I will say at this point that every Doctor and every nurse that I saw, treated me, or talked to was very very professional polite and well trained. The problem with the hospital is the administration trying to maximize their profits at the expense of the patient comfort.The doctors as soon as they looked at my condition told me that as soon as a bed was available in intensive care I would be moved up there. As the time passed I saw many many patients come into emergency that were obviously in worse shape than I was.After about six or seven hours I came to realize I would not be going anywhere.I asked a nurse about intensive care and he said that there were not very many beds in that section and that most of the rest of the hospital was private and semi-private.The price of these rooms are out of the reach of most patients unless their insurances was able to cover the cost or they were well off. The average person is SOL (shit outa luck), that is why I believe that there are so many emergency beds.The number of heart patients I believe is rather large in comparison to the numbers of heart doctors. They are all in the hospital early in the morning and work until well into the night. They all also have a life or office or both to attend to. I don’t think it allows for much me time.I waited until nine pm which was in the 37th hour of my stay there without any sleep. They said the cardiologist was still in the hospital but I was in agony and very frustrated so I signed a waiver and discharged myself.
I don’t know if that was the wisest decision but Betty drove me home I took my pain pills and slept for fifteen hours straight. It was the first time in many years that I had slept more than two or three hours at a time. Well I am out of the hospital and told them that I would rather die than ever go back to emergency again,I meant it. The journey now begins to find the answers that I seek.
I did drive down with my wife all worried to the brand new hospital in St Catharines Ontario.The cardiologist said he would inform the Emergency that I was arriving for another ECG
When I arrived I went to one of the three wickets.She informed me I had to go to the Triage wicket. I didn’t even know what Triage was.The lady there had someone in with her and after about three minutes she approached me and ask what I wanted. She, pardon the comparison, looked much like a stripper. Short skirt, neck open blouse, and heavy makeup with eyelashes about an inch long and heavy eye shadow. She asked me a series of questions and my health card. She then sent me back to the waiting area About ten minutes later a door marked triage opened and a person called my name. I went in and answered another series of questions many similar to the previous interview. She sent e out to wait again this time for about fifteen minutes. One or two people were so sick they were laying don on the benches in the waiting room without much sympathy or action. I was called up to one of the three glass interview windows and asked many of the same questions, she types out the info and made invoices on everything then snapped an armband on me. I went and set down for another ten or fifteen minutes then a lady came out with a wheelchair and wheeled me into the emergency area and into a bed. I was hooked up to all kinds of gadgets and me blood pressure pulse rate and 6 or 8 probes attached to my chest. After an hour or so three cardiologists came and looked at my readings and seemed to be marveling at the scope readings, almost like wondering why I was still alive. They had me move forward several times and pointed to the scope saying see that? I didn’t have a clue what was up and they said something about the electrical system. They took away all my pills and did their own pill system with was almost nothing. I didn’t have my normal pain medication for severe back pains. I laid there the rest of the night Betty left and went home.They attached a bag of Potassium and did a drip into my blood system through my hand. No one else came and I was in sever pain all night. I laid awake all night in agony I asked for sleeping pill but none seemed to have been authorized.
I watched each hour pass and could not sleep. In the morning the breakfast was awful and I didn’t eat much at all. I went to the bathroom to urinate several times which was down the hall. The nurses unplugged me. The toilet paper is one ply and is transparent. It is the cheapest they possibly could find. the bed potties were made of recycled paper. There are no showers or baths in emergency. They came and threw a box of wet wipes in the bed table. The emergency has at least two sections the section I was in had at least 25 beds arrange in stalls off of the main hall in the circle or u shape. there is a nurses station at each end. I will go on with this description in my next post It gets worse.
We Arrived home this year from our winter stay in Florida. We had a wonderful time there and my health was great and I felt super for an old guy. Shortly after arriving home at 218 lbs I decided to shed a lot of it. We looked up Paleo and it sounded like the perfect solution. It was easy to do and soon I was feeling even better and loosing a great deal of weight. After only a month I was down into the 190’s and I felt even better than before. For many years I have only slept an average of 5.5 hours per night and now I wanted to get to 8 hours if possible. I had also a great deal of pain in my back. The doctor put me on pills that were supposed to turn off the pain areas of my brain. they didn’t do anything dramatic but I used them anyways. On one Doctors visit I ask him to possibly send me for an ECG so I could find out how my Double Bypass of 4 years ago was doing. I went and got the ECG at eleven o’clock one morning at about 2pm I received a call from the head cardiologist in our new hospital asking me to go into emergency asap to have another ECG he didn’t quite like the results on the one I did.
On the 13th there was a flower show in town and we went and there were beautiful flowers and vendors selling many things such as jewelry and trinkets.
We met up with a couple that we had met a few days before Gord and Chery Wile from B.C. We told them we would meet them for dinner later at the Baru restaurant. I ordered the Octopus Appetizer and Betty ordered the trout Appetizer , the octopus sucked it was awful. The evening was going good until half way through the meal when the cold wind came up with colder rain. I was not dressed for it and was freezing. We walked home in the rain and was soaking wet and cold. I immediately send an Email to the Hotel Milan and the taxi driver Roger.
Saturday we walked into town and bought a few groceries, the streets were crowded for the flower show which lasts 10 days We were warned that there were many pick pockets in town so watch your purses. I didn’t carry anything .
Sunday we again woke to rain and the power went out for a few hours. We phoned the kids when the power came back on had lunch and watched a movie on our little laptop.
Monday for a change it was raining wasn’t that novel. We needed groceries so when we had an hour of sunshine we went in but had fierce cold winds. We stopped for lunch at a little bar at the top of the town just before the gated community. We continued to the casita and it started raining again when we were just about home.
Tuesday morning we went down to the Expats meeting Market we bought coffee beans to take home to people. The coffee in Panama so far is really good. We bought some stone baked bread and a few books. The lecture was by Tom McKinnon and it was,” How to Get along with Gringos, live among them and speak their language”. It was a very interesting lecture after which we went to a restaurant, had lunch a coffee and went back home. On the way the clouds came back down into the valley and it got very chilly again. We have nothing planned tomorrow but have the clay course on Thursday.
On Wednesday we walked into town and it wasn’t a bad day we stopped at an outdoor style restaurant and met a couple from Texas Linda and Steve Ayers that were renting a house in Boquete and seriously thinking of moving. Steve however was sick possibly from mold in a place that they previously had rented. They were very nice and invited us for a drive around the area on Sunday.
The Casita the valley and the mountains. There are mountains all the way around the gated community. The homes in the community are all million dollar homes. We again are totally exhausted so we had some dinner and went to bed. Oh! And did I mention it is Tuesday 3rd Jan and its Raining. Wednesday Betty went with Dottie into Banqueter to get some more groceries and get her phone working. It rained again in the afternoon. On Thursday and Friday it rained again all day and the rain is cold.
On Saturday it was not raining but not too warm either. Betty and I walked into the town it takes about eight minutes to walk downhill into the town and 10 to 15 minutes to walk back uphill to the house. The town is small and has quite a few places to shop for necessities and a fair amount of restaurants. It seems very small for the number of Expats that are here. Every Tuesday they have an expats meeting lecture and sale of things in a hall just over the bridge downtown. On Sundays they had a church service and breakfast in the same place. We ate at a few of the restaurants when it wasn’t raining or too cold.
Sunday started out Sunny so we went out the back of the property into the woods and 8 foot bamboo forest. We came out of the underbrush after about 100 feet and climbing down rock banks. We came out onto a river flowing down the valley between large piles of fairly large rocks stretching as far as you could see in both directions. We went along the top of the rocks on the bank down about a quarter of a mile to a bridge. When we went up to the bridge and the road it started raining again and was very windy. We walked past the casita and to the end of the road where we met one of the neighbors originally from Wyoming Bob and Garnett Brown they have a beautiful house and live here permanently. We also met the woman across the street Linda Smith she and her husband also live here permanently and love it. We walked around the park at the end of the road and took pictures of all kinds of flowers fruit trees and Banana trees.
We signed up for a Polymer Clay class for one day on the 19th of January.
On the other side through the Exit door, the taxi driver that our landlady had promised, was there with a name sign. Before exiting the building we spotted a sign between the final exit doors that in fact held the form that you get to be eligible for the 30days of free health coverage while in panama for tourists. So many people missed the desk but we were able to get the insurance.
The Taxi Drivers name was Roger and he had been driving in Panama City for Dottie for many years. He was completely trustworthy and spoke English very well. He took us to our hotel, Hotel Milan it was inexpensive and clean. http://www.hotelmilan.com.pa/en/ .The Assistant manager at the time was Ana Carballeda she spoke English and was really nice. There was a restaurant in the hotel and we had a couple of beers with Roger. His name is actually Roger Rogelia and his Email is mago50@hotmHail.com his cell is 6717-6745 he promised to pick us up in the morning and take us to the Bus terminal. We were tired from our flight and hit the sack at 9:00 pm
We were up and ready to go at 5:30AM. Thank God that Roger was already downstairs waiting for us. The city streets at that time of morning are crazy and no one gives anyone an inch. Cars are constantly cutting you off. We arrived at the bus terminal and it also was a zoo. Roger walked with us to the terminal and to the area to buy a ticket and where to wait. We both think he was a really good driver and not expensive. The hotel was also worth the money. We hoped to stay there on the way back. The bus left Panama City for David (Da vid) at 7:20 and stopped for half an hour at noon. Arrived in David at 3:15 PM .This was in total about an 8 hour bus ride. The terminal there is very small and we didn’t know what Dottie looked like. When I saw a lady parking a red Isuzu truck and walking across the parking lot I knew it was her. She was very nice and took us for groceries as she had told us by Email. We also picked up a phone and then on to the Casita. It was small but very clean with a kitchen eating area, bedroom, bath, and closet. It was just what we needed and it was a separate building on her property which was in a very large gated community.
It’s 4:30 am and we were picked up by taxi and transported to Toronto International Airport. Checked in at the COPA Airlines desk. We took off at about 10 am after a very long unexplained wait. The aircraft was a typical vacation craft with the seats closer to each other than they should be. When the guy in front of me put his seat back he was in my lap and I had to turn my legs to one side or the other which was uncomfortable. We were served a fair lunch and several drinks which made the flight seem shorter than the five and a half hours in the air.
Panama City at 3:30 PM in January is now where to be coming from a cool country. When we disembarked from the aircraft it was like walking into a furnace. The humidity was off the chart and there were so many people going in so many directions you could have easily got lost in the traffic. We noticed a couple of people we knew were on the plane and followed them to the immigration lineups. Yes there were four very long packed lineups and about 6 or 8 immigration desks. There was a person directing traffic at every two lines. The one in charge of our line seemed to be taking two or three persons from the other line instead of taking every other one from our line. It is their system so we just grin and bare it. The immigration took about 40 minutes then we had to go find our bags that had been inspected and sniffed with drug dogs. After searching a large area with a multitude of baggage we found our sin two separate areas and then headed for Customs. We baggage were placed into very large x ray machines and inspected The carry baggage was opened and inspected carefully.
Well here it is only three days until Santa comes to all the good boys and girls.That means he won’t be coming to me. After Christmas we only have a week to pack and weigh our stuff. The airline are really fussy about baggage. I don’t. want to take too much but also not too little. I am entering this blog entry on my Xoom. wow technology has come a long way. Have a merry Christmas.
If we go any farther down south we are liable to end up in Cape Horn. Well I did a lot of research on Panama and I think we found one of the probably main great places to spend the winter months. It is a village in the mountains above David. It is called Boquete. There are many expats there but I don’t think it has been totally converted to an image of a Canadian or American city as of yet. we have rented a place there for three and possibly four months. We hope it is all we think it is. I did screw up, as usual and it cost us a lot of money. I hope Betty will forgive me someday. I reserved return flight via One Travel , also called cheap flights, and email@example.com. It was booked and solid but then I did a dangerous thing, I started to think, What if we make it for four months instead of three. I called The booking agent and got a nice chap named Tony Kalhoff,I think that was his name I aask him about changing the return date. He ask his supervisor and they decided to save me money I should cancel my reservations. He didn’t quite make it clear what all the implications were. I could hear the boss in the background telling Tony that I could call back in October around the 15th and get a flight around the same time for about 500 dollars less than I paid for my tickets. He gave me his Email address and told me to call around that time and he would start looking for the best and cheapest non stop flight around January first.I ask him if he was absolutely sure and he said he was, so I agreed and cancelled. Well it cost me 70 dollars up front and another 250 penalty. Hey but if I got it in October for 500 cheaper I still would be ahead – right?
We moved to a one floor condo on the first of October so it was helter-skelter until about the 10th of October. I got in touch with Tony via Email and he said to email him when we are ready to order and he would start looking. We on the 15th of October I sent him a very nice email telling him about all the shit I was in for cancelling the ticket While Betty was away visiting the grand kiddies. I NEVER EVEN GOT A REPLY. I was in turmoil for the next week and even emailed him again. I never did even get a reply. I realize now that they must have got some bonus out of me cancelling my flight. I shall never order through them again.
I took matters in my own hands finally and logged one the COPAAIR web site. I found the flight on an earlier date than my original flight for the same price as my original flight and booked it. I did loose the amount for cancelling my flight but at least we are on again. I told our land lady in Boquete that we had booked again and she arranged for us to be met in Panama City airport and taken to a hotel for the night and picked up again in the morning to take us to the bus stop for a 5.5 hour bus ride to David. We have booked a room at the Hotel Milan in Panama City. I will let you all know how things work out and how are stay is in Boquete. Oh and I promise to start having pictures and videos attached to my entries.