My Stay at the Pellas Hospital

Calm down, I am in a good place!

First just like in the States, here in Nicaragua you have the haves and have nots. Sad as it is, it is just a matter of fact all over the world. Hospital Metropolitano Vivian Pellas is a Have’s place for health care in Nicaragua. Located on the outskirts of the Capital City Managua.

My maid along with an overwhelming majority of the Blue and White Collar Citizens of this Nation can not even dream of receiving care from such a prestigious hospital. Being a nurse myself, I took a critical assessment of every aspect of the Hospital from admissions, to nursing care, protocols, to procedures, Doctors and staff interaction, equipment, to over all cleanliness, to general order. I assessed that I could have been in any Hospital that I had worked at in the States… except for the language.

My friend Carol Rae drove me to the Hospital. At admissions I filled out the necessary paperwork and left them with an $800 deposit. The Hospital looks like I have just stepped back into any Level 2 or better hospital in the USA!

Without the usual American hassles like trying to find an affordable life insurance policy or being harassed by insurance brokers for weeks, I was wheeled to a clean fresh private room with a Hill-Rom bed with all the emergency equipment available and crash carts stationed just feet away from the door. Check!  The nurses reviewed my history and verified my ID band and checked for allergies. Check! The nurse using excellent aseptic protocol technique started my I.V.! Check! The Doctor rounded on me within 1.5 hours of my admission and I had just seen him in his office before admissions. Check! My plan of care was discussed with the Doctor and Nurse in both Spanish and English! Check! The Doctor continued to round morning and night! He gave me his personal cell phone number and told me to call night or day for anything. Cleaning staff stopped in to empty my trash and tend to any of the rooms needs three times a day. Check! CT scan with oral and IV contrast was ordered. Oral contrast was delivered to me with full instructions. Check. I was able to use my laptop and iPhone with several wifi’s to choose from. A TV was furnished. Check!

My CT scan was ordered for 2 p.m. the tech showed up to my room to transport me at 1:45. Once in the CT lab I was promptly met by staff and welcomed. Again with good technique a new IV was started. Check! I was placed on what appeared to be a new Philips Computerized Tomography Machine. Check! I was told that I would be informed when to take a breath and hold it and to lie still. Surprising to me the machine had a pleasant woman’s voice that spoke to me in English! Check! The staff remained cordial and took their time with me. I never felt any rush on their part. Wheeled back to my room and assisted back to bed. When the Doctor rounded he thoroughly reviewed the results of the CT scan with me and made a suggestion that I needed a colonoscopy. Well I said, “let’s do it tomorrow, I am almost cleaned out now”. He wrote the order, reviewed with me and the nurse instructions that I would be fasting after midnight and a further medication was ordered for complete bowel clean out. Again, he told me to phone his cell, night or day.

The next morning the Doctor rounded prior to the Colonostomy and reviewed the process with me which is Identical to the procedure in the States! Check. Promptly on time the tech was at my room to transport me. Once I was in the Colonoscopy lab the nurses connected me to all the critical equipment, all very cordially, and the anesthesiologist did a complete history with me. He was cute too! The Doctor showed up and asked me if I had any further questions. Then I was sedated. When I woke up and was alert, I was returned to my room. It had been decided prior, that after this procedure I would be dismissed from the hospital.

While I was packing up to go home the Doctor showed up with a complete file for me. With photos of my exams, complete lab and procedure results. Together we sat on the sofa as he told me the results. He was firm but compassionate. WE were Doctor to Nurse discussing a very serious subject that we both had knowledge of. He made his suggestions, told me what he would do if he was me and again told me not to hesitate to phone him day or night. Any questions at all.  He asked me, “Sonja, will you stay here or go back to the states?”… I told him, “This is my home. My pets are my family. My maid is my family, and that I found the Hospital and staff to be excellent”. He said he would phone me on Monday to check in with me and to start discussing Surgeons and Oncologist with me.

My friend Donna Tabor came to pick me up. The nurse reviewed discharge orders with  Donna and me. (I had been under sedation this day, and that is Hospital Policy) Check! The tech put me in the wheelchair and wheeled me to admissions…. There I settled my Bill…  Two nights private room, CT Scan, Colonoscopy with Anesthesia Sedation, 2 daily  am lab draws, medications, and all supplies came to $1300. The Doctor $600 and the Anesthetist $100.

When I returned home, I was met by three wagging tails and a maid that was upstairs but when she heard me, she ran to me with arms wide open saying… “Sonja es de vuelta a casa!”… we bear hugged, I told her the diagnosis and my house guest Grace translated for her. We hugged again… and she took my bag and unpacked it……………. I was home, where love is, where I belong.

There are no guarantees what the outcome to all of this will be. I have had expat friends that have also been stricken with major disease that have returned to the states, stressing themselves shutting down a home here, going back to children’s homes, huge financial cost and fatal results. I am a Christian… and my soul is saved by the Blood of Jesus. My story has been written… and I trust in God to reveal to me in his time.

Sonja Bliss