Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blog 23

Just for the sake of some variety, despite the hospitalisation being paid for by the Greek health service IKA, falling ill can be an expensive business. It all started on a Tuesday morning. I had been suffering from gasping breathlessness for sometime and on the previous Monday we had driven up to Doctor Elizabeth’s only to find her surgery closed – All Saints Day, everyone in church. So Tuesday morning I sat up in bed and started to get dressed when, suddenly, I went blind in my right eye. This was quite frightening so, as it obviously constituted an emergency it was ridiculous to think of driving into Xania to see our IKA doctor but was straight up to Doctor Elizabeth whose consultations cost 35euro and who immediately put me on the oxygen and took heart readings. In the space of a minute or two and two print-outs later she said to Douglas, ‘Look at this. It could be two different patients; the readings in that short space of time were so far apart.’
So it was on to the Medical Centre in Xania for an x-ray (73euro) and a brain scan (150 euro). This was because Elizabeth was worried about a possible thrombosis, and then on to the ophthalmologist to see to the eye. This lady was well up to date with all the most modern equipment, trained in America evidently, but she was expensive (210euro) and unfortunately there seemed little she could do, there having been a massive occlusion evidently. Between her and Elizabeth I have been on a drug which has improved the situation and there is now only a small shadow over the centre of the right eye. Hopefully it will clear up altogether. If not I will just have to live with it.
On to the cardiologist, two visits (150euro) and then after a 24 hour monitor a phone call from him saying he was very worried that my heart was taking three second time-outs, he didn‘t have the means of testing further and he would like me to go to the hospital in Heraklion which is about 150 kilometres away. This meant Douglas had to stay with me and his accommodation came to 215euro which all comes to over 800euro. Add to this incidentals like 2 day car hire for Chris in Vamos who was without food in the house both human and animal (90euro – high season prices) the cost of petrol, in and out of Xania and three trips back and forth to Heraklion, 30euro for prescriptions and 30 for two further blood tests and we’re over the 1000euro mark. If it had not been such an emergency of course some of these expenses would have been covered by IKA (we’re hoping the ophthalmologist’s bill still will be pm appeal) but that would have taken time and I do believe time we did not have. It’s all relative I suppose. We are reliably informed that a private angiogram in London costs £4000! I wonder what it costs in America. A very dear friend in Germany, without a second thought, deposited 600euro in our bank account. Money at the moment, well as usual, being as tight as it is we will be forever grateful to him for this generous and spontaneous gesture.

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