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Archive for ‘Hospital’

The Emergency Clinic.

Parrita clinic

Jason had a fever yesterday along with a very sore throat.  When he woke up this morning his fever was worse and his eyes were very swollen and bloodshot.  We took him to Parrita, a nearby town with a 24 hour clinic.

still waiting

Aside from an outdoor waiting room, it’s the same deal as pretty much any other emergency clinic; you register, wait to see triage, then the doctor.  So, after waiting in the initial line twice (we forgot his passport and had to get a paper from another woman at another window saying our copy was sufficient) we went back to see triage.  He tells them how he feels, gets his blood pressure, temperature and weight checked and we go back outside to wait for the doctor.

Dad and Jason

The doctor checks him out, confirms that it’s a throat infection, and gives us a prescription.  We take that prescription to the receptionist, she stamps it, then we turn around and walk a few steps to the pharmacy window and leave it with them.  Then, back outside we go to wait for the medicine.

under the tree

We wait.

waiting mommy

and wait.

waiting room

and wait.


and wait.

rocks and flowers

I go back in to ask why it’s taking so long and the woman tells me she called us a long time ago.  “Estyler, si?!”  Uhh… what?


Without confusing you too much, the basic rule in Spanish speaking cultures is that a child receives two surnames, the fathers family name and the mothers family name.  So when they read Jason’s passport, they see his middle name and assume it’s his father’s family name.  Then, to add just a touch more confusion, they added an “S”.

I would’ve never in a bazillion years figured out that we were “Esteeeeeeeler.”

mama bird

On the bright side, I was able to spend at least forty minutes admiring this mama bird protecting her nest.

Also, I should mention that this was all free.  There’s a law in Costa Rica where all hospitals and clinics are required to accept any and all patients needing emergency care.  If during that visit you need medication and you happen to be a child, a pregnant women, or elderly, you will get that without cost as well.  How awesome is that?  So this is the second time we’ve brought a child to this clinic and never had to open our wallet.  Both times the children were given a big plastic bag of medicine with enough acetaminophen to last them a few months, plus antibiotics and anti-inflammatory meds.  Generally, I prefer to use natural remedies, but it’s always nice to know that modern medicine is available when you want or need it.  And really, how awesome is that for health care in a “developing” country?!


Emerg in Costa Rica

Eric hurt his foot a few weeks ago.  At first it seemed not too serious, even though he had trouble putting any pressure on it.  I hurt my foot the same week and we were both laid up in bed for a couple of days trying to let them heal.  With each passing day though, my foot seemed fifty percent better than it did the day before, but Eric’s wasn’t changing.  They were different injuries so I figured he just needed more time to heal, but after the fourth week passed and he was still unable to put his foot down fully, I decided to take him in for an x-ray.

First, we took him to Jáco, a bigger town about 20 minutes north of here with clinics and specialists of various kinds.  After walking in to a few of these places and asking questions we quickly realized that no one does x-rays in Jáco.  No.  If you need an x-ray, you have to go to San José or Puntarenas.

We chose CIMA hospital in San José.  Though we had to drive nearly two hours to get there, I have to say I was shocked by our experience.  It was unheard of as far as emerg visits go.  We walked in, they took our information and called us right back to triage.  Once the triage nurse was done she sent us right into our room.  About five seconds later the doctor comes in to see us.  I explain what happened and the doc agrees an x-ray is in order, so a nurse comes with a wheel chair and off they go to get that done.  Then we’re directed over to the ultrasound room to have another doctor look at the soft tissue and make sure there aren’t any foreign masses forming in the foot.

Once that’s done, we’re instructed to go back to the waiting room until the doctor calls us back with the results.  I’m amazed.  This all happened in minutes and we’re practically done!  The doc comes back and we’re told that they found nothing wrong with his foot.  He most likely pulled a tendon on the underside which is what caused the slight bulging and didn’t allow for him to put his foot down fully.  The treatment?  Two weeks of hot and cold foot baths.  For fifteen minutes each day, he is to switch from hot to cold water for one minute intervals.   Oh, and no surfing.

After one day of this treatment, he is able to walk on that foot again with less pain.  It’s not completely healed, but it’s making a HUGE difference already.  So an emerg visit, an x-ray, an ultra sound, and an orthpedic specialist later and we paid a total of $300 dollars U.S. (this is the most expensive hospital choice here, btw)

AND.  The doctor gave us his home number, so we can call if Eric’s foot doesn’t improve, and I’m instructed to call him in a week either way to let him know how things are going.  HOME number.

An emergency room filled with employees that are all smiles, super helpful, and provide quick service.  Such a different world here.

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