Tuesday, January 29, 2008


i swear that samil kicked around in the womb well past the 42-week limit. it wasn't until i switched doctors - at the last possible minute - and agreed to a c-section that he came out. from day one... well, even before day one, i fought against the surgery. the dominican has one of the highest rates of unnecessary caesareas in the world. i think we're like third on the list. i didn't want to be cut open - partly because birth is natural. i didn't even want an epidural. partly because dominican medical care sucks. i've met nurses in the states who trump specialists here. and not nurse practitioners.

dominicans wanted to know why i was having the baby here. americans wanted to know why i was having the baby here. i really didn't know why i was having the baby here. i just knew that no matter what, he'd get his "papeles" and a nice blue passport. i wasn't worried about labor. or childbirth. until we decided on the c.

i'll spare you the details, but i was up and walking around the next day. walked up three flights of stairs after 48 hours and i have a beautifully thin little scar nicely hidden by my underwears. my anesthesiologist - a cuban named zapata - was the kind of doctor you dream about. i was sent home and 8 days later the stitches were taken out and i walked around the city. carrying the baby.

just as the c-section is old hat here in hispaniola, by-pass surgery, one would think is old-hat in florida. come on, with so many old people, doctors have got to be able to do that surgery in their sleep.


my grandpop went in for the surgery before christmas. quadruple by-pass. after 7 days he was discharged. it seems that the hospital was hell bent on discharging all heart patients. no.matter.what. he arrived at rehab only to be sent to the emergency room with an infection. back to the big city - a two hour drive - for more treatment. we all waited and waited. the infection got worse. it set in his bones. nothing.

seriously, nothing? it was christmas week. the doctor's waited until the holidays were over to open his chest and work on the infection. they "scraped" his chest out, put him on antibiotics and watched. now, instead of a simple by-pass scar he's got a titanium plate in his chest from where they cut apart his sternum.

he gets out tomorrow from rehab. health care in the states leaves a lot to be desired. sure a c-section and heart surgery are completely different. but what happened about treating patients? it seems to me that even though maybe the services here aren't as advanced, as sterile, as educated at least we're not fighting with insurance companies about how long we can stay or when we get treated.

i don't know. maybe it's time for the united states to stop worrying about everyone else and take care of themselves for awhile.


simplicity said...

health care in the states is: overpriced, unequaul, risky at times due to misdiagnosis and at many times frustrating.

Well said.

Buki Family said...

i know exactly what you mean, there are so many problems with our health system, i love that in congo, you dont have to mess with all the BS, but i am grateful to be here right now as Liam's birth is just days away. It is just comforting to know they can monitor me and the baby's progress here, unlike Congo where there is nothing but a wooden birthing table.