Getting an X-Ray Here

Clinica Santa Fe in Alajuela where I went for my foot X-ray

Clinica Linea Vital in Atenas where I see Drs. Candy and Anna. (Google Photo)

Okay – I’ll try to make a long story short. The last two weeks my right heel has been painful to walk on, especially during the night (getting up to go to bathroom) and when I first arise in morning. (I’m afraid it is because I have been living in sandals for 9 months, walking everywhere in them. Now I’m using walking shoes with a heel cushion.) Dr. Candy looked at it maybe two weeks ago and gave me an anti-inflammatory which worked great during the 1 week I was taking it. Then the pain came back. So I return and was surprised she now has an associate, Dr. Anna who was on duty. (Yeah, I know, all my docs are women here, including the dentist!)  🙂  Anyway, Dr. Anna questioned me and felt of it an said she believed it is a bone spur on my heel (plantillo espolon). In addition to a different medication I am to take 3 times a day for two weeks and soaking my foot in warm Epsom salt water followed by ice cold water daily, I was asked to go get an x-ray (de rayos x or imagen radiológica). She wrote the prescription and said her assistant at the front desk would give directions (he is also a nurse and EMT and ambulance driver – 2nd photo at Clinica Linea Vital with ambulance). This is all happening yesterday morning.

The Map  –  In case you need
to go to Clinica Santa Fe, Alajuela
He told me there was a place in Atenas for an x-ray, but he did not recommend it and that it would be better if I went to Alajuela, our province capital, where I go by bus regularly anyway. (I did not ask what was wrong with the place here in Atenas.) So I ask him for an address (Silly me! There are no addresses here.). First he said it is easy to find, just opposite Santamaria Park (as I give him that blank stare and say “Not Parque Central which I know?”). So then he drew one map and decided it was not good enough and drew a second map of how to get to it from the bus station (parada de autobús) of Atenas in Alajuela. Perfecto! I call for an appointment and she did not speak English, so I hand phone to my EMT and he learns an appointment is not necessary, just walk in. Gracias! Adios Amigo!
So, I walk straight to our bus station here and when I get to Alajuela his directions easily take me straight to the Clinica Santa Fe in top photo. It is about four blocks from the bus station near Parque Juan Santamaria which I will tell you about tomorrow! I walked in at about 11:20, was x-rayed before 12, but told they had a lunch break and to come back at 1:00 for my film. So I went to eat a quesadilla, check out the park that is new to me, and some public art I found. Back in clinic at 12:55 and she handed me my x-ray film to take to my doctor. I had already paid the 14,000 colones or $28 USD for the pictures of both heels. (Bet your insurance company pays more than that in the states!) I rush back to bus station but just missed the 1:00. (Buses are the only thing punctual here.) Since the next bus was not until 2:00, I took a $2 taxi to PriceSmart for some items I was needing and another more expensive taxi all the way back to Atenas (20 miles) with my large shopping load and home by 2:00. My Alajuela driver I now call personally, is named Carlos and loves to help me with my Spanish and will drive me all the way to Atenas for a little more than $20. Not bad! And still a lot cheaper than owning a car! 
Carlos stops by the Atenas clinic where I leave the x-ray film and then home for the rest of the day, I think. I have been so busy lately I can’t remember how my days stay so full. Glad I cancelled the Manzanillo trip. I’ll share more about Alajuela the next two days, a really interesting city. 
And that is how we do x-rays in Costa Rica!  🙂    Pura Vida!

“The art of medicine is in amusing a patient while nature affects the cure.”