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Thread: Room with a view.....April 24th-May 3rd

  1. #1
    Ava
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    Room with a view.....April 24th-May 3rd

    Hi everyone, first time posting!After discovering this great forum and reading your wonderful stories andrecommendations, I decided to post my most recent and memorable (to say theleast) Aruba story. It is a very long…my apologies, but it’s a ringer!Left JFK on Jet Blue 11:25 a.m.flight without a hitch on Friday, April 24th with my boyfriend forour annual 10-day trip. Very smooth flight, easy customs and quick rental carpick-up and arrived at Costa Linda in no time at all. Unpacked & went to FusionWine Bar for yummy tapas and a Mojito and to listen to great pianist playingsome fun hits. Got some rest and was ready to hit the beach on Saturday.Unfortunately, that is when things went awry…..All of a sudden had searingstomach and back pains, was nauseous & vomiting and I looked a bit green(eek). I knew something was just not right. Tried to just relax and hoped itpassed but to no avail. After a couple of hours, I actually decided to go tothe ER, which was the last thing I wanted to do on my first day in paradise. Myboyfriend (very calm, thank goodness) drove me over to the hospital and I wasseen very quickly.Spoke to very nice attending ERdoctor and he examined me, pressing on my stomach, trying to see exactly wherepain was. I was not really feeling much on my stomach when he was doing thatwhich was odd, he thought. Felt more pain in my back to the touch. Staff tookmy bloods and gave me something for the pain (paracetamol, equivalent toextra-strength Tylenol, and something for spasms). Worked very well, nothingtoo strong but did the trick. They decided to do an X-ray to see if it waskidney stones. That came back negative. Blood work did come back with slightly elevated white blood cellcount. Diagnosis could not be reached yet unfortunately. Another Dr. came in aswell just to talk and see if they could figure this out. A decision by Drs. were reached that theyneeded to call a surgeon for a consult.The surgeon they consulted withover the phone said to them that I was to get an ultrasound right away. So Iwas whisked off to ultra sound tech who did a very thorough ultra sound on mytummy area. Then the tech got a phone call & he was speaking Dutch to Ibelieve the surgeon who had ordered the ultrasound and low and behold…..I heardthe word appendicitis. Was I actually hearing this correctly? No, I must havemisunderstood….I was praying there was a word in Dutch that sounded likeappendicitis! Ha ha, no such luck. Apparently my symptoms were not “classic” sothat’s why it was hard to diagnose.I went back to my original roomin the ER when in record time a man introduced himself to me as my surgeon, Dr.Tromp. I did a double take. He looked like a total rock star, and kind of youngto me….. my face must have said it all because he just smiled and proceeded totell me that I needed to have an appendectomy, explaining that it had not burstand he could perform a laparoscopic surgery which was very non-invasive andrecovery time shorter, etc. He would go in and make sure it was definitely myappendix. He explained that it was showing inflammation but would be morecertain once he was able to view it. He also took out his phone and showed methe procedure on Youtube (very cool doc-lol), which I glanced at but now panicwas setting in on my part.I then blurted out “Have you everdone this before?”My boyfriend and thesurgeon both found this amusing and both just cracked up. I guess I was reallyscared and did not mean to insult him! He was not insulted at all, he said thathe could tell I thought he was young, but in fact he was 43 and had been asurgeon, and he is also a trauma surgeon, for 8 years. I am 49 so I wasrelieved (I swear he was late 20’s – good genes to say the least!). After contemplating the decisionto have surgery, a few tears I will admit, my panic subsided (for just a fewminutes) and my logic kicked in. It was the best thing to have the surgeryrather than obviously risk it bursting. It was daunting though, being in aforeign country, trusting Drs. you have never met, etc etc…probably the mostscared in my life.Dr. Tromp he said he could havehis team here at the hospital in 15 minutes. I couldn’t believe this washappening so quickly. I was prepped for surgery and wheeled into the OR inrecord time.Dr. Tromp & his team were thereand ready to go. Showtime. I just remember seeing a bunch of people in scrubsand masks prepping and the anesthesiologist was introduced to me. Then theywere so good in trying to relax me and the anesthesiologist was joking with meetc. The anesthesia must have hit me because now I was joking back and notnervous whatsoever. Dr. Tromp said he needed to switch to Dutch now to hisstaff during the operation & the next thing I remember is waking up beingwheeled up to my room. Post-op: Dr. Tromp explained thathe indeed removed my appendix, it had shown signs of stress & need to betaken out. I felt as expected, groggy, somepain, etc. but better than I thought I would – drugs still in system though soI wasn’t in total agony.They gave metea, which was a test to see if anesthesia in my system would make me sick, butI was totally fine. Spent the night in hospital, but my boyfriend wasn’tallowed to stay, which I was kind of bummed about. I did get them to extendvisiting hours for him by 2 ½ hours though, so that was nice at least. 4th floor nursingstaff (night and next day shift as well) could not have been nicer. I can’t sayenough about them. Just comforting & helpful & professional throughoutthe night and next day and made my stay so much more relaxing. Woke up next day, pain wasdefinitely there in full force so took meds & went on my large balcony(yes, balcony with an ocean view…..only in Aruba folks!) and then Dr. Trompcame out to see me on the balcony said I was good to go! I could leave thehospital and recoup at Costa Linda. He told me he would see me in a few daysfor a follow up. Saw Dr. Tromp on Wednesday at hisoffice, he took off my 3 bandages and said “Perfect. Now go enjoy your vacation”.Music to my ears. His only instructions were to please go in the ocean and letsalt water help healing, take walks on the beach, just don’t get sunburned onincisions. Done! I told him that I can’t imaginewhat would have happened if the Drs. hadn’t called him (they did the rightthing) & he hadn’t ordered the ultrasound.I said he was my “Aruban guardian angel” & I would be forevergrateful & that he was a rock star : ). He just tilted his head and laughedagain, smiled his million dollar smile and said he was just doing his job, andwas not a rock star but a simple man. He is so very humble for such anintelligent, talented, amazing surgeon (I know this was probably the easiesttype of surgery for him being a trauma surgeon and all), but to me it was very stressful.He quelled my fears and answered all of my billion questions with warmth, kindnessand patience. Hands down top doc. Arubais lucky to have him.I was able to salvage 3 days ofthe ten days at least so I was grateful for that. Spent some time just wadingin the ocean & waves were calm so I wasn’t jostled. My dear boyfriend wasso patient and I felt SO bad for ruining his vacation. He just said that he washappy he was just able to relax and go at my pace……good guy : )Readers, if you haven’t fallenasleep yet, thanks for hanging in there with my story. My next one will bedrama-free!My birthday is in Julythinking about celebrating my 50th birthday on Aruba. My second home& now even more endearing to me than ever.Take care & wishing you allhappy travels!Ava

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Jacki's Avatar
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    Hi Ava!

    Welcome to the Aruba.com Community Forum!

    Thanks so much for sharing your story with us! Hope you are feeling well & fully recovered now
    Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ

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    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    It is comforting to hear you had such good care, and the balcony at the hospital does make it a little easier to take than just 4 walls.
    I hope you get to go back and get a do-over.
    Not sure when, but we will be back

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    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum and wow what a story. Glad you got such great service at the hospital and are on the mend!!

  5. #5
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Wow!!!
    glad that you had great care.

    Welcome to the forum.
    Last edited by Andrea J.; 05-11-2015 at 02:08 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member brady bear's Avatar
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    As a nurse so glad others went out of their way to make your stay at their hospital away from "home" a
    welcome one. Cuddo's to them and the "hot doc" helps too.
    Stay well and please follow their advice. Buy some good aloe for the incision area to prevent any scars.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DiviDiviFan's Avatar
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    Wow what a story! I am so glad it all worked out well. Just think it could have happened on the plane, you were lucky in that sense. I wish you had a picture of the "hot doc" I actually have a picture in my mind of him (lol). Sounds like your boyfriend is a keeper! Yes, for sure if you can go to Aruba for your 50th bday! If not definitely sometime in the future and you can share your story with everyone you meet. Great to hear Aruba's hospital staff is so professional, caring and nice.

  8. #8
    Ava
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    You are all so very sweet. Thank you all so very much for your kind words! I am feeling great now, no pain whatsoever and am pretty much back to my old self again (and back at work).

    You are so right, my boyfriend is keeper for sure & crossing my fingers I can get back to Aruba at some point this year so we can have a real vacation!
    Wish I had a pic of the hot doc to share - LOL. Don't know what I was thinking

    Thanks Andrea & all of you for welcoming me to the forum & I will look forward to all of your great stories!

    Ava

  9. #9
    Aruba since 1979
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    ok i reread your story
    "hotdoc" allowed you to go into the ocean postsurgery?????

    i am shocked.

    were you able to eat? did you dine out and feel up to it?

    and...... tell us of the financial part.
    were you able to get all of your documents in English to submit to your own healh insurance?
    did you have to pay allof it upfront

    you do not have to tell us amounts as that is highly personal!

    again, so glad that you are OK

    Quote Originally Posted by Ava View Post
    You are all so very sweet. Thank you all so very much for your kind words! I am feeling great now, no pain whatsoever and am pretty much back to my old self again (and back at work).

    You are so right, my boyfriend is keeper for sure & crossing my fingers I can get back to Aruba at some point this year so we can have a real vacation!
    Wish I had a pic of the hot doc to share - LOL. Don't know what I was thinking

    Thanks Andrea & all of you for welcoming me to the forum & I will look forward to all of your great stories!

    Ava

  10. #10
    Senior Member WaltVB's Avatar
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    Wow! So glad everything went okay. Reading a story like yours really makes me more comfortable should an emergency arrive while on the island. Fortunately other than a bit of food poisoning, our family has been very lucky to be well during our trips. Oh yeah, welcome to the forum!

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