18 March 2005

Something's wrong.

I hurry back to the room to not be late for the medical check-up 36 hours after birth. That's when they check if everything is as it should, in order to send people home as soon as possible. I know it sounds a little querulous, and a little cynical, but for me this has become an incredibly important symbol of that something is wrong with the savings in health care.

I dance in with a bouquet of flowers and look forward to proudly carry the little boy in to the doctor. My wife looks pale. She has been feeling very bad after the operation, but this is something else, that I notice directly. "There's something wrong with him," she said. "Noooo, why do you say that?", I replied in the belief that she felt so worn down after the birth that she couldn't cope more.

It turned out that in our region they were doing a screening test. They measure the oxygen content in the blood of small babies before the medical examination, to see whether that can detect hidden heart defects earlier. That's what a nurse had done just before I came back from my lunch. But she did not grasp the odd data. They were so low that she redid the test several times.

"Well, she probably must have done something wrong," I tried to calm, while my own concerns came creeping up on me.

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