Trouble in Paridise – BUT – doesn’t water skiing look like fun

Sawadee Khrap

Very glad Dan asked me if I wanted to go see the Cable Skiing yesterday – it’s getting really boring staying home in the condo with very little to do – waiting for the next doctor appointment to see what is going to happen.  I really want to thank all of you who offered to help in some way after I sent out my cry for help, especially financially if needed  – that took a big load off my mind and helped getting my BP back in check.   It’s always the ones you don’t expect to help that come through and the ones you think would be there are staying in the background.  But, such is life I guess.

First, I was overcome by the cost that they told me for putting in the stent – after I went through all that mess about the CAT test cost – now this -   Again I find this hard to believe that 400,000 B is the usual cost for stent placement – that would be out of the question for an average Thai – so I have been checking with local BKK Gov’t hospitals (should be about 1/3 the cost they told me at BKK Pattaya) like King Chulalongkorn Hospital – largest and oldest in Thailand – a teaching University Hospital too.  Don’t know exactly what but will find out later this week – something I can manage  (and I’m certain without needing help).

In addition, the meds are another problem – just checking on the ones the last Dr. gave me until my appointment on the 17th.    Apolets for example , a generic anticlotting medicine, costs about 1000 Baht for a months supply which was prescribed for me at Chiang Mai hospital  – verses  Effient ( a free sample was given me to try – newer and much more effective at lower doses – but hold on to your seats – I fell off mine again) – Effient is priced at  6,000 B/30 day supply – and this is from cheap mail-order catalogs – I don’t  know what BKK Pattaya hospital’s pricing is, but you can bet your ass it’s not any lower  —  again over the top for greedy Drug companies.   Thailand saw this as a problem for their population who are mostly poor farmers so locally making generic replacements available was a necessity – so many of these generics are available in Thailand for Thai’s incomes –  I want to start out on this road  – not the expensive “Medical tourist/Insurance“  high road.

The problem with this shit is once you start on it you have to stay one it from then on or complications can arise.   So on Thurday 17th  I will discuss in detail the on-going cost for these non-generic  recommended solutions as apposed to Thai generic solutions.  At least I’m learning and hope anyone reading this can be prepared if they need these services.  I don’t think there is any better reason for having this blog.

So I’m blowing off a little steam – but keeping the BP down – and still putting it all in God’s hands – just doing the footwork.   By the way, my BP is down to 130-140, even after a 30 min morning walk around the complex.   Still some fear about the surgery, but I do have a friend who will come down and be with me at the hospital -  Ahhhh what will tomorrow bring.   But thanks for being there for me, without your prayers and help I wouldn’t have made it this far.

but here’s a great shot from yesterday at the water skiing   -    P.S. Not Dan

_MG_1365Ciao


Update–Back from Chiang Mai Hospitals

Sawadee Khrap

Well it’s a long story – Just got in from the second trip to Chiang Mai  – prognoses is I need 3 stents for artery blockage.  Can’t do it in Chiang Mai so I am back to Pattaya to have it done in Bangkok Hospital, hopefully here in Pattaya – maybe in Bangkok.  

IMG_1081But what a ride – if you are planning to come to Thailand for “Medical reasons” make sure you try Chiang Mai first – much lower cost and still excellent specialists.  I went to Sripaht Medical Center, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University (Suan Dok Hospital Complex). 

Costs were very, very acceptable – I had a CAT scan done, Treadmill Stress test, Heart Echo-gram, full blood testing, saw 3 specialists – 4 times each, overnight stay in hospital – deluxe private room with drip, Chest x-Ray, three air-flights from BKK to CM, one bus ticket from Pattaya to CM,, 10 days at local CM B2 Hotel, food during the entire trip, medicines and the entire cost was 55,000 Baht  ( US $1,700).  Plus I meet and had dinner with a  wonderful young man who is a nurse at the hospital – actually “Customer Service Support Nurse” -  nice.   But now will come the expensive part – the stents.

It all started when I decided to get a blood test as a general checkup from a local testing facility here in Pattaya. They informed me I had high blood pressure and weaken kidney and should check it out.  So I stopped by Bangkok Hospital Pattaya and saw their BP specialist.  He checked my BP and stated “That mine was the highest he had seen all day and I needed to get a CAT scan done ASAP.”  Wow, I then asked what that CAT scan would cost  – 54,000 Baht  (+cost of visit 1,700 Baht + 300 Baht for some medicine)  total cost he was talking about  56,000 Baht so far and I hadn’t gotten off the table.

Shit – my blood pressure sky-rockeded – so I left there and stopped at my local clinic in Pattaya.  Dr. Mongkol Clinic, Jomtien.  The first thing the Doctor told me was to calm down – calm down – he checked the medicine and cut that in half and things seemed to get better – but I still have a large BP difference in the right and left arms indicating a problem.   So I decided then to go to Chiang Mai and have a full test done there and check on the CAT scan cost as well.  I didn’t really mention to them the difference in the arm BP so they used my Left arm and did a battery of tests (without the CAT scan) – see above – everything seemed ok – And their Cardiologist changed my BP medicine and stopped all the side-effects I was having from the stuff from BKK hospital  – great – so I came back to Pattaya. 

Again to Dr. Mongkol – but he was still worried about the different BP and that I hadn’t gotten a CAT scan yet.  So back to Chiang Mai I went and told them about this – a CAT scan (16,000 Baht) was ordered but I had to go through a special setup procedure to stop any harm the CAT dye activator would do to my weakened kidney – back and forth to the different departments – Cardio, Kidney, BP – 12 Doctor visits in all – finally the CAT scan – discovery – 3 severe blockages.  By this time I had been to Chiang Mai twice, and stayed 10 days at the B2 but the full cost was just approaching 53,000 Baht – However during that time  I got to connect with many of my old friends there and dinner with most – include the dinners, movie, and my food during the day – TOTAL cost so far  55,000 Baht —- BUT they cannot do the stents in Chiang Mai.

So here I am in Pattaya waiting to get the stents done – I will go in as a patient of Dr. Mongkol, who used to be a teacher at the BKK training facility  (as Thai patient not as a medical tourist ) and low and behold one of his former students is a highly respected Cardiologist at BKK Hospital – perhaps some savings there – He thinks so – I hope so.  I’ll post what that cost will be when I find out next week and have the operation done.   But so far the savings are substantial.

Not the end of the story – BUT if you are planning on some medical needs  – check with Chiang Mai hospitals first.  I like Sriphat – but others are there too – stay away from Bangkok unless absolutely needed – it has become the tourist center and has the prices to prove it.

Well now the ending is in God’s hands – with that I will rest.

Ciao.