How can I find a companion to accompany after surgery in Belgium?
July 9, 2019 6:47 AM   Subscribe

Hello! I would like to go to Belgium for a surgery. I live in Europe but not in Belgium. They require that you have a companion for 24 hours after otherwise they will cancel. My husband can't come with me because he has to stay with the kids and all my friends are really busy with work. I have a few ideas but maybe someone else has a better one!?

I phoned the clinic and they didn't have any leads for nursing agencies, I find it hard to believe they don't exist but my language skills are not great for searching. My other idea was to find someone who was willing to come with me, perhaps ask around on the mother's websites where I live if there are any babysitters who would appreciate the extra money- but I am afraid of them cancelling on me at late notice though. Does anyone have any ideas or knowledge particular to Belgium?
posted by catspajammies to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
Perhaps post this as a "job" on MeFi Jobs? Some community member in Belgium may be able to meet you and be your companion. Good luck!
posted by terrapin at 6:55 AM on July 9 [4 favorites]

Ah! Good idea! I have also thought maybe an Airb and b host might be interested (although that does sound like the start to a scary horror story!)
posted by catspajammies at 7:04 AM on July 9

Would it be easier to find a sitter for the kids so your husband could come with you?
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 7:11 AM on July 9 [7 favorites]

Besides looking for someone in Belgium, maybe also look for someone who can stay with your kids so your husband can come with.
posted by trig at 7:11 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]

I have thought of getting a babysitter for my kids but they are only 3 and 4 and it seems like a bad idea for us to be both out of the country in case of emergency. But perhaps I am over thinking that? We do have a great babysitter who would probably do it.
posted by catspajammies at 7:29 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]

I would start with your embassy/consulate in Belgium. They’ll be able to tell you how it’s normally done and will hopefully be able to point you to reputable providers.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:52 AM on July 9

I'm going to combine all the answers and say get a large enough airbnb to bring your husband, the sitter, and the kids, if you're highly concerned about leaving them. But I think the most comforting solution is sitter stays with kids, husband comes with you, unless you are really concerned about having someone who speaks Belgian.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:23 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]

+1 for getting a babysitter/nanny and having your husband with you. During/after any surgery, you need an advocate, someone who knows you, speaks your language -- and speaks "your" language in regard to telling the doctor, "When catspajammies says, 'It hurts a bit," it means "I'm in agony." Or whatever. In the hours before surgery, and while you are recovering, you may feel snappish or weepy or miserable or chatty -- you need someone who knows and loves you to allow you to be your natural self; you don't want to feel like you have to be particularly polite.

Parents go on vacation and leave their kids at home all the time; it's not ideal, and you'll worry over the kids (but you'd likely worry if your husband were taking care of them). All your friends may be busy with work, but perhaps a few could take turns dining at your house with the kids and nanny/sitter to give them a sense of normalcy, and you can Skype/Facetime/FB video/Zoom with them for hours on end.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 10:29 AM on July 9

How are you paying for the surgery? I ask because the health insurance companies in Belgium often offer all kinds of resources for people, and if you have health insurance that is paying for the surgery and they are doing it via an agreement with a Belgian health insurance company, then maybe the Belgian insurance company would be willing to help you too.
posted by colfax at 11:39 AM on July 9

Where are you planning to have the surgery performed? If you speak neither Dutch nor French, you're more likely to find healthcare staff who speak reasonably fluent to fluent English in the Dutch-speaking hospitals (in Brussels or Flanders) than in the French-speaking ones.

I live in and have had minor (day) surgery under general anesthesia in Brussels. Feel free to memail me if I can be of any assistance with info-gathering and so on.
posted by pendrift at 4:37 AM on July 10

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