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Thursday, November 10, 2016

The "You Won't Believe This": Part I - The Event" Story

The National Hospital of Providenciales.
It was an ordinary day.  House- keeper's eyes were as big as saucers as I told her my wife had just had her appendix removed at the island hospital.  "How can that be," she said.  A little over six months ago Carol was diagnosed with appendicitis just before we were to leave on vacation to St. Martin.  Doctor told us he was going to treat her with antibiotics rather than remove the appendix.  Told us that's the way it is done in Europe with great success.  It worked fine ... that was until October 27.  On her birthday, while walking on Grace Bay Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world located on the island of Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos island chain, she felt a "bubble" in her abdomen.  Same thing she had felt in late March.  She knew what it was right away.  The manager of the Ocean Club Resort took us to the local medical center where an ultrasound showed it was more than they could handle so they sent us to the local hospital with information as to what they suspected.  After arriving at the hospital, more tests were conducted and before long one of their surgeons walked in to talk with us.  Since it was her second bout with the infection,  he thought her appendix needed to be removed.  We asked about laproscopic surgery and he told us he couldn't perform the surgery at this time, since he needed more technicians than were available at the time.  Carol could wait until the next day or have surgery immediately.  Not wanting to have the appendix burst, she chose to have the traditional appendectomy immediately.  Not long after we kissed and off she went.  At 5:30 PM I was ushered to the Emergency Room waiting area for what I was told would be an hour long procedure.  During the next few hours I believe I must have given at least two dozen fist bumps to the little island children that came into the ER with their parents and found a person with a different skin color to be interesting.  Close to 10:00 PM a nurse came and ushered me to the General Ward where Carol was placed.  She was still very groggy and not able to talk.  Wasn't more than 5 minutes after I arrived than the Ward Supervisor stuck her head in the door and wondered why I was in the room after visiting hours.  I explained I was just brought there by a nurse to see my wife and stay with her until I knew she was going to be OK.  Wasn't going to happen with her though.  
Tubes and more tubes leading into Carol's arm.
I was told to leave and when I said I wanted to be with my wife, she headed down the hall calling for security.  Carol heard the commotion and told me I better leave.  We kissed and I headed down the hall.  I did ask the Supervisor nicely which way it was to the parking lot, promising to return in the morning when she wasn't there.  Even though I left in a rather bad mood, I must admit that the National Hospital in Provo is a very impressive facility.  It was built in 2010 and is a 20 bed facility managed by Canadanian InterHealth.  Can't figure that out since Provo is an English territory.  The hospital is said to be "State of the Art" with operating theatres, CT and MRI scanners, dialysis centers, maternity services as well as a separate Clinic.  It is a two-story white building that is beautiful.  Maintenance of the building is remarkable.  The exterior is landscaped with island trees and shrubs and the large lobby has a fantastic mural on the wall.  The halls and cafeteria are very clean and the stairwells have natural light.  Signage marks all the locations in the hospital.  I did stop at the cafeteria and found it to be clean as well as well stocked with snacks and sandwiches, even at 6:00 PM.  Tomorrow I will give you some thoughts from Carol as to how her surgery went as well as a few more thoughts from me about our experiences at the National Hospital.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.  

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