Thursday, October 23, 2008

Day 3 – Hospital Discharge

Between 3:00 and 6:00 a.m. Elena and I managed to get some sleep. Dr. Greenwood arrived promptly at 6, which in Costa Rica is full daylight, to check on our patient. He gave a recap of the surgery and told us that Elena was awake and talking by the time she arrived in post-op recovery. Again, he entertained while he educated… truly a gracious and caring man.
Soon after, Dr. Lev visited our patient and inspected his work. He gave Elena the option to spend another night in the hospital depending on her pain level and comfort. Although this would have cost only $250, Elena opted to head back to the hotel. Dr. Lev carefully explained the aftercare instructions and wrote prescriptions, which I was able to fill in the hospital pharmacy. Dr. Lev gave us his pager, cell, office, and home phone numbers with instructions to call any time. Elena ate lunch and we packed up to leave.
The amazing thing was that Elena was able to pay her entire bill by credit card prior to leaving. If you have ever been in a US hospital, you might recall that it can take months for all of the bills to roll in… separate bills from the surgeon, radiologist, pathologist, hospital, etc. CIMA provided a simple, itemized bill that we were able to review on the spot, and the total was several hundred dollars less than the original estimate.
Once again, Angela arrived to help get us ready and explain any additional questions about discharge instructions. She called a cab and wheeled Elena down to the entrance. The taxi driver, without request from us, drove slowly and apologized for every pothole! The folks at Costa Verde helped Elena from the cab to the bed, unloaded our luggage, and provided extra pillows to help Elena get propped up in the bed at a 45-degree angle per Dr. Lev’s instructions.
Now it was time for my work to begin.

No comments: