Adventures, Costa Rica, Wendi Thinks

Visiting a Government-Run Emergency Room

So, things didn’t go how I hoped they would Thursday.

This one had a rough night’s sleep, Wednesday night, because she finally got sick with the same bug we have all been fighting for 2 weeks (the last one bites the dust!). But we didn’t let that stop our plans.

The kids and I have been planning a trip to see my friend Alice for weeks. But with one kid this sick, I didn’t know if we should still go. But our hostess said to “Come on down!” and so we did!

We made the 4 hour drive in 5 hours (taking a brief stop to get lunch at Subway and some extra medicine for GingerSnap).

All was going well and I was really looking forward to adding more pictures to this area of Costa Rica on Friday, but then I had to go to the emergency room Thursday night.

Rewind to Wednesday night. I had a brief attack in my left kidney area, but I honestly thought I had just eaten a bad hot dog for a late lunch (I even threw out all of the leftover hot dogs and buns because I felt that bad).

So I didn’t think anything of that pain until it hit me again after dinner, Thursday night. I tried my best to breath through the pain for an hour but when the pain intensified, I knew I needed help because the pain was mainly in my kidneys and front lower abdomen. So I took two of these before my hostess’ driver and wife drove me to the closest hospital.

We left for the hospital at 8:55 pm, after a brief call to my husband who is 4 hours away from me. My poor kids were so nervous, but I left them in great hands!

But the pain! Oh, the pain! I haven’t felt pain like this since I delivered my babies over 9 years ago. The pain was intense and it only grew worse over time.

FINALLY after waiting over 2 hours, and researching myself that I most likely had kidney stones, I was given a shot for the pain (sadly it only took the edge off) and then a muscle relaxer (that thankfully REALLY helped!).

BUT, in order to get the muscle relaxer that I needed, it had to be given via IV. And how we received this treatment shocked me. The hospital stuffed as many people as they could into a small room, where seats are placed so close to each other, it is almost like sitting in an airplane.

But everyone is sick with something?!?!

Is this really wise or safe to do?

Unfortunately I had no other option. I needed the help.

The attitude from the other patient’s around me taught me an important lesson . . . This is what “free” medicine looks and feels like. The nurses and staff were distant and cold. They only offered the bare minimum service.

They wouldn’t even help me with my parched mouth when I asked for some water. I literally had to hand the nurse my phone so she could hear my husband ask her to please help me. She abruptly told my husband that she already was! And then she put my IV bag in my hand and pointed me to a sink . . . where sick people wash their hands 😵🤢😫. . . to fill up my used Gatorade bottle (the only bottle we could find at the hospital) to help me hydrate myself while we waited to get help from a doctor.

After my treatment was finished, I excitedly asked a nurse to help me remove my IV, so I could leave the hospital and fight the rest of this battle at home. But instead of helping me, she started to get upset with me and spoke to me in an irritated tone.

But I stood up for myself, realizing that she did not like helping me but that was just too bad! I pay into this social medicine system and I deserve help, just as much as anyone else there did. I told her I didn’t understand her, because her words were rude and not helpful. Thankfully I haven’t learned that kind of Spanish yet.

I looked around and asked the other patients if they understood English but they all pulled away with their eyes and refused to help. Then the nurse just walked off, leaving me there confused as to what I should do, with the bag still attached to me.

The lady with her leg pressed up against mine, because our chairs were in the corner, smashed up against each other, tried to comfort me by simply asking me where my husband was? I told her that he was in San Jose and she just gave me a look of concerned sadness. Then she too looked down at her lap, like we were caged animals at the pound.

Thankfully the driver’s wife came to my rescue and talked to the nurses for me. I guess the nurse had called for someone to assist me. That had to have sounded lovely over the loud speaker in the emergency waiting room, “Someone who is here with Wendi W???? (they can’t say my last name) please come now!”

But they did not give Gabby good news. They said that I “had to” wait to hear my test results before I could leave the hospital and it would probably be another 2.5 hours. What?!?! They refused to take out the IV, stating that the doctor “might” want to give me more medicine?!?!? For what?!?! They hadn’t even asked me what I felt was wrong. They even had guards at the doors to keep us from leaving. I had assumed that they were there to keep people out. I guess I was wrong.

We waited for hours to see a doctor, who was out on her lunch break. Seriously!!! This is an Emergency Room! Thankfully, after the doctor returned, Gabby was able to sweet-talk the doctor into finding my results . . . which simply said, “Yes, she has blood in her urine. She should get an ultrasound next to find out what is wrong.” Seriously. 🤦🏻‍♀️

Thankfully I had drank 6 bottles of water on my own, because the doctor asked if I could urinate? Really???? No water in the hospital and sitting for 4 hours! Would anyone be able to urinate? I had already told them I couldn’t, but because I was proactive and researched what I thought I had, I knew I needed water. So I now could urinate, and that is what got permission to leave the hospital. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️

So, they removed my IV, and let us out of the hospital, and that was that.

I was shocked. No one had even offered to help me fight my symptoms of dehydration or ask me what I thought I was suffering from. They only offered me a shot for the pain and the muscle relaxer. Without me drinking water, I could have been trapped in that hospital for the night. I am SO THANKFUL for prayer and the internet. All of my symptoms matched with Kidney stones but not one person diagnosed me with it, nor treated me properly for them. 😫. Water saved me!!!

Thankfully these two believed me and supported me. It was Gabby who went looking for water and found me a used Gatorade bottle, in their car, cleaned it and filled it with the only water in the hospital they could find (water from the sink for hand washing 🤢🤮😷).

Then they filled it up every time I needed it filled. They also refused to leave me alone in a public hospital without support. I begged them to go home and get some sleep, promising them that I would call them when I was ready, but they refused to leave because they said that they knew personally what can happen in the hospital. So they sacrificed their sleep and their responsibilities for me, a complete stranger. That is what being an example of Christ looks like. 💕

Coming home hasn’t been this sweet in a LONG time! Finding my kids happily sleeping in hammocks made me so happy!! I kissed each of them and told them I was home. They each thanked me for waking them and gave me a hug or an “I Love You Mom!”

Then I finally made my way to my bed, but first I found this little treasure. . .

Bless their hearts. I found out this morning that they had been quite scared. They had never seen me in so much pain before, nor ask for help like that from strangers. They had stayed up until midnight waiting for me to come home. It was 2 a.m. by this point. I’m glad they didn’t wait up any longer.

Even though this trip didn’t start out the way I had expected it to, I think we all learned to be grateful for something that we take for granted: a Mom, our health, our regular/boring routine, having a Dad who is always there to help us, lifestyle privileges from the United States, and so much more.

The important thing is that we are safe and sound. Alice is an angel and so are Kevin (her driver) and his wife Gabby. Prayers were answered, and still are being answered. I took it easy Friday and didn’t join the group on their AMAZING outing, hiking down to a waterfall and swimming at an empty beach in Dominical called Playa Linda. Curly Cook thankfully stayed home with me. 🙏🏻

We had fun playing in Alice’s house: reading books, playing games, watching a show or two, and just spending some one-on-one time together. I especially loved reading Alice’s AMAZING collection of art books. But being home was a must!

Kidney Stones = Bathroom, bathroom, and more bathroom!!!

It’s late! I’m still struggling to get to sleep, like my little angels who are sleeping snug in their hammocks in the loft. I need to try to sleep. I need to trust my body will recover and that answers can be found and will help me deal with my future. Even though the pain and discomfort are still here, I know that tomorrow is a new day!! Good things can still happen. ☺️

Happy Friday/Saturday,

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