Free at last!

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I had this routine down! Up early, breakfast at the buffet, try to get money from the ATM at the shopping center, get message from ATM machine telling me my transaction could not be completed, take a taxi to the hospital.

This taxi driver was not really sure where he was going. He asked me if I knew the address. I did not. He said, “That’s okay, I can check with the other drivers.”

Lesson # 15 – Don’t assume that taxi drivers know where the hospital is. Get a brochure from the hospital and keep it with you so you’ll have the address AND the phone number.

We passed a turn I thought we should have taken. After five trips to the hospital, I had some landmarks down. Sure enough, I could see the hospital a block away in the wrong direction. “Um, it’s over there?”

He only charged me $35, so I gave him a good tip because I thought he had undercharged me. It’s possible the other guys were overcharging me. Except for Adolpho, who didn’t want to charge me at all.

Zung was still in the ICU. When I came in he said, “Free at last!” Dr. Basave had given him the okay to move to a regular room. There was no one else in the ICU at this point and they let me stay until they moved him. That seemed to take a maddeningly long time. She brought the wheelchair and parked it next to the bed. We waited forever. I really think it was close to an hour. Then she unhooked him from the monitors. Then she had him sit in the wheelchair. She put his IV in his lap and that drove the nurse in me crazy because of how long he sat there with it. I kept propping it up.

Finally, we went upstairs to a regular room. The floor nurse came and got report and they got him settled. It was a different room than the one he had been originally admitted to. This one was much closer to the nurses station.

I headed out to look for an ATM to get more taxi money. The Apple Vacation rep was there (I don’t know why he was hanging around, but one of them was there every day). I asked him where one was and he said a couple blocks away. He recommended I take a taxi and I assured him I could walk a couple blocks. He said it was safe, but he still thought I should take a taxi because of the heat. I told him I would be walking around if I was back at the Lindo and he replied, “Ohhhh. Yes.”

I walked out of the hospital and turned right and walked the two blocks. It was a little freaky because there were no sidewalks and on that side of the street there were no buildings. I was in a really good mood though because Zung was out of the ICU. I practically danced the two blocks. Then I had to cross the street to get to the bank.

It gave me money. Yea! I then walked to Starbuck’s, which is also two blocks from the hospital, but unfortunately two blocks in the other direction, so it was four blocks. In the noonday sun, In Mexico. In July. Although I wasn’t on the beach, I was still getting lots of sun.

I did pass “The Muffin Company – coffee, tea and muffins.” Since the sign was in English I suspected it might be geared towards the tourists who were requiring the services of the hospital (or rather their travel companions). It was between the hospital and the bank. I was tempted. But I don’t KNOW the Muffin Company and I KNOW Starbuck’s. Frankly, I’d had enough adventure in my life recently, so I stuck with Starbuck’s.

I got myself a sandwich (so glad they have branched out from just hot drinks), Zung a smoothie and a bunch of snacks. He said he got hungry between meals. A good appetite is a good sign.

I returned with my goodies and hung out for a while with him. When he wanted to nap I went back to the hotel. I went to the concierge to change dinner reservation times. There was a little more of a language barrier, but we got the job done. She asked how Zung was doing, so I realized they were passing on the information about our situation.

I sat with the kids on the beach for a while. When we got to the hospital that evening Zung said he hadn’t gotten much of a nap. He said the Apple rep came by to see how he was doing. Kaiser (our HMO) called to see how he was. The hospital PR lady came by to check in. You gotta love hospitals. I’ve been in health care for more than 30 year and back in the day we kept people for weeks and sometimes months. It’s a wonder they didn’t go stark raving mad.

The five of us went for a walk in the hall, but one of the nurses caught us and said he could only walk in his room.

We went back to the room and while we were there Dr. Basave came in. he shook hands with all the kids and asked how their vacation was (uhhhhhh…). He asked Zung how he was feeling. He asked me if I noticed anything unusual. He told Zung he could walk in the hall tomorrow, but not today. Did I mention I think he’s a bit conservative.

After he left, Susie said, “He’s very doctor-ey.” I think it’s his very deep voice and accent. Like I said before, picture a Mexican soap opera doctor.

We said good-bye to Zung and headed back to the Lindo. We had dinner at the Cajun restaurant, which is probably my favorite restaurant there. We headed back to the room and my mom radar went on alert when Patrick stopped and hugged some girl. What exactly was going on while I was off at the hospital?

Usually I try to savor the last couple days of vacation. I just wanted this one to be over. The next day would be fairly boring, but the day of departure would bring a few final thrills.


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