that they actually know what they should do, but they keep asking from patient. From the patient who is full of medications, who is still sick, so damn it.
We all know that Singapore has strict laws, and some of those rules are so weird that you keep asking from yourself ”But why? What is this?” But I never actually believed, that some of those laws would be some problem for me.
So I had to find someone who is over 21 years old to sign some medical documents to get out from the hospital. Well who to ask when I am alone?
I’m very happy that I have so nice teacher with who I was in contact already before my arrival to Singapore. So because I didn’t know who else to ask, I asked him. And I am happy that he was able to come to help me. Even help me to get information when I can go home, and why it takes so long.
Finally back in home
But now, I am finally out of the hospital. I got out yesterday evening, and it was so nice to be back in home <3 It took almost 3 hours to get out.
Anyhow they called me again this morning from the hospital about the payment. Me, the peaceful person, totally lost my nerve – for real I was so pissed of. So I told that lady who called how things are, and said that I don’t have any idea about the agreement, I just know that there is agreement. After that I called my insurance company, and now I haven’t heard anything from either one, so I think payment is done..? Or they are too scared to call me back from hospital? 😀
Why I am telling all this?
The reason why I am telling you my whole story here, is just because I want to say something. I want to tell you that even if you are careful, you can’t know what might happen. You can’t know if your harmless illness will get worse without any specific reason. You can’t know if you get some kind of virus, even if you are careful. Even if you are using hand disinfection liquid 😉
You just can’t know what happens while you are traveling. So please, get the insurance. Better be safe than sorry. Without insurance you might have to pay crazy prices to get good medical treatment. In my case all those would’ve been over 1000€ + tomorrow’s check-up with doctor and all medications.
And what if you some day need ambulance ride to hospital? Just imagine cost of that.