Recently, I've been blown away by just what's possible these days. For example, a few days ago I had my first "virtual" babysitting job. Let me explain...Vanessa had come home with Riley and to her dismay, there were no convenient parking spaces near her apartment. She not only had to unload Riley and all the baby "stuff", but also an ice cream birthday cake for Trey...too much to carry in one load. She was nervous about leaving Riley in the apartment alone in order to go back to the car for the cake, so being the creative girlie that she is, this is what she did-- She called me using her cell phone as she has an international phone plan. Next, she turned on the computer and Skyped me. After, being sure that Riley (secured in her car seat) was visible to me, she left the apartment locking the door behind her and taking her cell phone with her as we were still connected. Sooo...The end result was she was able to hear me talking and singing to Riley...Riley was never out of my sight and could hear her Grandma singing her favorite songs (Vanessa was coaching me on what to sing), and Vanessa was assured that she was O.K. for the few minutes it took her to return to the car. Amazing!
The next experience that really got my attention was my trip to the doctor's yesterday. You are not going to believe this but I promise you every detail of it is true! After being here since July, I decided that it was time to establish a relationship with a family doctor. Those of you who know me well, know this is not my favorite thing to do. In fact, I can be creatively negligent when it comes to having routine well woman check ups. Anyway, my friend, Gini, made an appointment for me to meet her doctor. The appointment was at 9:00, and I figured after a brief consult, I'd be directed to an appointment desk in order to schedule a time for an initial check up. Wrong!
The short version is I left the doctor's office, which is in a local hospital, at 4:00 PM.
The long version is nothing short of miraculous! First of all, I began my appointment at 8:45 by completing a minimal amount of paperwork and having my blood pressure, height and weight checked. Next, I met with the doctor at her desk while she completed a family history and discussed my health needs. After that, I was sent to the lab for routine blood, urine... tests. I then returned to the doctor's office, and she performed the most complete physical I've ever had. Following this exam, I was personally escorted to various offices within the hospital for a mammogram, chest x-ray, bone density measurement, ultrasound (breasts, thyroid, upper abdomen), and an EKG. After a brief break for lunch at one of the many restaurants within the hospital (I chose Starbucks), I met with the doctor again. This time, she shared the results of all the tests that had been run earlier. The good news is I'm healthy, though she wanted me to see an endocrinologist because I have a nodule on my thyroid that she'd like checked out. So off I go to visit with the endocrinologist! He takes a look at the ultrasound pictures, lab reports, and examines me. He assures me that because my thyroid is functioning properly, there's probably no problem, but just to be on the safe side he schedules a biopsy for next week. Well, I finished my "initial" visit with 2 more exams to be completed that afternoon and 2 more to be completed next week...all of them arranged by my doctor. A gynecologist completed a well woman check up for me and I ended my day with a trip to the eye doctor's office. Can you believe all that with one simple 9:00 AM appointment? One more "blow me away" detail of the day was upon checking out, I was given completed insurance forms and a detailed print out of all the procedures and exams that had been performed. You might be wondering about the cost. I know I was! Well, the total for all the physician visits and lab tests was $747.00. No wonder Thailand is becoming a medical tourism hot spot!