The bills were racking up.
I had been in Aga Khan for two days and had had a number of tests but the Insurance were adamant that this was a chronic condition and that as such there was a limit on the amount thy would cover.
As this is a matter of (possibly legal) conjecture I will say little here other than I needed to leave before the debts were too great.
The plan evolved again. I would get discharged from Nairobi and book passage on the first available flight from Nairobi to London. Here I would be be met by family and after an overnight stop in Harlow with my brother we would travel to my ‘home’ town of Lincoln. There I would need to get onto the system – having worked temporarily overseas I would need to re-register with a doctor locally and submit my results. Luckily my National Insurance payments are up to date – meaning there should be no issues with cover.
Even so it was going to be a chore. I obviously needed to contact family at home with the shocking news – arrange to come and stay at very short notice.
We cancelled the remaining tests (full body X-ray, biopsy, electrophoresis) and started on drugs to reduce the risk of a DVT in travel – another possible side-effect of Myeloma.
I remained in Nairobi throughout Saturday whilst Anita (my wife) and Daniel Kroppach (our local saviour / friend) tackled the hospital and the insurance company to remove erroneous items from the list of treatments and to reduce costs to a minimum. It was costing me just $150 per day to stay in a bed, then blood samples and urine samples were adding to the bill. The cost of the scans too.
If we were covered as expected as a newly discovered disease then this would all be paid for. However, the judgement of the Insurance Company – wrongly in my opinion, is that it was chronic (ongoing) and they would only pay at that level.
We left the hospital on Easter Sunday, having paid almost $800 out of our own savings just to get out. We needed a written report to take with us back to the UK and we took the DVD recordings of CT and MRI scans. The report was eventually sent on Monday afternoon and was through and detailed.
Aga Khan is an excellent hospital and I cannot fault their facilities, care or judgement in handling my case – without their intervention I would not be where I am now and not getting the treatment I need.
The consultants were excellent, the nursing good. I think ultimately that they believed that I should have be more crushed by the cancer diagnosis and worried if I had understood the implications – but I have and do – but remain realistically positive about it’s outcome.
My wife and daughter picked me up and we eventually headed off to the Kroppach family for the night.
Their house, about 15 minutes from the hospital is also an old boarding school, used for conferences and meetings, also providing accommodation for long term and short term stays in Nairobi. They have over the years helped a number of ex-patriate families who have had to come to Nairobi with sick relatives and provide a guest house. A number of friends from Mwanza have been recipients of their hospitality over recent years and so it was with us.
They live opposite a large shopping mall, in leafy rural Nairobi. For me it was just nice to get out in the fresh air.
Some rare normality in the evening as we went for a fabulous Italian meal at a local restaurant and enjoyed our last evening together.
Tomorrow (Monday) they would be flying off to Mwanza, leaving at 5am. I had an extra day in Nairobi before I would fly to London via Amsterdam on Tuesday – another £700 to find but important to do.
As our flights back already having been purchased for that time, and my son is due to fly out for three weeks in the same time period – we cannot make yet more changes especially as we need to be able to pack up the house in Tanzania and use his luggage allowance in place of mine on the flight back.
So we turned in early having packed bags so that they could be up and off early in the morning. Then at just after 5am we said goodbye – knowing I would not see them until the end of July.