Vanessa came down with a fever on Sunday night on our way back from Rome. I've had a few adventures in the past two days trying my best to do something about it.
Yesterday, Vanessa napped until noon poor thing. After she woke up, I went out to find a thermometer to make sure that I was right about the fever. I know that it's easy to overreact to the slightest change in forehead temperature, especially for a first time parent! With a firm grasp of about 5 words in German, I was able to walk to a pharmacy (after a few wrong turns) and buy a thermometer. I stopped to pick up some diapers and a handful of other groceries on the way home, and after I had taken Vanessa's temperature in Celsius and converted it to Fahrenheit, it was nearly 4 PM before I knew that Vanessa did in fact have a fever.
I went to the hotel clerk, and he explained that there was a pediatric clinic in Stuttgart, but that they might not be open by the time I arrived, so I'd better go to the main hospital. If I had thought more clearly at the time, I would probably have called my pediatrician back in Virginia for advice. But instead I took a cab to the hospital. At the hospital, all the signs were in German and I couldn't find anyone who spoke English. I went to three different floors before I found where I should have gone if Vanessa were an adult. Finally, a nurse who spoke English told me that they couldn't treat Vanessa there and we'd have to go to the pediatric clinic. At least the nurse was nice enough to reassure me that Vanessa's fever was low enough that we could wait another day before trying to get treatment for her.
I went to the wrong clinic at first today. The lady at that clinic didn't speak any English, but she was able to direct me to the correct clinic, the pediatric one, just off the same metro line. After waiting an hour or so at the pediatric clinic today, they told me they couldn't bill me for the visit, so I'd have to go get some cash. I needed 80 Euro for the visit (a little over $100), and I didn't have that much on me. So I went to the nearest ATM but I couldn't figure out why my card didn't work (it was my first time trying to use my card in a German ATM). So I had to get on the metro back to the main station to buy some Euros at a bank there and come back. A couple of hours later, I came back to the clinic. Vanessa had some tests done, and the doctor said she has a sore throat and a fever, but she doesn't seem to have a bacterial infection, so I should just give her some medicine to control the fever as I had been doing all along.
I hope Vanessa feels better soon -- I'll let you know when she does! Until then, I think I'm going to try to learn some more German.