April 28, 2016
As long as I was going to be in Panama for a few days, I decided to visit a dermatologist. I had been to one in Panama in 2013 and had a very good experience. Therefore, I had no qualms about having this work done there. And I knew it would be a lot less expensive than having it done in the U.S.
I set up an appointment a week before my visit. Once again, I’m pleased with the results. I had several (9) “spots” on my back cauterized and it only cost $150. There were no insurance hassles and it only took about 15 minutes (once I got in with the doctor). I did wait in the waiting room for a little while before I was called back to see the doctor. I was called into the doctor’s office about 20 minutes after the scheduled time for my appointment.
I also went to the dentist in Panama to have my teeth cleaned. It cost me $60 for a cleaning and fluoride treatment. I was conflicted about the fluoride treatment, since I understand that to be a toxin, but I went ahead and did it. If I had remembered to show them my residency card, I could have gotten the jubilado discount (the discount for residents who are over 56).
As you may recall, my last cleaning was done in Medellin last May. So I’m really an international dental customer! Like the dentist in Medellin, this one used an ultrasonic device to clean my teeth. Also, in both countries, the dentist himself cleaned my teeth—not a hygienist.
This dentist said the enamel on my front teeth is very thin and wants to do a treatment on them to add more enamel (or a substitute). I will plan to go back to have this done on my next visit to Panama.
I was not planning to visit a dentist on this trip. It’s just too difficult to set things up remotely and I didn’t think I would be able to set it up during the short time I was there. My friend, Valerie, happened to mention that she had just gone to the dentist and I mentioned I needed to have my teeth cleaned. She called her dentist right then and there and he agreed to squeeze me in two days later! I can’t see that happening in the U.S.
Also, Valerie said that this dentist does implants and all kinds of dental cosmetic work so he is highly skilled.
The Taxi Incident
There was an interesting incident on my taxi ride to the dentist. We were sitting at a light and then the taxista announced to me that the car had shut off. I figured I was going to get out of the car and start trying to find another taxi. Before, I got out, he asked me if I had a phone. For some reason, he could not use his phone. I allowed him to use my phone and he made a couple of calls. After the second call, he told me to sit tight because he would be able to start the car in a couple minutes.
From what I understood, he leases the taxi from someone who has the ability to turn off the car remotely. They made an error and thought he had not made his payments on the car so they shut it down. He had the receipts for his payments and provided them with the information they required to decide to turn it back on. I was relieved because it was not a good time of day to be trying to find another taxi—it was late afternoon and rush-hour had already started.
Yours in prosperity,