Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Healthcare, Second and First Hand

Stories on healthcare here in Merida all still come in on the great to super end of the scale. Reasonable costs and scheduling is amazing. Just imagine calling a Dr’s office that you have never been to before on Monday and getting an appointment for a physical for Wednesday. Then at that appointment it is decided you should have a colonoscopy and it is scheduled for the following Monday morning! Or how about falling and breaking your arm in two places, going to the emergency room, finding out that due to advanced osteoperosis you can’t get a hard cast, you must come back and get x-rays every three days for three weeks along with soft cast changes, and finally go through therapy and in the end not have spent over $600.00 US! Yeah baby, that’s what I’m talkin’ about! As I have said before the medical expenses are what makes it financially reasonable to live here.

Yes, I know what you’re saying, sure Tom this is all hearsay, yadda, yadda, yadda! Ok, I’ll admit that you don’t know these people like I do so the basis of fact may be sketchy for you. HOWEVER, I can now give you a first hand review of my personal medical experience. For those of you that know me real well you’ll have already guessed that if I’m talking medical it involved my head. It seems that through my life my head has taken the brunt of most of my disasters. My first was at age twelve, 10 stitches in the chin resulting from running in the bathroom and falling and hitting the edge of the toilet, age sixteen 8 stitches resulting from a car accident (not my fault), age seventeen 10 stitches resulting from a car accident (not my fault), age twenty one 238 stitches resulting from a car accident (again, not my fault), age twenty eight 14 stitches resulting from not ducking below the pipes enough in a basement, age thirty-three 8 stitches resulting from not seeing a piece of tin sticking out of the side of a truck. Numerous other items that maybe should have had stitches or at least a check from a vet might have been wise but with all the experience with head wounds I, we handled it ourselves. Now I can add my most minor stitch experience at fifty-eight, 5 stitches resulting from not seeing and catching the bottom corner of the upper closet door in the master bathroom. OUCH!!!!

I had gotten in the closet to get the light bulbs out to change a bulb in the ceiling fixture. I didn’t close the door and then turned and got the bulb and then turned and headed out of the room and rip. Down on one knee and the blood was flowing just like head wounds do. Debi was there pronto and made me stay on the knee and she was sopping up the blood saying, “I don’t know, I’m not sure about this one, it’s not deep but it’s long and laying open. I think you may need a stitch or so”! Ok, so here’s how it went after that….the bleeding slowed way down with direct pressure. We got in the car and drove to Clinica Merida which took about 8 minutes. Parked in the parking garage and walked into the ER. The lady looked up and we didn’t say a word as she was up and ushering us into an exam room. At this point I need to say that I was cleaned up and not a bloody mess just a guy holding a cloth to his head. Within two minutes a DR was in the room talking to us in fairly good ingles. Cutting to the chase from the time we walked into the ER and until we walked out it took 58 minutes on the nose. The charge for the experience was 439 pesos. We are still currently at 10.7 pesos per US dollar so that puts it at $41.02 US. Oh yea, and 10 pesos for parking! Debi says that the work was top notch and the stitching is superb. The DR was young, friendly and had a great bedside manner. Ok, so as you know I’m an experienced head injury person and I’d rate the care/service at 9.5 on the ten scale. I’m stingy with 10’s!!!

Needless to say I was very pleased with my treatment but very upset with my inability to keep the incident from happening! Hey, but what do you want from a guy that has taken so many shots to the head! LOL!

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