There I was, innocently hanging out in a paddock alone. When out of the blue, a herd of wild sheep went rampant and started running after me. I did my best to fight them off, but it was one on one million and I was severely outnumbered. Punches were thrown, torches were lit and just when I felt I might make it out unscathed, a sheep started charging at me, knocking me to the group where I landed on my pinky and completely dislocated it…
But really, I was playing netball. A sport I had never heard of, either. It’s sort of like basketball except you can’t travel with the ball, and there are no backboards. It seems to be primarily a women’s sport. Without even knowing what it was, I signed up for the social league. Turns out, it’s a ton of fun. And after having a couple lessons on how to properly shoot the ball I’ve actually ended up scoring a few points for our team.
Including right after I broke my finger, I might add. My teammate passed me the ball and I clearly caught it wrong. Immediately I knew something was amuck, but figured it was just jammed so I turned and shot the ball and scored, of course. Then, I looked down and realized I actually had eleven fingers instead of ten. It was pretty nasty looking.
I hurried off the court and went to the front desk where they offered to call me an ambulance. That alone was pretty shocking. If you called an ambulance for a broken finger in America I feel like you would get laughed at. Not to mention, my mind immediately went to “no way, they’re so expensive and my insurance is definitely not going to cover that.”
I was trying to get out of going to the hospital all together, because I was afraid of how much it was going to cost. Turns out, it didn’t cost me a penny. Six x-rays, laughing gas, a local anesthetic and a doctor to pop my dislocated pinky back into place seems like it should cost upwards of a few grand. And no, I didn’t have to wait a million hours to see a doctor because of universal health care. I actually waited less. That could have also been because the doctor saw my X-ray and thought my pinky was hanging off so he rushed to get me back so we could amputate it.
The doctors and nurses were so friendly. He actually laughed at my finger because of how distorted it looked. I thought that was a nice touch. Thanks, doc. Eventually we got around to jamming a few fat needles into my swollen finger, getting me all giggly on laughing gas I think just for fun because it totally wasn’t necessary, and popped that sucker back into place. And yes, I heard it pop. Overall, my evaluation of New Zealand health care? I’m quite fond.
To end things on a happier note, here’s a picture of some cows.