After getting a referral from the rudest doctor in the Philippines, located at Iloilo Doctor's Hospital, for some blood work the doctor did not think necessary, my wife and I are off to St. Paul's Hospital in Iloilo because the obnoxious physician evidently didn't think the staff at her own facility could handle the simple task of drawing blood. I had slightly elevated high cholesterol levels back in the States and haven't had any blood tests done in years. I experienced a kidney stone attack last February where I was taken to Great Saviour's Hospital in Iloilo. Three technicians and a doctor could not even draw blood from me after a total of five attempts. Needless to say, I wasn't thrilled about the prospect of multiple stabbings again. I don't mind the sight of blood as long as it's not mine. So my asawa and I arrive at St. Paul's Hospital and go to the laboratory department where we are given a slip to take to the cashier's office to pay for the examination first, which is standard practice in the Philippines. I hate to leave the super-chilled air of the lab to return to the humid, hot hallways of the hospital, but after getting a ticket from the armed security guard, we wait our turn at the cashier's counter. In just a few minutes we're able to pay the 2,074 peso fee (47.72 US Dollars) and make our way back to the lab.
Here's the complete cost breakdown of the blood test:
- FBS P105.00
- CREATININE P140.00
- URIC ACID P200.00
- LIPID PROFILE P735.00
- CBC P240.00
- POTASSIUM P340.00
- SODIUM P340.00
- CALCIUM P340.00
As you can see, it's a fairly comprehensive blood test, now if they can just get my blood out without butchering me. It's not long before my technician, Christine, calls me over. I explain the unfortunate incident at Great Saviour's Hospital in Iloilo. She does not seem fazed by the bloody challenge, takes my left arm first, looking for a good vein (I don't tell her that other nurses and techs usually use a vein from my right arm. I'm not the professional.)
However, Christine soon takes my right arm instead, finds a vein, and without me barely feeling the slightest prick, she draws my blood in the first attempt! I praise her effort, stand up and claim her as "the best medical technician in all of the Philippines." She smiles and thanks me. I can imagine celestial choirs singing the praises of this wonder tech! Christine informs me that I can pick up the test results at one o'clock in the afternoon. I thank her and head off with my asawa for lunch.
We return to the lab at one pm and get the blood test results. I ask Christine where we can find a doctor to interpret the results for me since there was no way I was going back to the rude doctor that gave me the referral. She said we could go to the Emergency Room for a doctor's referral. After checking what doctors were available at the hospital, the Triage Nurse at Emergency gave us the room number at St. Paul's of a doctor who was a Cardiologist and Doctor of Internal Medicine.
We arrive at the office and discover that he is the SAME doctor that also has an office in Doctor's Hospital which he shares with the rudest doctor in the Philippines that I had recently locked horns with. There was no way I was going to see this guy, I told my wife. She informed me that the female physician is not in this office and that this is the original doctor I was going to see anyway. I sit and fume (ok, you could also exchange the word "pout" for "fume.") There's a long line of patients waiting ahead of us. I'm not happy.
An hour passes. I take out the blood examination results again and discover that the normal range for each part of the blood test is listed on the side of the results. I have a slightly high cholesterol level, but everything else looks fine. I tell my wife that we should leave. The doctor is just going to tell me to exercise, lose weight, and eat healthier. She insists on us staying because she wants me to have a regular doctor and an physical exam in the near future. I fume some more and wait.
Another hour passes. The receptionist comes out, and my wife asks her how long it might be before we get to see the doctor. She informs my asawa that there are still a lot of patients ahead of me. I let my wife know in no uncertain terms that I am not waiting any longer. We leave. Go back to "The Compound" in Guimaras.
Still have to find a personal physician for myself, but I'll do that at a future date. Right now I'm just wore out from all the doctors and hospitals we have recently visited. But since I promised my asawa I would go to a doctor for a future check-up, I will. Otherwise she will continue to remind me about it. Again. And again. And again (and I know it's only because she loves me!}