Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pee, a babysitter and getting screwed at the doctor

It was an eventful day.  It started nice and early at 2:00am.  There was pee.  And showers.  And stripping the bed and remaking the bed using some of the sheets from my own bed .  Because this was 3 days in a row people and we were a bit short on bed linens at this point.  Thank the Lord in heaven for the tablecloth idea because if I had another soaked mattress to deal I think I would have cracked.  I mean really cracked.

I have no predictions for tonight.  I don't know why this is happening or how to make it stop.  My global prayer effort didn't work so maybe I'm supposed to learn something from this.  I would like to learn it very fast and get on with life thankyouverymuch.

I got a babysitter! I have needed to do some work for our business, and getting interrupted every 10 seconds when you're entering billing information is a recipe for disaster.  Also, the internet is intermittent (as in I have to lift my laptop up to my bedroom window every time I need a page to load), so I needed to go somewhere with a better connection.  So I hired a girl (somewhere between the age of 16 and 32 - I have no idea) to watch the boys for 2 hours this afternoon while Genevieve was in school.  She speaks no english.  I pretty much handed her my most prized possessions, gave her a couple bucks, and hoped she'd return them at the agreed upon time.  And she did!  I know some of you are wondering what a babysitter in CR costs.  She is charging me $4/hour.  I actually think it's a little high, but the person who referred her was translating for me when I met her and acted like it was a fair price.

I was pretty excited to go spend some alone time doing something really exciting  It's all relative.  I just needed somewhere that I could get an iced coffee and a good internet connection.  My first stop - Cafecito had coffee but their internet was down.  My next stop was a coffee house called Mateo's.  They had internet, but the coffee maker was down.  By my third stop - Gusto Beach, I got my coffee and internet but 30 minutes of my time was gone.  But the view was amazing.  Not a bad office at all.

When the boys were brought back to me Dane was really complaining about his ear.  This was ear infection #2.  I was getting worried that he was getting back to back infections and that the drops the farmacia had sold me weren't strong enough.  So after G got out of school we all went for a visit to Dr Freddy, the only doctor in town.

His office was nice, he spoke great english and he even came out and greeted us when we walked in the door (eve though he was seeing another patient).  I quickly realized he didn't appear to have a receptionist. He told us he would be back to get us in 7 minutes.

We got to the exam room and Dr Freddy checked Dan'es ears and confirmed he had a double ear infection.  He then felt his neck and said one of his lymph nodes were swollen.  Next he pulled up google images for "ear anatomy" "ear infections" and finally "ear infection + lymph node".  He explained to me how ear infections work and how it's all connected.  Really basic stuff but he seemed to want to draw this whole thing out.  He then asked if I was traveling by myself and offered to have the pharmacy deliver the prescriptions to his office (right then) so I wouldn't have to drag the kids around to get them.  This was really silly because we pass the pharmacy 18 times a day.  You pass everything 18 times a day in a town this size.  The pharmacy delivered the meds in about 4 minutes (which goes to show you how close it is).  I then realized he had ordered the exact same meds I had already been giving Dane plus a pain reliever.  Seriously?

He wrote down the quantity and the frequency on each bottle and then quizzed me on each one to make sure I had it down.  I obliged by reading back to him the words he had written in plain english on each box.  Yay, I passed!

Then he showed me the calculator with the numbers 130 on it.  My mind raced.  Well it couldn't be 130 colones, because thats like a quarter.  As I'm trying to figure out if he means 13,000 colones (approximately $25)  he says "130 dollars".

I die.  But I don't show it.  In shock I hand over an obscene amount of money to a man who just spent 15 seconds looking into my sons ears and giving me the same meds I've already been giving him for a week.  For those of you who have good insurance with low co-pays and have no idea what an office visit in the US costs, this was high.  Kaiser charges $85 for an office visit.   To put it into perspective a little more, the average Costa Rican wage is $2-$3/hour.  The Tico's are not paying $130 for an office visit.

At first I was just shocked.  Then I was sad that I had to part with all that money.  But now I'm just pissed.  I fully get that I'm not going to be charged the local price.  I'm okay with that.  But I was gouged.

My bad for not asking what the visit would cost before going into the exam room.  But not in my wildest dreams did I think it would be anywhere near $130.  My guesstimate was about $45.  I was basing that number on information someone told me 2 years ago.  I had met someone who went to Dr Freddy for something simple and the visit cost $40.

There is nothing I can do about it now.  He wanted me to bring Dane back on Saturday morning so he could take a look at the progress (no charge for the follow-up - he assured me).  I honestly don't think I can stomach going back to him, "free" or not.

Dr Freddy is the only doctor in town, and is taking full advantage of that fact.

As a side-note he told me to not let the kids go swimming in the pool anymore, just the ocean - "it's cleaner".  Yah, right.  I have bought some ear plugs that they will be using, and I made up a solution of 1 part vinegar to 1 part rubbing alcohol that I will be dropping in their ears after each swim.  They love the water and it would be torture to not let them swim here.  Although I am starting to wonder if our pool is not contaminated in some way.  I wish I had someone here who could check the chemicals!

We had some more rain/thunder/lightening this evening.  I'm really enjoying these evening storms, I just hope they stay in the evenings and don't mess up our fun during the day.

And here's praying for a dry night.  Pretty please?

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    Sorry to hear that Dane is not well again, but your right to worry about the pool, they did a special on TV on how bad pools can be if not taken care of correctly. I know you are upset with the Dr and rightly so,, but I would diff take him back for a follow up you pd for it already, and have the right to know if its working or not!! Love Grandma Taylor