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Monday, March 17, 2008

Elbow blues and CIMA Song

This is not how a six year old's elbow is supposed to look:

On this past Friday, the last day of school before a week long vacation, I took Bell and Googie off to the Multiplaza to see Horton Hears a Who. In Spanish. We met up with another Mom and about 6 of Bell's school friends. We had fun. After the movie, while waiting for other Mom's to collect kids, we decided to go to the play area. Bells took off her shoes and got busy. Older kids were climbing the fence, climbing on top of the tree house. I walked over and suggested she NOT follow suit. She walked balance beam style away from the tree and jumped off. Unfortunately, another kid ran in front of her mid-jump and she kung-fued him in the head and fell backwards. Other kid (also mine) fine, although emergency doc detected just starting ear infection. Bells, not so fine. Obviously broken arm. Other Mom got us to hospital pronto. Bells screeched the whole way. For those of you familiar, the new little bridge that connects the backside of the Multiplaza to Office Depot, Pricesmart and CIMA is A GODSEND. From fall, to parking garage, to emergency room, to right in to doctor, to sedation was probably within 20 minutes. Although it FELT like an eternity. You can see why. Just look above. In this family, when we do something, we do it right!

Emergency Doc FANTASTIC. Orthopediac surgeon WONDERFUL. Bells was in surgery by 9 pm. Casted. Overnight hospital stay. Home the next day. ER doc was back to us before release and even gave us his cell phone number. He told Bella that if there was pain, "tell Mommy and she can call me for more meds." But seriously, look what a great job the surgeon did.

So we now have an intimate opinion of CIMA. All I can say is that they took excellent care of my daughter. They had her taken care of with only my name and phone number. No long forms, no triage (granted it was slow), no wait. Everyone I needed to have important conversations with spoke enough English to accomplish it. A few nurses, etc. were patient enough with my Spanish to get the job done in other cases. The nurses didn't hover, although I would have liked that a little more. And when we asked for lunch early (she had been on liquid diet and was starting to cry over her hunger) it still took too long. But on the important matters - Top Notch Care.

On the strange side, once she was in a private room, we looked for stuff. You know, towels, extra sheets, pillows, etc. NADA. Nothing in any of the cabinets. This goes back to the thievery and no trust issue. Still, they were very forthcoming with the stuff when asked.

Now for the price tag. Remember, no insurance. Mid emergency room visit and pre surgery we had to put down a deposit of $3000. No idea how much this would cost. Not the primary concern at the time. My only point of comparison was my own leg break ten years ago in Aspen, Colorado. One week in the hospital. Full bill over $100K - my portion with insurance, $3k. But the final bill came to $4100. That includes the surgeons charge, the assisting surgeons charge, the hospital stay, the emergency room visit, and all the extras. Only thing not covered was parking. We are now seeing the surgeon regularly. Saw him today, appointment next week. Didn't pay today. Not sure when next payment will be. Had X-ray today at $40.

So current breakdown is:
Hospital stay: $4100
Parking to stay overnight with her: $8
Elbow healing and kid back to normal: priceless

It was a rough couple of days. Went to Doc today. X-ray shows healing already. Now, we can't get her to take it easy. You know what they say, you can't keep a good six-year old down.

What's bothering her the most now, those were her favorite shoes!


Anonymous said...

Hi, I stumbled on your blog, and I must say what a coincidence! I'm Filipino too, like your husband, and I googled Costa Rica in the first place because this link- that I ran into made me curious. Does that really happen there?

I hope your daughter is doing well, I am sure though that she is staying "maganda" :)


Kathryn said...

Oh no!!! Poor thing! OUCH!!!!!

JulieAndRickInCostaRica said...

Hi Jen -
I can't get over the level of true caring that you get at Costa Rica hospitals! I'm glad to hear everything is healing nicely.
We just signed up for Caja, so our emergencies will be handled by the public hospital system - wondering what that will be like, but not in a hurry to find out :).