I lucked out and got to go over to Chetumal, Mexico this last Wednesday. I took along a couple of babes as well. Loreta, to be my alternate driver and Maria, to interpret for me.
What was all this for, you might ask? Well, as a result of my ultrasound exam a couple weeks ago, my doctor, Dr. Reyes, wanted me to have an endoscopy done to see what, if anything, was going on with my stomach. So, that was what we were doing.
I needed Maria to interpret for me as no one in the clinics spoke much English, and I speak poquito Español. Loreta came along for navigation and to drive if I was too loopy from any sedative to be able to drive.
[NOTE: I forgot to take my camera along, dang it. I was planning to document the whole thing, as I've done other similar excursions. So, you'll just have to use your imagination... whatever that is. - Dave]
We stopped at Clinica Carranza (http://www.clinicacarranza.com) in Chetumal for the actual Endoscopy exam itself. Other than getting started 45 minutes later than scheduled, it came off without a hitch. I had told myself that I wasn't going to gag when they stuck the scope down my throat. My throat had other ideas however and my retch factor was in high gear for a few minutes. After that, it was a piece of cake. I could feel the tube wiggling around in my stomach while the doctor did his exam of my stomach and some of the small intestine. While he had the scope down there, he also took a biopsy (which turned out to be nothing). My sense is that the exam took very little time, but as they had given me a sedative, I really don't know. I didn't feel like I was too loopy, but who knows?
Right after the exam, I was led to the 'recovery room' which was laying on a gurney in the hallway. I decided then to put the time to good use and promptly fell asleep for a little nappy-poo. I woke up feeling like I was being observed - I was. Both Loreta and Maria were leaning over the gurney looking at me. It was time to head over to the other clinic, Endo Medica (I think it's part of Clinica Carranza), which was about 10 minutes away.
We got in to see Dr. Baeza, the Gastroenterologist, almost right away for his interpretation and recommendations from the results of the exam. It turned out well for me, which is always good. He has quite a good sense of humor too.
I bet, long about now, you're wondering, "Well, this is all well and good. But what about costs? What is the bottom line here?"
Here's the rather extensive breakdown:
Clinica Caranza - for the endoscopic exam itself: $1,785.00 MX or $262.50 BZD
Endo Medica - Dr. Baeza $ 400.00 MX or $ 58.82 BZD
GRAND TOTAL: $ 2,185.00 MX or $321.32 BZD
Not bad, eh? That is the total cost. All the wipes, boxes of Kleenex, fees, and all the usual crap that you get billed for endlessly in the US are buried in that total.
After we left Dr. Baeza's office, I was hungry enough to eat a bear, or at least a big meal. So, off we went to a nice restaurant on the Chetumal waterfront, La Botana. I bought lunch for both of the ladies and myself and spent $692.00 MX or $101.77 BZD. Tip included.
Oh, yes. Before I forget. On the way into Chet, we stopped at Pemex, the government-owned petrol station and gassed up the Isuzu for $650 MX or 95.59 BZD.
So, that's nice, but what is that in, what I think of now as funny money, US funds?
Medical $321.00 BZD - $160.50 US
Dining Out $101.77 BZD - $50.89 US
Gas $95.59 BZD - $47.80 US
Grand Total:$518.36 BZD - $259.18 US
Two hundred sixty bucks for a days medical adventure with a meal and fuel thrown in for good measure?
Of course, we also had to end the day with a little shopping at Chedraui, in our favorite Chetumal mall - Plaza Las Americas.
All's well that end's well. It all turned out well. A nice day after all - gags and all.
And before I forget, big ups and much respect to Maria and Loreta for their help on this trip. I'd have been totally lost without them, and that's no lie!