>I finally decided to get my eye checked out since this cataract is now like walking through a giant cloud. The balance is a bit off too and I can’t see well to walk at night. Can’t tell if there is a step or if it is flat ground, all my depth perception is way off. Not that that is too abnormal for me, as I am always a bit dizzy..lol. But it was time to get this eye ball thing taken care of.
I went to a Christian groups clinic because they do operations inexpensively. They are mainly to help people that cannot afford to get medical problems taken care of.
The first thing I noticed about the place is that they do not make appointments. You get there and take a number. First come, first served. So I got there really early, about 7AM so I could be first. Well, the doctor was not there that day so I had to return the next day.
I was about the 10th person in line which was not too bad. After I got my number I had to pay first then wait. Went in and all went smoothly. The people doing the eye checking stuff didn’t speak English but I got by with my bad Spanish. The doctor spoke English and she was very professional and thorough. She wanted me to get a Lazar study on my eye so I had to go to another place to have this done. Then the next day I took the results to the clinic again and they told me I had to go to Hospital Los Americanos in Los Alcarrizos for the operation and all the pre-op stuff.
I found out the location of the hospital and it is far from Colonial Zone.The taxi was expensive but I had to go there by taxi because they said I had to be there at 7AM and I was not going to take a guagua when I had no idea where I was going. So I got the taxi the same guy that took me to the doctors office I used to take me to the hospital, nice guy).
When I got there the hospital was pretty much an open air type place. It was already full of people waiting their turn. I gave my info to the check in lady and waited. The group I was with all went in and I was still sitting there. Finally they called me in and told me they had no file for me and I had to go to another room to get that. I had no idea what they were talking about. I figured it out and got the file and went back.
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Then they told me to go to the “caja” to pay. Caja is box and I did not see any box. I was looking around on the ground for a box to deposit my money. They got a good laugh out of that. They meant the booth where you need to pay. How was I to know that caja meant box and booth. New word for me..jejej
I then had to go get my blood taken.The girl said something that I had no idea. So she took my to the place I needed to go. It was outside, down the sidewalk, around the back, through a playground, into another group of open air buildings. I would have never found my way without her guiding me. But I paid my money and got the blood taken. Then went back to the original area and sat on a bench waiting for the next step, my EKG. Got that, no problem and back to sit on the benches. Waiting to talk to the anesthesiologist.
While sitting there I heard a chicken clucking. To my surprise there was a rooster in the waiting room. A gallo in a pillow case! I could not believe that. In a hospital there was a rooster! Hanging out with his master. In the waiting room. Amazing! So I asked the guy if I could take a picture to show my friends. I told him, and the surrounding people, “I know Dominicans love their roosters.They even make the wives sleep on the patio so they can sleep with their roosters but I never saw a rooster getting a cataract operation”! Some of the people laughed but the man was very serious and said his rooster was not there for an operation. Later I found out that many of the people pay with animals when they have no money for doctors services.
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After the anesthesiologist I had to go talk to the cardiologist and he wanted me to get an ecocardiogram. I had to do this another day in another hospital and pay more money. Money for the exam and for another taxi..I was getting upset all this money I kept spending. I should have brought a pig with me for payment.
So I went home on the guagua to return to the other hospital the next day, only this time I had to be there at 6AM to wait my turn.
A Dominican friend took me the next day and thank goodness he did or I might still be sitting there waiting my turn. Got to the hospital. Had to get in one line. Then another to pay. My friend took over. He got smooth talked and got me in first to get the eco thingy because after that I had to take the results to the first hospital before noon or I had to wait another week.
I got back to the first hospital and got the results to the doc. All was good. Then I had to go to this window to pay. Then to another window to take the receipt. Then to another office to talk there. Then another caja to pay. Then to the pharmacy. Then to the social worker to set the appointment for the operation. Then to the pharmacy again. Then back to the caja to pay something else. Then to get sized for the lens. Then back to the social worker. then to the caja. Then to the pharmacy. I was so lost. People were laughing at me again. I guess I just looked lost. But my friend kept taking my hand and pulling me along to each destiny as needed saying all the time “Common, common” like I was a little lost kid, which is what I felt like.
Finally I got the appointment and found out that I need to be there at 6AM along with all the other people getting operated on that day and wait my turn. The kids go first, then the people with diabetes, then the older people on up to the younger. Now id the time when I wish I was much older than my 50 years as I’ll probably be there all day. No food in my poor tummy, no water to drink, waiting my turn for then to stick the knife in my cloudy eye. I’ll write about the surgery after it happens.
The group doing this medical service for the poorer people is a great group. If anyone wants more information about Medical Ministry International please check their web site and if you can donate as they are really doing a great work for the people.