Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Medical emergency

I've not been well lately. Feeling nauseous and been getting excruciating abdominal pains just like I had once in Golfito, Costa Rica. But this time the pain was long lasting, kept coming back, and wouldn't go away. I was pallid and also fainted twice, so we made an appointment with a well recommended English speaking doctor who immediately referred me to a specialist for the next day. Just before my appointment, I fainted in a restaurant and cracked my head open on a hard tile floor. The paramedics arrived, checked me out, and left without charging anything (perhaps because I refused to go to the hospital as we were on our way to the doctor?)

Upon seeing the specialist, he had a lot of lab tests done and performed a Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and with no problem indicated by it, he immediately admitted me to Centro Medico Paitilla (a private hospital) for further tests as the pain was unbearable. After taking X-rays and doing a CAT Scan, he called in a surgeon and they decided it was necessary to perform immediate non-invasive surgery at 23:00 - the CAT Scan showed that I had a blockage between my kidney and bladder, and my kidney had consequently become very swollen and badly infected which was causing all the pain. The infection had also made me anaemic, hence the fainting.

If left unchecked, not only would the pain have been unbearable, but the condition would have gone septic in a short time. So it was good this didn't happen on a major crossing.

The next morning, I felt 100% better! The pain was finally gone! But I stayed in the hospital for 5 more days for intravenous antibiotics and careful observation. I am also on iron supplements to raise my red blood cell count due to the infection and being vegetarian. My specialist and surgeon were both English speaking which helped so much as we could understand everything that was going on.

When checking out, we were given a DVD of the CAT Scan and X-rays, a DVD of the actual surgery, and all the lab test results. This will be very handy to have in the future to show to a doctor if ever necessary.

All in all, we were completely satisfied with how I was treated. Everything was immediate but I was in a private hospital. The pro-rated cost was much cheaper for 5 days than what I was charged for 2 hours in the Golfito public hospital where I was misdiagnosed.

Good news - the Panamanian doctors say that this medical condition is a one-time occurrence!


Lauren said...

Judy I am so happy to hear that you are doing better. I can't believe they gave you the test results and a copy of the scan. Besides the pain, looks like you guys are enjoying yourselfs. We wish you both safe travels.
Lauren and Jerry -SV SOMF

Narama said...

Glad to hear that you are on the mend and will be ok for the long term!!!!
Heidi and Stephen.

Kyra and Rick said...

Hey Judy, wow, glad that all got sorted out and you feel better now! Take good care of yourselves!
Kyra and Rick