Friday, February 18, 2011

Chapter 43 - The Doctors (Me and the real one)

           Melaney is as healthy as can be.  She is also a former medic in the military in Canada.  She needs to apply for a Costa Rica driver’s license.  We drove in to Poas and, as usual, Melaney thought she could find what she was looking for. We drove up one street, then the next and finally decided on a clinic close to the edge of town on the way into town.  The doctor and the technicians were very friendly, but no one spoke English.  Melaney was able to convey to them that she needed a blood test to show her blood type to get a driver’s license.  They were happy to do it for 4000 colones ($8).  Mel and I both know our blood types, we are the same, and have know it for many years.  She needed the paper to prove it.  We were directed with a name and phone number to a doctor in town who spoke English.  She gave us directions, but they were difficult to follow.  We drove to the vicinity and started to make the passes up and down the street. Then we decided to go further up the road in case she meant three blocks up from the bank and did a few passes there.  Then we decided to go back to the original area and check that more carefully.  She found one very nice house with the gate open and we thought maybe that was the place.  She got out of the truck and went to the house.  There was a very nice tiny lady there who walked Melaney down the street to the house of the doctor.  We were about half a block away. (Muchas muchas gracias, Con gusto was the reply--Mel)
            You could pass the doctor’s house a dozen times and never realize what it was.  There was a tiny name plaque near the front door bell that was hidden by green growth.  It was a house of no particular credibility.  She rang the bell.  No one answered.  She waited and then we decided to get back into the truck and go to a phone.  Just then a lady came out the front and I told Mel to go and try to talk with her.  It was Dr. Chanto and she spoke very clear English.  She wasn’t occupied at the time, and she gave Melaney a
thorough check over, and put everything down on the proper form.  Mel told her about me taking Coversyl, which is a drug to control my blood pressure.  The doctor gave Mel a sample box of ten tablets.  These pills are over a dollar a pill.  I didn’t have to pay for them in Canada, so I decided to lay off them here, and by Mel taking my blood pressure each Sunday, we were able to keep track of my pressure.  In the seven weeks, it continued to climb, so I started taking the pills again.  The doctor told Mel that I would have to take them forever.  So much for self doctoring.  Mel’s examination cost 15000 colones ($30), but the pills softened the cost.  That is $38 to make an application for a driver’s license and another $8 for the license.  I hope that doesn’t occur each time she gets a license.  The first license is good for only three years.  After that, they are good for 5 years. So far our expenses have been quite a lot in Costa Rica, it seems nothing comes for nothing around here.  

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