I mentioned yesterday that the new doctor (good looking, calm-natured, older gentleman) said he wanted me to speak to his cardiologist for a 2nd opinion on my results, I had also forgotten to bring my results (I didn't know which was which, so I brought the wrong ones). So while we were at his office, I asked my room mate if she could call the new cardiologist and make an appointment. She said sure of course. I asked a couple of times through out the rest of the day and she said no problem, we will go early tomorrow morning. I said thanks. Her girlfriend said they would knock on my door when it was time to leave 'Be ready' I said sure, thank you. I paid her through paypal for the extra 3 nights. She said, so what will you do after Friday? I said I don't know maybe go home if I cant have surgery. But it felt more like she was asking to know how long I would be staying/paying....or if she could prolong my stay in any way.
This morning I get up and get ready, no sound comes from their room. I knew they entertained guests last night so I thought maybe they are sleeping in. Around 11am they come out of their room and go and make themselves breakfast.... No word my way. So I walk around for a bit, exchange pleasantries, still nothing. So I say 'what time are we leaving?' Then she says 'ah yes, he is busy today, maybe tomorrow....'
I kept my face like that very quizzical look like 'scuse you?' for a few seconds to let my impatience register. I said 'I don't understand' She said (and I've noticed that her English goes down a couple of notches when she's up to something, that's her tell. Whenever she isn't as eloquent as she once was, I know she's trying to act like there's a language barrier and it's my cue to actually ask her more questions and pay closer attention, anyway, she said ' I call him, he say, busy busy, very busy, maybe afternoon, maybe tomorrow'
Now I know I haven't been in the Dominican R long enough to speak authoritatively on anything, but one thing I've observed is that people walk into the doctors ALL THE TIME and are seen. I can't tell you how many times I've walked into a doctors office on this trip and they see you. The only appointment I have ever made was with the cardiologist regarding my holter but that was when we had the mix up and they had already left, so Jose wanted a specific time guarantee.
I look at her some more. Then her girlfriend (sweet girl) says something to her and she says, 'let me try again, one moment.' I decide to walk away before I say more than necessary.
After about 20 minutes, I come back and say 'You know everyday I stay I pay you, (no time to be delicate about this anymore) I don't want to waste a day you know, yesterday you said today, today you're saying tomorrow' She said 'but I thought you had the dentist, when you are going to your dentist?' I said 'don't worry about that, the dentist will come and see me. but I didn't come to DR for the dentist' Then the truth comes out: 'Because Yana (her girlfriend) has her appointment with the cardiologist on friday, so you can go together no?' (which would mean I couldn't have surgery till Monday at the earliest, and so pay to spend more nights at her place) Then she kinda catches herself. 'Or is too late friday?' I just stared at her. Then she said 'ok let me check' Then she acts like she is texting and scrolling on her phone and says; 'Ah he said 4 or 5 today. It's ok, he make room for you today but you have to pay money.'
So I figured, she might want me to wait till Friday so that I pay cab fare and consultation fee for her gf as a 'since I paid for the 1st with the plastic surgeon, you pay for this one' and because I don't understand Spanish if the receptionist says should I bill you together? I wouldn't know and they would say Si and I would pay because all they would hand me is a receipt......
The only way I know this isn't a stretch is because she's done it (made decisions for me in the way that benefits her) many times before already. All the things she said she would do for me happen to fall in with what her gf needs, when her gf is free and what makes it easier for them.
She's the clever kind. I get it.
But more than the money, what gets to me about this arrangement is the lack of control or free will it puts me in. I have to go when they are ready, not when is right for me. Same with the supermarket. I told her I eat fruits daily and mostly for breakfast. She said ok we go tomorrow, the next day she said actually tomorrow (the day after) fruits better and cheaper. At which point I said I don't mind, I will buy them today. (I didn't quite understand the concept of a supermarket/outdoor market stall that does half price fruits on Tuesdays, so it didn't ring true) so she said she can't leave the house, I said 'no problem give me directions.'
She gave me directions, I went to the supermarket and bought my fruits.
After apologising for the dinner incident (with the reasons, 1. My wrists hurt too much to cut anything, I can't cook 2. the plan was for bread and cheese for dinner but you dont eat that. 3. I had to prepare for my guests) she said, 'next time feel free, just cook yourself you know. This is your house, use the kitchen' I was about to say 'bitch, I paid for 3 prepared meals, you best PREPARE my meals.' but I just nodded and decided to act dumb.... You don't speaka too good english, I don't understand too good what you speaka. So at dinner time, I will rock up to the table and ask, 'what's for dinner?' at which point of course she can shove bread and cheese in my face and that would be a checkmate.
So I better buy myself some food just in case.loooool oh the travails!
Anyway, I've quickly understanding one thing, when she says 'it's better' she doesn't mean 'it's better for you' She means, 'it's more convenient for me, I prefer it that way, that works more for me etc.' not for you the listener.
Getting ready for her guest/clients was laying out the hookah and the beers for them. But ok. It wasn't a big deal. Not everyone takes their word/promise/guarantee so seriously. I'm starting to understand that.
If anything, be assured that 'I will help you' truly means, 'if it is beneficial to me, convenient and profitable, sure why not, I will do anything for you' lol so it's more for the person than for you. Which I understand. I don't want to say they are in survival mode or anything but money isn't flowing all over the place, so you will be the means to my end ultimately. One needs to understand that as the norm in each interaction, if you meet someone different, great.
Maybe unlike in the US where someone might do something for you because they are not that desperate, they are doing ok, so they can afford to extend their time/money/knowledge a little bit, especially if you are a stranger in the country..... or nah? I don't know. Anyway, I had to quickly understand that.
Underlying every interaction, I have to decipher what the person wants out of me and decide if I am willing to give it or if it's too high a price to pay, for what I want/need, if both parties consent, then a deal is struck if not.....
So one of my mistakes was assuming that because I didn't know much etc, someone saying I would help you meant that they shared the understanding I have of what it feels like to be in a foreign place and that they would let you know what's in your best interest. But not really. At the end of the today tomorrow conversation I said to her, 'don't ever go to a country where you don't understand the language...' she said 'it's a little difficult no?' I said, 'it's extremely difficult and frustrating' I did that on purpose, I wanted her to see I was discontent so that if she had plans for any new schemes she better nip it in the bud. The first day I arrived she told me her surgeon would be cheaper, and her massages were very cheap. Now she's saying they are about $30. I laughed and said it was more than America (because I knew she was gauging my reaction) so she said maybe she can do for $20 or $15 I'll see, I talk to her. At the time I didn't realize this was all for the twofer deals. If she call her contact and she massages me for $30 each then I've paid for myself and her gf to get massages. She had said her surgeon charged her $2300 for her bbl & lipo, now she's saying it would cost around $3800 (again twofer) I'm tempted to think that the only difficulty she's having and why she's buying time is that she isn't able to find a surgeon who will charge me double to make her gf free or reduce priced. Because if I can afford to pay double, why wouldn't the surgeon just keep it for himself? He doesn't know her from anywhere, so why would he go in cahoots with a stranger to scam a foreigner. If he charges me twice as much as the locals, he can justify that foreigners carry more of a risk and keep the money himself, but why would he be conduit for her to get her gf work done for free. I think that's what she's trying to figure out. How she can make it a combo deal. #paranoidmuch? I don't think so, by their fruits..... you shall know them....
She had told me her girlfriend works 6 days a week and earns $400 a month. She is an artist, so she sells 1 painting for $1000 so she's ok. So for her gf this surgery is equal to a year's salary. I guess she's trying to help her by using me to defray some of the costs as much as possible. What better way than a 'Jonny come lately American' I honestly understand it on a cerebral level, but don't think you're smarter than me and can use cunning. You might have better luck befriending me and telling me your wallet was stolen or account frozen just as we are at the cardiologists office and saying please can you pay for me or something. But don't take advantage of my vulnerable state......
Perhaps there is no good way or getting money from people rather than earning it, unless said person has made it clear that you can get anything you want from them. I don't know a better way she should be doing it, but this way isn't good. It plays on my need to rely on you as my mouth piece and negotiator and you're going out of your way to represent yourself regardless of what it means to me. It made me really understand why women have to have the right to vote, have to sit in senate, have to be on the board of organisations and companies. You can't rely on someone else to speak for you. You have to make sure your interests are protected, represented, considered. That what matters to you gets attention, not at 'their' time, whoever 'they' are, but when you need it. Not being able to speak for yourself, in terms of your own choices, defense, advocacy, understanding, clarification, expression etc SUCKS. Relying on someone to make decisions that will represent you adequately and finding out they have no intention of doing so and there is NOTHING you can do about it SUCKS. If you don't have a good advocate or someone in your corner, you're screwed. Who wants to go through life screwed? When you could be laughing out loud and lying on a beach sipping drinks with mini umbrellas in them?
If I finally succeed in getting this surgery, Woe to the man who thinks he can step up to me without first compensating me one way or the other for all this trouble! lol.
Anyway, on the brighter side (I hope) I was tired of relying on people here..... Luckily, one of the ladies on here said try Almonte. So I did last night and today they said my wpw shouldn't be a problem and I should come in! yay! So I might not have to hold out a sign at CIPLA after all looool. I sent them my results and pics and they say to come in. I need to get my hemo up from 12.5 to 13 if I want a full back lipo but I heard there are ways to do that (with the drip etc). I should have started working on that when I got here really. Just in the background, eating my liver and greens. I REALLY REALLY should have. But the heart issue knocked me off course and it took a while to get back on. I need that lipo. My back is way too NFL quarterback for the type of flaunting I'm planning to do post op.
So here I am, waiting for Leslie, Dra Almonte's assistant to text me an available appointment time, she says they could see me today. I will just go and hear what they have to say.
So as much as I can do on my own, I will try and do.... It appears we do not share the same desire for my best interest, now that I understand that, that's fine.
Alright ladies, today felt like a 'Ranty' type email. I hope all this doesn't go in vain. I've been here an eventful week but I am healthy, well, sheltered, etc. So in the large scheme of things..... everything is cool.
Look forward to hearing from you! You're shout outs and comments mean so much and teleports me back to America.