Living in the USA, we all feel entitled, if you will, to everything from beautiful groceries at the market, clean water, good healthcare and creature comforts we seem to feel we need. All of this comes with a huge price to pay.
The world is aware that our crazy commander and creep has made it his mission to take as many of the above away as he can. Of course he is “rich” and can afford medical care, medical insurance and the sky high deductibles that we are forced to sign up for in order to bring down astronomical premiums.
Then you look at treatments like dental work. Even if you do have insurance for this, you will still pay hundreds and hundreds of hard earned dollars in order to get a painful tooth handled. It’s not like you can ignore it until it’s more convenient… therein lies the reason for this post.
Chris broke her back molar a year or so ago and went to the dentist who “patched her up”. Temporary fix $400. Last week she was on a trip for work and the “temporary fix” fell off. She was in immediate pain and called the doc. They quoted her $1200 for a permanent crown. OMG! So $400 plus $1200 is way too much and hard to stomach. Enter Mexico…
For years I have been reading about Medical Tourism. Hundreds of thousands of people travel to other countries for life saving treatments, why not travel for dental work? Why not travel for minor procedures that at home would be outrageous?
A few years back I twisted my knee chasing some howler monkeys on a muddy trail in Costa Rica. It swelled up and became too painful to bear weight. I had travel insurance but they required me to go see a doctor in country. I took a taxi to the doctor’s office. It looked like a small storefront shop with a shingle hanging outside with the doctor’s name. I walked in and was warmly greeted by a young man who spoke perfect english. His office was quaint with a few chairs and a coffee table, a small TV and AC.
He took me right into his exam room which was clean and looked like any exam room you’ve ever been in. He asked me a barrage of questions and then proceeded to examine my injured knee. He called his assistant in to take me to get an x-ray right in the next room. Twenty minutes later I walked out of his office with a full explanation of what he felt was wrong and a knee brace and pain medicine… all for $50 USD. At home the x-ray alone would have been more than $50, PLUS the doctor would have buzzed into the room pulled and pushed on my leg and left the room never to be seen again. In a week or two I would receive a bill for $650 for the inst-care.
To wrap this up, if you are afraid and nervous, that’s fine. Just as in the US or where ever you may be from, do your homework. There are hacks everywhere. There are sites you can access that give you step by step instructions. They have done research and you can reach out to them if you have questions. The world is a much smaller… and expensive place. If you are too scared and need to live in your little comfortable box, I get it. There’s a lot out there… outside of your little box. LIVE!
This is the dentist we just used:
More reading and links:
Sometimes pictures are more powerful than words… Hotel Reina Roja isn’t as scanky as it looks. It was actually an amazing find. If ever in Playa del Carmen… do find it and wander through. It takes quite a bit of creativity, insanity and balls to design a hotel front desk, bar and restaurant in an eclectic, erotic and almost S&M type theme.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico: Day One 2/21/2016
We decided to take a “tourist” vacation this time to Mexico. Of course it helps to be a traveler when things go not as planned.
The flight went well and we hopped in the bus to head half hour south to Playa. Back packs and day packs we hoofed it a couple of blocks to the hotel.
The street was full of reminders of our tourist destination. Sunburned Europeans walked aimlessly through the streets.
Arriving at our hotel they informed us that we didn’t have a room but had made arrangements at another hotel. Reina Roja Hotel is a cool boutique hotel but it reminds me of the Red Light District in Amsterdam. LOL. Jokes on us.
Day One Panama: Travel Day
Holiday, vacation, time off… depending on where you live… it all amounts to time away from a regular routine. For most Americans though, we must try to cram a “vacation : a finite amount of time allowed to us by an employer to try to enjoy ourselves” into a short trip to ‘try’ to relax and forget about our “normal daily routines”. I find that it usually takes about a day to get where ever we are going including packing, running around dropping of the “kids” human or four legged, getting to the mode of transportation and the travel to the destination. This day is usually, or at least can be, more stressful than the stress of our daily routines.
For me I find the disconnect rather difficult even though I tell myself I am excited… I’m not gonna think about work… I’m not gonna miss my boy… we’re gonna have fun DAMN IT… if it’s the last thing I do! I worry about having forgotten something. Not getting to the airport on time. GERMS! Yes I’m a germifobe when it comes to winter travel during major flu outbreaks. I just can’t seem to ‘chill’. I just want to get there…
This trip is going to be longer than our normal. We are throwing all caution to the wind and taking off for two weeks. Our normal is five days. We are going where there is limited power… internet… and an abundance of natural living! Islands off the coast of Panama, just south of the Costa Rican border. Bocas del Toro. We’ve rented two homes that are run on solar power and the water in the homes is supplied by the rainfall and rain catchment systems… in other words, we are at the hands of the earth, the sky, and Mother Nature.