IF the truth be known, I don't go to Doctors until I'm convinced that it is probably fatal. I will put up with pain and aggravation for months, or longer, then give in when my home style remedies don't work.
Case in point. In February a huge pimple, more like a wart all of a sudden appeared between my nose and lips. I was in Houston. About to meet some new people and I thought, "Oh great now I'm getting ä witches wart". So I doused it with antibiotic ointment and, of course picked at it. Nothing worked, it never went away. I was somewhat self conscious about it. Then last week someone said that I really needed to have that checked by a dermatologist. THAT got my attention.
Add to the above that weird things have been happening in my legs and feet with tingling and pain in the middle of the night. So severe as to wake me with the pain. I, of course, was scared to death that it was diabetes. Monday night was especially painful and I was awake most of the night.
Okay, NOW I had two things to worry about. First thing out of bed on Tuesday morning I called the dermatologist and the internal medicine doctor for appointments. Hopefully for that day. They are in the same clinic here in town and I thought a one-two punch was the way to go.
I called at 8:30AM and had an appointment with the internist at 11:30 and the dermatologist at 12:30.
When the appointment is at 11:30AM, the door opens and there stands the Dr. to greet you. Dr. Barrera is a gruff but brilliant diagnostician. He never remembers my name but he always remembers the last time I was in there and why. Amazing! He listened to me, wanted a couple of x-rays and walked me down to the x-ray department to check my spine to see if that contributed to the pain in my legs and feet. Two x-rays in ten minutes. $40USD. Dr. Barrera looked at them and said nope that wasn't it. He gave me something for pain and said to call him in 5 days. He also ordered a lab to come to my house to draw blood to check what might be out of whack to cause the pain..
Then I went off to meet the dermatologist to get the witçhes wart removed. Shockingly she told me it wasn't a pimple but a tumor. Whoa! And, I needed to get it removed either by her or by my dermatologist in the USA, soon. I left her office in a fog with the name of the tumor.
Cost of appointments with internist and dermatologist - Total for 2 - $88.00USD
Called the US Doctor - Told the receptionist the diagnosis because the Dr. couldn't talk to me and no he would be too busy to call me back! No, they don't take Medicare anymore. And, the cost for the surgical procedure to remove the tumor would start at least at $250USD. And, he wouldn't be able to see me til the end of May even though it needed to be removed ASAP.
Multiple emails to dermatologist here in San Miguel which were answered promptly and her cost to do the procedure in two days, convinced me that I should move forward here. I did, today. It's gone.
Cost of surgical procedure and biopsy of tumor - $200USD
The lab tech who came to the house to draw blood was, without a doubt, the most efficient person I've every dealt with in this area. Usually I laughingly tell the tech they have 2 maybe 3 chances then we'll quit. This man found the vein instantly. Did not leave a bloody trail or anything. I was thrilled.
Cost for coming to my home and for the lab results - $56USD
After I finished with the surgical procedure today and left the dermatologists office, I stopped by the internist. He welcomed me into his office, told me all is ok except one thing and gave me a prescription for that. I asked if I needed to pay for his time and he looked shocked and said, "Of course not". I told him I was going to Texas and he gave me his cell phone # in case I were to have any questions or issues while I'm gone.
As I walked to the car, I was shaking my head (with the bandage on my face) with wonder at the genuine caring, professionalism and lack of interest in always making money. In fact, the price that the dermatologist had quoted me and what she actually charged me was less. I told her what she had quoted and she laughed and said, "Well that's why I'll never get rich - the patients mean more then the money" Yup, she actually said that...............and I believe her.
Total cost for everything Tuesday and today - $384USD!