“You just need to come back to the hospital”

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I got out of the taxi and stopped in the Lobby bar for a Havana and coke. I went to our rooms and Susie was in hers. I gave her an update. She said the three boys were out at the beach. She was a lot more stressed about things than they were. I went out to the beach and found them and gave them an update. Nicholas wanted to know if he could visit Zung and I said I didn’t know if that would be a good idea today of if it would be better to wait for tomorrow.

Nicholas and Patrick left and I got a call from the travel insurance company. As I was talking to them I heard another call come in, but I let it go to voice mail. When I got done with the travel insurance person I listened to my voice mail. It was someone from the hospital and she said, “You need to come back to the hospital.” I had the card with the hospital’s number, so I called back. I got the main operator and I asked for the ICU and I got transferred no less than about six times. Finally I got the ICU and was told, “You need to come back. I asked what was going on and she said, “You just need to come back.”

The next hour would probably be the most terrifying of my life.

I hurried back to the room, passing Nicholas and Patrick as I went. I told them I’d been called back to the hospital and didn’t know why. I stopped at Susie’s room and told her the same thing. I grabbed my purse and then hurried to the lobby area, where the taxi’s are. I told the bell boy I needed a taxi. The taxi’s are parked in an area just a little away. He whistled to them, but they didn’t come instantaneously so I started running to them. I got in and said, “Hospiten Cancun, it’s an emergency.”

The taxi driver asked if it was for me or for someone else. I said it was for my husband. he started driving out of the resort complex and then he asked, “Did they take him in a taxi or an ambulance?”

“Ambulance,” I answered. I’m sure he heard the panic in my voice.

“I’ll get you there fast.”

He did not lie. It is normally a 40 minute drive and he got me there in about 25 minutes.

I was sure Zung had died. I couldn’t believe I had left the hospital in the first place. What was I thinking?

Tami (my travel agent) called as we were flying down 307. I explained that I had been called back and didn’t know why. She later told me that was one of the hardest phone calls she’s ever had. I hung up and burst into tears.

My maniac driving taxi driver pulled up to the front of the hospital. I threw a $50 bill at him and ran inside and into the ICU (in the front door, make a right, go through another door, another right and then the ICU doors are on the left).

Zung was laying there, with a tray of food in front of him. The nurses glanced up at me. I went over to Zung and asked what had happened, explaining that they had called and told me to come back.

He said. “Oh, there must have been a misunderstanding. I asked for something to drink and they brought me this tray and asked if you were going to come help me eat. I told them you had gone back to the hotel. So I guess they called you.”

I dropped my head onto his pillow and just sobbed and sobbed. “I was so scared.” He kept saying he was sorry. I kept saying it wasn’t his fault. I finally calmed down, looked at his tray of food and said, “That looks disgusting.” He said he had only wanted some juice.

I know some people will read this and think they could have told me he just needed help with his tray. I don’t blame the nurse who called me. I don’t know enough Spanish to fight my way out of a wet paper bag. I can’t expect them to be fluent. I did develop a greater appreciation for the interpreters at my hospital where I work.

I called the kids and Tami to let them know he was okay. I got a call from the Apple Vacations person, who said there was an Apple rep actually at the hospital. When the nurse told me, “the visit is over” I went looking for the Apple rep. We discussed possible hotels we could switch to, and possible hotels I could stay at for the night. While I was afraid of another panic ride back to the hospital, I was also afraid of being in an area that was not tourist geared because I feared my ability to communicate with anyone would be even more compromised and I was pretty tapped out at that point. While the Hotel Zone was close enough for me to see, it was not as close to drive and would be about a 30 minute drive according to the Apple rep. Ultimately I decided to stay at the Lindo. Gaining 10 minutes less in travel time did not seem worth it compared to being in a place where we were familiar with everything.

I went back to Zung for one last visit before I was told again, “The visit is over.” He was really tired at this point. I was hoping he would get some rest, but I know an ICU like that (with the beds all on one room) is not that conducive to sleeping.

I went back to the hotel. Patrick walked over to the shopping center with me so I could get something to eat (tacos) and them I went back to my room. I was amazed that I slept as well as I did. I felt confident that Zung was okay and I was fairly exhausted.

Tomorrow would bring a new routine. Over the next five days I would get to experience the good, the bad, the fast and the slow and the sleazy of the taxi drivers.


This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Wow Andrea what an ordeal! I felt your anguish when you got that call. Even though I know Zung is all right now I was still sitting at the edge of my seat as the events unfolded. I hope I don’t have to experience anything remotely close to what you’ve experienced. I will double check my travel insurance to see what all is covered. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m learning alot more on this blog than what drinks to order at IGP!

  2. Andrea, you are a strong woman – some people could have had their own heart attack after a phone call like that!

    When you fly into Mexico now is the “heart attack trip” on your mind?

    I think you are leaving for the Grand in the next day or two – enjoy and have a very happy birthday.

  3. Andrea…Oh my goodness. I am so thankful I know ahead of time that Zung is alright. I agree, it’s a real nail-biter of a story. It makes it much easier to read through knowing that he is O.K. I cannot imagine what you must have gone through.

    I know you are heading out in a couple of days. I pray that hurricane does not affect Mexico or at least not that area. Happy Birthday and Safe Travels.


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