January 23, 2015
We have two Elders in the hospital right now. As I told their mothers, you could hear the fear in their voices as they thought of “Mexican Hospitals.”
While no mother ever wants a child in the hospital, having them in a hospital in a foreign third world country brings extra anxiety. Not only are they not close enough to help, they can’t even talk to the doctor about their child’s medical condition unless they speak “medical Spanish.”
We have used three different hospitals while here for the last almost 7 months. The most common one used is Cami Hospital. It’s a ten minute drive (unless it’s a particularly loco driving day) from the mission office. We have had missionaries there for dehydration, appendectomies, and severe indigestion problems. It’s a small hospital. As you drive up, with limited parking, a “valet” comes to park your car. They always joke with us and tell us it will be “cien pesos” (about $8 US). It really is only 1/3 of that. The main valet has lived in Georgia and only came back home to take care of his parents. He would move back in an instant if that were possible. He and his men have helped us so many times that they know our names. They park the cars in two very small lots and usually have to move cars to get yours out when you are leaving.
We walk up to the door and are greeted by an armed, bullet proof vested, security guard. I have spotted four of them and they rotate duties. They also know us and always open the doors for us. At the reception desk, we talk to Nancy. She signs us in and gives us little placards. We then take the elevator to the third floor. There are four floors but I’ve never made it to the other two. We have had patients in almost every one of their 10 rooms on the 3rd floor.
The doctors and nurses are very courteous and attentive. Many of the doctors have studied in the US and know English. The rooms are sparkling clean with no smell whatsoever. Each room has only one patient and has its own bathroom. The food is good, although they don’t distinguish much between meals and so you may get a sandwich for breakfast.
We always leave a companion with our sick ones. We pay the extra $40 so they can have a blanket and pillow for their less than comfortable couch, or they can sleep in a recliner. We “check” out a remote so they can use the TV. We leave money in the drawer so they can go and get food at the small restaurant on the first floor. The companions have permission to leave their “sick” companion behind to go and get food.
The small restaurant sits on the first floor. The kitchen is open for view of everyone. It has a refrigerator, microwave, a hot plate, and a fry pan. From these simple appliances, they can fix you 20 different items for dining pleasure.
We have had several Elders that need to return to the states following their visit to Cami. These Elders need more specialized treatment – and the love and care of their parents! The doctors in the US report back that the care given at Cami was excellent. The tests run were the same tests they would have chosen to run.
Our Cami Hospital is not what you would have imagined – thankfully!