By Freda Rumford from the May 2011 Edition
The house was tall and white and impressive. Large black railings enclose a small carport with a tiny “prie dieu” to one side. A heavy large oak door opened into a lovely marble floored salon filled with beautiful upholstered wicker furniture. There were a couple of love seats and sofas, several matching chairs, giving an initial impression of almost timeless elegance. A very large picture of a waterfall dominated the south wall, under which was an actual water fall. Not small by any means and the running water reminded me that it had been a long journey and time for a visit to the baño.
Carefully, because of a strange fog in the house, I walked towards a lady seated on an elegant chair at a glass dining room table. Dressed in a delicate mauve uniform, the receptionist, as I correctly took her to be, said that I was expected and indicated a small door (to the powder room) by the side of an imposing staircase which led up to a second floor and an imposing white balustrade. This was indeed the most different doctor’s waiting room I had ever seen in my life.
Almost in bemusement I sat on one of the most comfortable chairs in all of Mexico and waited. I looked around the room to another lovely table
placed in from of a wall of eye glasses and in cabinets to their sides, beautiful Lladro figurines. My goodness me! Where on earth had I come? Later on, my driving companions came back with me and decided that the beautiful room looked like a funeral home; my rather more earthy impression was (although I have never been in one of course) that it could have been like a very high class brothel!
I had come to have my eyes checked for cataracts and had been given overwhelming favourable references to two of the most qualified doctors in the state of Colima. Presently a young man walked into the room, tall, elegant and wearing a white coat, this was one of the doctors. After walking around the room shaking all of the patient’s hands, he entered a small room off the salon and office hours began.
Eventually, it was my turn. I had been so enthralled with my surroundings that my usual “waiting room” book lay unopened on my lap. Now my experience of high class Mexican medicine really began. It was decided that, yes I did have a problem and it must be seen to. The cataract in the worst eye, (the one which caused the fog) must be removed. Just one at a time though, as even in the very best of circumstances and with the very best of surgeons problems could arise. This was Friday afternoon and my next appointment set for the following Monday!
Monday arrived, and my posse and I returned at the Eye Clinic where we enjoyed more of the salon before my seeing the second doctor who announced that the cataract definitely was to come out and he could do it tomorrow morning!
Well! There really wasn’t any time to think or worry about it, Tuesday morning came soon enough as we found our way back to Colima and through the windy streets to the “eye-hospital” address with no difficulty. Who said we women wouldn’t make good navigators? The operation was at 10 30 a.m. by 11.15 a.m. I was able to leave and instructed to be at the office location at noon.
At twelve sharp, we presented ourselves, me walking gingerly over the cobblestones as I had one eye bandaged and the other still in a fog. By 12.15 p.m. the bandages were off, I was given instructions of how to apply the various drops and the next appointment set for one week later.
By 2 p.m. we were back in Manzanillo at “Manzamigos Games Day” – playing cards!
I just could not believe it. I could see. No fog in the right eye at least and just a very slight ache.
Having won one of the games of Wizard and feeling almost dizzy with success and excitement, I finally went home, made a cup of tea and promptly poured it all over the counter instead of into the waiting china mug.
The only hitch in the entire procedure was my inability to translate correctly the appointment day which was written quite clearly as Jueves (Thursday) and I read as Martes (Tuesday) so arrived two days early. No matter, the efficient office managed to fit me in on that very day so that we did not have to return again later that week.
I now have to go back in a month but also have to save up a few pennies to get the other eye fixed. My pair of glasses, which were new in December, had one lens popped out so that I have only one lens. But, I can actually see to drive, watch the television and read the signs outside of Wal-mart! (A mystery previously)
This has been the smoothest, most efficient office I have ever experienced anywhere, let alone in Mexico. This is a third world country you know! Danger lurks around every corner and this is not where one would expect to find a doctor politely shaking his patients hands and wishing them good day when he arrived at the office, on time!
Oh yes! The cost! It was approximately $1100 CAN or
US$1150 in today’s monetary exchange rate. With the three appointment and the medicines we reckon I spent a total of about $1500. But really – I can see!! And it was done within 3 days of the original appointment!! Forget the previous 3 years of appointments and delays and discussions!! I am really looking forward to my next operation!
This truly has been a “Eureka” moment!