My trip to Florida was great– except for the return, that is. I had intentionally left a lot of connecting time in Dallas; I figured I’d go into the Sky Lounge and eat and drink and work online. All went well until, at the last minute, American decided that the plane needed some technical repair. They delayed the flight one hour and then made us all run to a different gate. Once securely on the plane, with doors closed, I saw a young man in front of me jump out of his seat and run to the front of the plane. The next thing I saw was a stewardess pulling a doctor out of his seat and yelling at someone to call the paramedics.
Now, I hate to sound whiny and ungracious, but the kid looked pretty OK to me; we’d all been sitting and watching each other at the gates for almost two hours. And, did I mention that he got up and ran to the front? However, there was nothing to do but wait. And we did.
Finally, the pilot said that the good news was that we were ready to go; the bad news was that our arrival in Costa Rica would be 11:15 pm, which was 15 minutes after the airport closes. That’s right. We couldn’t take off because we wouldn’t be allowed to land. Now, keep in mind, the international airport in San Jose (Alajuela, actually) is not some small, third-world facility; since tourism is the number one industry, and Costa Rica is a very popular destination, the airport is appropriately large and modern. Why no one called and offered to pay a late arrival fee I don’t know. Well, actually I do know: Because getting anything done or making any change to existing systems in CR requires an act of congress and at least a couple of years. So, we deplaned. (Sorry, English majors.)
We were all escorted off the plane, when, by the way, I saw the young man formerly in crisis drinking a bottle of water and joking with the paramedics. Grrr. Maybe he took the wrong drugs before boarding. In any event, we all had to go outside to be bused to different hotels, without our luggage, and then return at 5:30 am. Oh yeah, it kept getting better and better. (American did pay for the hotel rooms for over 300 people; which did not make up for the fact that our lives were affected– I had two appointments and a job in the afternoon.) I was glad to see that the gift shop at the Wyndham was open and sold toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving cream and razors. Sadly, no clean underwear.
The flight the next day was smooth, and everything worked out. My English student, who is a prominent fellow in CR, was kind enough not to comment on my exhaustion.
So now comes the story of a different kind of trip.
Show of hands..Who remembers my description of my adventure at the hospital in San Jose, where I went to schedule a biopsy and learned that I had made an appointment to make an appointment? I was told that it would take up to a month to approve my procedure and identify the doctor. I was told to come back after August 20th, which I did.
I ubered down and, ever the pro, I went to the right window and my paperwork was ready. The young woman could not schedule me; she sent me to another part of the building. When I asked her to be specific, she said to go to the counter with four windows. There wasn’t one. I then went to two more places, and when I looked at my procedure date, it was….drum roll…January 17, 2019. Yep.
Although I’m sure I’m fine, a biopsy typically is done when there’s a statistical chance of cancer; apparently, it’s not considered urgent here in the land of Pura Vida. Oh, and they scheduled me to come in for pre-procedure blood and urine tests on December 27th at 6:00 am. As in in the morning.
Now, I’ve known that non-urgent procedures could take a while to schedule, as in nine months for cataract surgery, but I have found that, once scheduled, results come in a timely manner. However, on the 10th, I learned that I’ll have to wait two months for the results for the bone density scan (for a f-ing ultrasound); I can’t imagine the timeframe for the biopsy—maybe March 2019?
So, I went home and immediately called my private pay-as-you-go doctor and will be seeing him on Tuesday. Thank god that tests like biopsies and EKGs in the cash system cost between $100 and $200.
To quote a certain someone, “Who knew healthcare could be so complicated?”
On a lighter and completely unrelated note, I loved it when FOX News put up a picture of Aretha Franklin upon her death; except it was a picture of Patti LaBelle. Perfect!