Archive for the ‘Atenas’ Category
Yesterday we tried to do the unthinkable – getting 3 things accomplished! When we first moved to Costa Rica, we were “warned” that if we got one thing on our list accomplished, to think of that as a successful day.
I had a dental appointment at 2:50 p.m. in Escazu; went smoothly except I have to return next Tuesday to see a Root Canal Specialist and then meet with the dentist afterwards. Between you and me, they can pull the tooth….not relishing the possibility of a root canal. First thing accomplished. Loud applause, please!
Then off to CIMA for a bone density test. Got registered for that and paid for it; waited a bit to be taken back for the test. Just as they called my name, Joni called and said your appointment with Dr. Arbaca needs to be changed, he had an emergency. That office only speaks Spanish (except for the Dr.) and I can muddle through it; however, on the phone is just too friggin’ challenging for me! Enter Joni!!!
So as I’m being walked to the “bone density room”, I’m trying to come up with a time for the new appointment; settled for 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
So, 2 of 3 things were accomplished and it was a very successful day in my mind!!!
Living in Costa Rica means you just have to go with the flow – if you are unable to do that, this might not be the best place for you! LOL
Pura Vida…..it’s another gorgeous day on the mountain side!
Back in the old country when I was but a wee lass……May Day, May 1st, was a great holiday. We spent the week before May 1st making May Day baskets. Then we would fill them with candy, spring flowers, etc. – on May 1st, you would deliver your May Day baskets, hang them on the front door or your friend’s homes, ring the door bell, and run like hell so they wouldn’t see who was delivering May Day baskets to you! Sort of signified the coming of spring in Michigan (for us, anyway).
I kept up the tradition with our girls for awhile too….of course, by then, people had no clue what was going on…hmmm, perhaps that’s the beginning of dumbing down America! LOL
Here in Costa Rica it’s ”labor day” and most things are closed.
With President Obama coming here on Friday, traffic will be a worse mess than normal; except for the closed roads. We live on the side of a mountain where planes coming in to land at Juan Santa Maria airport, make their wide turn in their approach. We are hoping to see Air Force One make that approach!
I had wanted to go and see the “parade” but decided to heed the warnings of traffic delays, etc. , so we’ll just stay home and watch it on TV.
Welcome to Costa Rica on Friday, President Obama…..too bad you can’t come to Atenas and meet lots of ex-pats!
Here it is April 12 already! Can’t believe how fast the month is flying by….yay!, since it’s one of the hot months! Rainy season is creeping up on us….some days it rains now, some days it doesn’t!
Yesterday was Juan Santa Maria Day – we kind of think of it as the US’s version of Columbus Day; some places closed, some places open.
We brought Nazareth, Dylana and their father, Luiz, home from town on Wednesday. Nazareth couldn’t wait to show me some school work that she got a 100% – Excellent on!!! She was so proud of that.
Knowing they wouldn’t have school, I invited the girls to come swim; however, I didn’t specify a time (live and learn); they were here at 8:30 a.m. to swim; we were still in bed!!! Altho’ Hernan came to collect for the water bill at 7:30 a.m. because Mark forgot to pay it on April 5 at 3 p.m.! LOL
Maricela was with them so I offered to make coffee; cut up some homemade banana bread also; coffee pot is done and yep! Did it again….we had the best hot water going. I forgot to put the coffee in; we both got a laugh out of that!!! So I made another pot of coffee and then we sat on the rancho watching the girls in the pool.
Nazareth likes to pretend she’s doing water ballet, which is something new for her. But then again, there’s always something new for her going on.
Dylana is busy with school work and playing futbol (soccer).
Just another day in Pura Vida land!
Once or twice a month we get together with two other couples, Mike and Joni and Pat and John for an afternoon of cards, following lunch. Yesterday was that day!!! I’m always impressed how other people “cook” and make delicious things, because my love of that is so “over”!
“I’ll Buy That” card game is always fun and a cause for some good ribbing!!! Yesterday was no different! Retirement is all about friends getting together for good times and a LOT of laughs.
Mark chose to walk into town because he knew I’d be coming along in the car. He made it almost to Kay’s before I happened upon him. He looked beat!!! For those that know where we live, this was a great accomplishment!!! But I will also add, he was very happy I came along when I did.
While we were playing cards, Sebastian called and asked us to come to his house for pizza last evening. He has the cutest little girls. The youngest isn’t a year old yet, very big brown eyes and always has a serious look on her face, till you stick a camera in her face and she just grins! It was so funny! (Picks are on facebook)
Delicious salad with a dressing concoction of his; great pizza and 2 bottles of wine later, we headed home.
I was so looking forward to watching IU play basketball; what a friggin’ disappointment! But I’m sure the team is even more disappointed than I am. Sad to see their season end.
But the best part of the day, I spent no time in the kitchen!!!! Living in Costa Rica is just Pura Vida!
The month of February flew by and am I ever glad it was a short month; had two serious bladder infections that required more in depth tests.
When the infection “returned” within 6 days of completing the antibiotic, Dra. Candy, at Linea Vitale in Atenas, requested an ultrasound to see what was going on.
Made an appointment and had that done on a Tuesday; left the ultrasound office, with the pictures and diagnosis in my hand; I think this way of testing is wonderful! There’s none of this “well, we can’t tell you anything, we’ll send the results to the Dr. and then you can meet with him for those results.”
The ultrasound Dr. thought it looked like I had a large bladder stone, approx. 2 cm, YIKES! Said, if that’s what it is, you’ll never pass it and need surgery to remove it; however, to be on the safe side, you should have an x-ray to confirm this.
The x-ray showed nothing, nada, nothing! Took it to Dra. Candy and she immediately said “you need a urologist for a better diagnosis”. She called and made the appointment for the following Tuesday. (4 days later)
Keep in mind, I’ve had an ultrasound and an x-ray and seen a urologist in San Jose within 7 days and a surgery scheduled! Wonderful, huh?
Met with the urologist in Hospital California, where he has an office; he looked at the ultrasound and said immediately, “this looks like a stone”. Then he looked at the x-ray and was puzzled. So I hopped up on the exam table and he started the ultrasound machine and said “yep, there it is.”
He is not positive it’s a stone but is leaning toward that; he said it could be a tumor; at any rate, it needs to come out ASAP.
I’m scheduled for surgery tomorrow at Hospital Catolica in San Jose at 1 p.m.; first he’ll do a colposcopy to determine whether it’s a stone or tumor. If it’s a stone, he’ll shoot the laser beam and break it up and remove it. If it’s a tumor, he’ll remove it right then too.
Originally, he wanted to do it today, March 8th, but I told him I had other plans today; so then he said, “we’ll do it Saturday.” I had made arrangements to go with some friends to the furniture expo in Palmares today and didn’t want to miss that. I do have my priorities straight.
If it’s a stone, he said the surgery will be about an hour and half; if it’s a tumor, it won’t be that long.
This is the best part of the surgery — if it’s a stone, he’ll try to tape it back together and give it to me; AND, I’ll get a DVD of the surgery! Is this a great country or what? There will be an upcoming movie night at the Van Patten’s!
He’s thinking that the stone has been caused by a faulty bladder sling; possibly a thread worked it’s way thru the bladder and a stone formed around it. This will be surgery #5 on my poor bladder!
If it’s a stone, I’ll be home Saturday late afternoon; if it’s a tumor, I have to spend the night.
When I’ve told some friends, they’ve inquired “headed back to the states for surgery”? WHY? Why would I go back to the states, most likely all these tests would have to be performed again, after all Costa Rica is a third world country or a developing nation . Not sure the medical mentality in the US would accept the test results from Costa Rica. But as far as I’m concerned, the medical care here is first rate – and quick.
Healthcare here is topnotch! And affordable!
I then inquired about going through CAJA (government medical care for which we pay about $60/month for the two of us) for this procedure; he didn’t recommend it because of having to wait; he said the CAJA Drs. would look at the ultrasound and assume it’s a stone, which wouldn’t be a life or death situation and then I would get on a wait list.
He then went on to say, the only thing that should be in your bladder is urine; no foreign objects whatsoever; it needs to come out immediately!
And here’s another plus, his fee includes any other problems related to this and there will be no other charges for it! I’m telling you, this is a great place for healthcare.
Ultrasound was $62; x-ray was $20; Drs. consult fee was $90; and all of these tests and surgery were scheduled within 11 days.
I have the utmost confidence in Dr. Mario Gonzalez; the anethesiologist is one that the cardiologists use for heart transplants; I do feel I’m in good hands.
Will be checking into Hospital Catolica at 11 a.m.; surgery at 1:00 p.m.; and hopefully, home and in my own bed by 6ish!
Stay tuned for Chapter 2 for the update on how things went.
Pura Vida….home of health care that I love!!!
We live a short ways out of Atenas in a little burg called Guacimo.
Many times on our way into town there will be people sitting at the bus stop. We stop and offer them rides into town. We wave at everyone on our road, whether they are walking, in a car, riding a horse, etc.
I now get the feeling they know “we are the good guys!”
I decided that I would keep track of how many people we take into town. For the month of January, we gave rides into town to 27 people; yep, picked up 27 “hitchhikers”!
There is one older lady that will come running out of her house to flag me down for a ride – it cracks me up. They always are cheerful when entering the car and extremely grateful for the ride into town.
It’s just one of my ways to pay it forward….
Granted most of the time it’s women heading into town but I’ve taken a fair amount of men too. The majority of riders are heading into the central market but I’ve taken a fair number into the medical clinic too.
On a side note: I attended the third fiesta of friend’s in 8 days! Sheesh! I can’t say no because I’m afraid I’ll miss something! LOL It’s always fun to watch the various people. Last night’s fiesta was on a street that was filled with all the family; yep, every house on that street…. everyone was related. This was held at Evania’s (I’m sure that’s not spelled right) house. Had to go into town first thing this morning to get some blood work done at the lab….walked up to the counter to give the receptionist the list of tests I needed to have done, and all of a sudden I hear “Hola, Nancy” – it was Evania! I didn’t realize she worked at that lab….she came out and greeted me with a big hug! Then she wanted to know if I was inferma? (ill); I was able to explain that I just needed some lab work done! Am sure she was relieved to know I wasn’t sick from eating at her house the previous evening. LOL
Pura Vida from a sunny Costa Rica!
Last Thursday, Shirley, Clara and I went on an adventure. We headed to Multi-Plaza because “Mama needed a new pair of shoes”.
Was beginning to think I was going to be out of luck, when we happened upon a “sport’s type” store. Wandered in and voila, found almost exactly what I had in mind!!! And they had them in my size…..had found some at the Clark’s store, but honestly, I do not pay $135 for shoes, EVER!
Now that I’ve worn them for a few days, they are so comfortable. Found them in a store in Atenas, however, the soles are thinner….I guess as one ages, one needs more support in the foot department – along with other body parts – more support, I mean! Obviously, I should have taken a pic of them before my “big toe” stained them.
I’m happy, my feet are happy! Pura Vida!
Mark and I keep marveling at how we were told on our “due diligence” trip that we would NEVER be invited to a Tico’s home! Well, that’s not true!!! We’ve been invited to Maricela’s home for various celebrations! (And they have been invited to our home too!)
Last week we went to a fiesta at her Mother’s home – a ceremony for the children and to put away the nativity scene till next year. Music, dancing and most of all, the most tasty food! Whoever says Costa Rica doesn’t have good food, needs to eat at a person’s home!
Maricela served a chicken soup/stew with all kinds of veggies in it and garbanzo beans! She even sent some home with us! Had an eggnog type drink with rum, yum!
Nazareth can get me to do fun stuff! As soon as the music starts, she can’t be still; the hips and feet start moving and don’t stop until the music stops! She drug me out of the chair to dance…..I don’t know if it’s because I’m older, but Costa Rican songs go on, and on, and on, and on! Talk about exhaustion!!!
Saw some of the same people that were at the fiesta last week, along with new people last night.
And, we got invited to another fiesta on Thursday night in Los Angeles! Be still my heart (and feet)! Mark is not sure he’s going, but you can rest assured I’ll be there with bells on!!!
The people in Costa Rica have been so welcoming. Everyone is happy!!! And it’s contagious!!!
Still lovin’ our life here!
Maricela asked us to go to her mother’s house last night for ………..never could figure out what she was talking about!
So about 7 p.m. Mark and I trudged up the hill to her mother’s house – smacking my forehead because I can’t remember her name! DUH!
As we were arriving, a car with 4 men in it was arriving; they each had a guitar and one had an accordian. There were lots of people that had already arrived.
Unfortunately, we did not take a camera. Bummer!!!
It was some kind of ceremony signifying that Navidad was over and the nativity scene could be put away for another year. A priest was there to perform this, one of the guitar players. The four men faced the nativity scene and began playing their instruments, singing and the Padre was saying whatever it is he was supposed to say. Mark, Tonya and I were the only clueless people in the room.
After about an hour of this, the ceremony was over. Then the food started…..yum! Homemade bread, tortillas, and the wonder “potato hash”!
Then the musicians began playing and the kids began dancing. Nazareth cannot stand still when there is music!! This child desperately needs to be in a dance class….she has rhythm from the tips of her toes to the top of her head! Her mother convinced her to get me to dance with her…..what an uproar from the crowd; then Maricela convinced Mark to dance, and another uproar erupted.
It was so much fun!!!
Maricela is having a ceremony like this next week at her house! Oh boy!!!
We will have cameras this time.
When we were walking home, Mark said, remember when we did our due diligence tour here and we were told we would never be invited to a Tico’s house…..well, I think it all depends on the person! We’ve been invited to Maricela’s many times and now to her mother’s…..
We had so much fun…..Tico’s know how to have fun!!! We can never thank them enough for including us…
I’ve been going to BerGlioth (don’t ask for a pronunciation!) for massages and been very happy, happy, happy!
Have even had foot detoxing done a couple of times. The stuff coming out of your feet is just plain disgusting. I’m going to do that whenever I’ve been on antibiotics. The first time it was so gross and the second time was not as bad. Probably should have done it a third time. ($7,500 colones)
Dyanna had been talking to me about a Hot Stone Infrared Thermal massage. My first thought, is I’m so friggin’ hot without adding any heat that I don’t think I could do it. But I gave in and gave it a try!
You lay down on this bed with a covering, in your clothes. Let me clarify, you are not covered with anything but your clothing. There’s a scooped out part for your “tush”, and a place to put your feet. It’s like a pedicure chair with the massage in the back only you are lying down.
I did ask for a fan to be put in there, but the heat was just sort of “warm”. Needed a little music and I’ll request that the next time. LOL
Starts at your heels, goes up your calves; starts at your neck and slowly rolls down to your hip bones. The first couple of times it really hurt the hip bones and I wondered if I would be able to get up out of the bed, let alone walk! After I got used to it, it felt so good!
The benefits of this type of massage is for relaxing (yes, it works!) and aligns the spinal column. I felt so relaxed – nothing hurt. Kept saying to myself, I wonder if I’ll be like this in the morning. Voila! I was!!!
I have neck problems and it really relieved them.
For a 45 minutes massage of this type, the cost is 5,000 colones! I think I need to schedule another one soon!
The phone number for BerGlioth is 2455-0107 – ask for Dyanna. Tell her Nancy sent you – and NO, I get nothing for referring you!
By the way, a regular massage is 15,000 colones.
May you have a relaxing, Pura Vida day!