Day 66 Ecuador- Doctor visit

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016

Heidi has developed an eye infection of some sort. She says it feels painful, as if something is in her eye irritating it. There are two red dots on the edge of her upper eyelid and nothing in the sclera of her eye at this point.

We went looking for a doctor today without luck. After we got home, we received a referral for a doctor right by us, and we were able to see him today! 20160317_214112His sign on the building says surgeon, but obviously he is trained across the board of general medical issues as well.

The doctor’s name is Dr Jose Intriago Andrade, Medico Cirjano (Surgeon). He is a gray haired man who may be in his mid 60’s. We sat in the small office waiting room for about an hour. There were two patients ahead of us. Lining the walls of the waiting room were several framed degrees and certifications that had become yellowed over the years.

At this office the medical assistant/receptionist speaks some English. Talk about lucking out! I think this woman may be the doctor’s wife. When it is our turn we are taken into a room that is shaped like an L and divided into three parts. The first half of the long part of the L has the doctors large desk that he sits behind with two wooden chairs facing it. This part of the room is divided by a heavy wooden book case that is behind the desk and filled with many, and very old looking medical books.

The entire look of this room is circa 1950. My grandfather was a surgeon who had an office practice as well. Everything I see reminds me of a combo of his study at home and his office at work. I like this place.

The doctor is behind his desk, we sit in the chairs, and with the help of the English speaking assistant he begins his questions for Heidi. He asks her history and if she has ever had an issue like this before? Does she have glaucoma? He asks if she ever had surgery on her eyes. He asks about other medical history, allergies, and medicines she may be on. This whole process takes about 20 minutes. It was very thorough.

The shorter leg of the L has the exam table in it. Heidi gets on the table and the doctor begins his exam by taking her temperature and blood pressure. Then he begins to examine her eye. He has a large magnifying glass with a light that he uses to examine the outer parts of her eye. He turns the light off and uses a smaller looking ophthalmoscope to inspect her retina.

The exam itself took about 10 minutes. When he completed it Heidi was told that her eye itself looks well. Structures and reactions of it are perfect. She does have a couple popped, blister-like spots on her eyelid. He prescribes an antiviral tablet, a cream, and an antibiotic eye drop. This should cover her for any potential viral or bacterial cause of her problem.

Before prescribing the medication, the doctor took Heidi to the back part of the long side of the L shaped room, behind the book case, and had her stand on the scale to get her weight. From where I stood, the scale was the only thing I could see in that part of the room.

The doctor wrote out the prescriptions and instructions by hand and gave them to the assistant. He reviewed the instructions with us, and told us when to come for a follow up and what to be looking for until then.

Back in the waiting room at the reception desk, the assistant typed up the prescriptions and instructions in English for us. She wrote out a bill and receipt for our visit. It was $50. Any visit after the first one is $40. Our time with the doctor was probably 40 minutes or more.

I’m convinced my wife is on the appropriate treatment and received the care she needed. We did wait for close to an hour before seeing the doctor, but from my experience in the States that can be considered an average wait time. The amount of time spent with the doctor was incredible. It wasn’t high-tech by any standards, but it was informed, personal, engaged, and connected. It was like how life used to be.

Chao.

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