28 September, 2012

Gag Me With A...

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 ( 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!


JRinSC said...

Neat post Winjama.. amazingly on the inexpensive side! Was that $96 BZD for gas or diesel and how much per gallon? (Just curious).

Now that I am a senior of 65 I have gone with a Medicare Advantage Plan that is better than I expected. $35 USD / month and $15 per office visit. That is it. I went for a full physical (turned out fine) and all I paid was $15... period. Nice. It is $25 USD for a specialize visit -- but the plus side is that if you don't live at doctor's offices you come out MUCH less than a tradition Supplement Plan - mine, thru my wife's BCBS with the State of SC, was going to be $156 USD / month...

Anyhow -- glad it all came out fine!

Have you ever gone over to Chetumal on the little boat that goes across the bay? Neat trip..

Regards... and keep up the good work! I enjoy keeping up with life in the fast lane down there.


Vivien patterson said...

Why didn't Dianna go? Oh yeah I know why she was waiting for the DVD of the procedure. Lol.
Also, I must mention that I had my blind dog Tiilie to the vet today for removal of three lumps, several skin tags and three teeth. Total cost=$763.00 CAD. Plus a couple weeks ago over $100.00 for Rabies shots.
I think the cost of your Gastroscopy was a deal, but did it include the cost of a DVD for Dianna?

Dave Rider said...

Hi Julian,

The cost was for gas (Magna - which is like regular). I found a site that more or less keeps track of fuel prices in Mexico:

Currently Magna is going for $3.01 US per gallon. It always takes a bit of a conversion because it's sold by the litre.

I suppose I'll have to look at Medicare plans when I turn 65, although, right now I doubt I'll sign up. I'm happy with the care and the costs down here. Anything else seems just too confusing - almost as bad as phone plans up there.

Never have done the boat. No advantage now. Customs maintains a presence so... well, you can figure the rest of that.

Glad you liked the post.


Dave Rider said...

Hi Vivien,

Dianna didn't go as that's the day our cleaning lady comes, so that was easier than trying to reschedule her.

I forgot to mention that a DVD of the exam came as part of the package. Everything looks real pink in there... Only thing missing was Raquel Welch and her submarine from Fantastic Voyage.

Poor Tillie. Hope that all helps her feel better.


JRinSC said...

Yikes, I thought that Mexico meant cheap gas... not so. I just paid $3.43/gal at Sams here this week and I was sure hoping that you had it better down there.
Did you get rid of your motor scooter you had a while ago? I remember you missed a speed bump and had an unplanned landing so maybe it got sold....


Dave Rider said...

Hi Julian,

Cheap gas? Try buying it from Uno (took the place of Texaco) here in Belize. Premium at the pump is selling for about $6.00 US per gallon. Can you say bucket gas?

Yes, I still have the scooter. However, it's in dire need of a major overhaul. The instrument cowling needs to be replaced. Nothing works on it at present. Direct result of my attempt to slide under the speed bump.

It keeps getting superseded by other projects. Maybe now, it can get some attention. I do miss it.


ecolean man said...

Good luck in your hard work.Thank you.

JRinSC said...

You know, the thing I enjoyed most in driving in Belize was seeing an old Esso Station. I mean, ESSO - hadn't even thought of it in years and there it was, just before the turn to the airport. Wow..

(I know, I'm easily pleased -- just ask my wife)