Do. Not. Book. With. Karisoclinic!!
I could write you the length of the bible to tell you all the reasons why this trip have been an absolute shitstorm.
So to keep it short and sweet, they’ve messed up in every possible way from the pick-ups/drop-offs, translation, times and dates, instructions, medication etc etc, Also I’m pretty sure THE CLINIC DOES NOT EXISTS.
For a more in depth version, here it is…
I book the trip through Bookimed and I’m promised they only work with qualified doctors and clinics. We go through everything, I’m promised a price, told everything will be set before I go I just have to book my flight, send them the info, they’ll pick me up/drop me off from/to the airport, have me check in at the hotel, go to the clinic, speak to the doctors have some tests done, yadayada, have the surgery the 2nd day, spend 2 days in hospital, rest up at the hotel for the rest of the trip, I’m given medical care if want it or need it, with a translator or an English speaker at all medical contact.
Very basic, just like every other clinic.
Day 1. - Arrival
I arrive in Istanbul on time, I’m quite quick through the security and low and behold nobody’s there to pick me up. I figured maybe they didn’t except me to be that quick so I wait. And wait. And wait.
My phone doesn’t (for whatever reason) want to connect to Wi-Fi nor am I able to use my data to contact anyone for a while. I manage to send a text after 20 minutes but I’m not getting an answer so I stay waiting at international arrivals (just in case) so the driver can easily spot me.
By the time I’ve gotten an answer it’s been 1,5h. I’m directed outside to gate 13 and I tell them my internet is not working properly so please double check in case I can’t get a hold of you again. They verify. Spoiler alert it’s the wrong place. The people at 13 have no idea where I should go but the man at 14 overhears our conversation and tells me to try gate 9. I find the group of people responsible for the pick ups and they tell me the driver is still on the way. I wait another 40 minutes until the driver arrives. He smokes in the car the entire way to the hotel and by the time I get there I’m assuming its to late for any tests at the clinic because I’m told to be ready for pickup in the morning.
I go downstairs for the pick up and there’s a German couple waiting for their car, he’s getting something removed before they go home. Turns out the clinic forgot so their car isn’t coming but we’re both going to “Karisoclinic” so we agree on sharing as I had a whole van to myself. This needed an odd amount of planing over the phone between the driver and the clinic but finally they agree and we all get in the car.
They explained that everyone at his unit had the same procedure so they could all share experiences which felt reassuring. I was having a different surgery so I would probably be at a different unit but we both assumed all units work the same since it’s the same clinic.
He did however say that everything revolving around the clinics arrangements had been messy and as far as time management and pick ups it just flat out didn’t work.
We get to a small local hospital that the couple identify as the clinic, they get out but I’m told to wait in the car. I’m driven another 30 minutes to a completely different hospital which I’m assuming might be for the tests but I later find out this is where I’m staying.
It’s fair to note that none of these places had Karisoclinic written anywhere.
Hospital / surgery
My translator greets me at the entrance and we start moving around the hospital for tests. I’m told to sign papers completely in Turkish and whenever I ask what things mean or why I’m doing something she gives me a halfhearted answer as she either doesn’t know the answer or doesn’t know all the words in English. Before I know it I’m rolled into surgery without meeting a single surgeon or doctor for a consultation nor am I given any information about the surgery, complications, medications, aftercare, diet or anything else.
I come out of surgery, and I AM BURNING UP. My body temperature has skyrocketed and I’m in excruciating pain. I’m in a room with other patients that’s also just come out of surgery and not a single person, patient or doctor speaks proper English. I am moaning from the pain, trying to get my foot out from under the covers to cool down.. to which I’m yelled at to be quiet and not show skin as there are other people in the room.
When I get back to my room the translator is there and I quickly tell her how I’m feeling and that I need painkillers ASAP, she’s scrolling through Instagram and tells me I’ve already gotten some in surgery and I have to wait. I say I’m gonna be sick but she’s to invested in Instagram to hear me, I repeat myself again and again until I scream I’m going to throw up to which she finally drops her phone just in time to get me the nearest container I’m immediately sick in.
I finally get some more painkillers after a lot of pleading and begging but they have NO effect. I keep telling the nurse I need stronger or different medicine as these are clearly not working.
A few hours later I’m given the same stuff again but before they give it I ask them again to please give me something different to which they respond they don’t have anything else.
When it’s time for the next dose and there’s been a change of staff. They manage to put two and two together and figure out I’m immune and not responding to the painkillers they’ve given me and now magically they have different, stronger stuff.
Low point -
During the hours of feeling the very prominent pain of every inch of every incision, lacking organ and stitch in my body I’ve been crying bloody murder, throwing up pools of blood and pissed myself.
The translator has left by now but before she showed me the “help-button” attached to the bed and to press the red one until it lights up if I need a nurse. I’m told I’m not allowed to stand up or move much at all for various reasons and the nurse will give me more painkillers regularly. She says to text her if i need anything while she’s gone.
Not long after she’s left I press the button as the painkillers haven’t arrived and I’m in agony.
HOURS pass and I’m screaming from my room hoping someone will hear me and alert help. I can’t take the pain anymore and I manage to climb over the railings and out of my bed. Cover up my naked body in a blanket and waddle down the corridor to ask for help. A nurse says she’ll go get some painkillers and she’ll come administer them straight away.
I get back in my room, grab my phone and get back into bed.
ANOTHER HALF HOUR PASSES, my red light’s still shining so I contact the clinic, bookimed and the translator (she never answers) hoping someone can do something. The clinic calls the hospital and within a few minutes I’m given the medicine.
I ask about the button, turns out I have to call the reception every time I need help.
I pass out from exhaustion. Wake up, call for medicine but I’m told I’m only allowed an IV-drip between evening and morning (??).
I was allowed the next night with different staff though. Different staff different rules.
The urine, vomit and blood I’m laying in I’ve been left to lay in from afternoon day 2 - midday day 3.
I’m given painkillers and antibiotics as I have a fever and Im still burning up from after the surgery. Other than that I’m not spoken to nor checked on. When I call the reception I’m being yelled at over the phone because I haven’t managed to put on any clothing and I “need to be more modest”. I’m in my private room, in underwear, fully covered up by bedding but I needed to get fully dressed, by myself.
The sweetest cleaning lady comes to bring me new towels. She sees the state of me so she cleans me off, brings me new bedding and tucks me in.
While she’s doing this I manage to put a shirt on which in hindsight seems to get me more help in the long run.
A few hours later a nurse comes in to give me medicine, sees I’ve squirted more blood on the floor while napping, asks where it’s from to which I say I’m not sure and starts looking for a leaking wound… she sighs, rolls her eyes and leaves.. not to come back.
It’s my last day in the hospital and I’m more than ready to leave. I’ve recovered pretty well the past 24h, the fevers gone, I’m not in as much pain, I’m able to move around a lot better and I have no interest in staying another minute in that hospital.
Im told the driver is picking up medicine on the way back as well as compression socks and it’s very important that I wear them all week, day and night.
I get back to the hotel and notice the socks aren’t in the bag and that all the instructions and information for the medications are in Turkish. I immediately text the clinic so that they can get me the information I need.
Real basic questions such as:
Dosage? How many times a day? Every day? What are they? Which is which? I’ve been given injections, where do I inject myself? Compression socks?
(I tried buying compression socks myself but no pharmacies had them and literally no one spoke English so it was damn near impossible to find any).
They said they would get back to me.
A day goes by without an answer.
I ask again and explain I’ve had embolisms before and it’s really important I at the very least take the injections as prescribed and get the compression socks asap to avoid serious damage on my health.
I’m told again that they will check and get back to me.
This time I get a response but with little to no valuable information. Still no dosage, no info on what they are, nothing on the injections nor the socks.
It’s a whole mess and a bunch of back and forth until I’m on the third day miss-dosing my medication or not having it at all. Now I’m getting seriously concerned for my health as my fevers back up and my well-being is generally deteriorating.
I’m getting noticeably more annoyed and pushy for the right information and I’m asking to meet with a nurse that speaks English preferably at the actual clinic that I’ve booked (Karisoclinic).
This is not possible and I’m told to go to a local scruffy (!!) ER where (again) nobody speaks English and without a translator.. but if I “show them the injections” they’ll just give them to me. I raise my concerns with bookimed and make it clear I’m not happy.
I finally get a call from the director of the clinic and it’s safe to say I’m fed up at this point. She arranges for the driver (who alsoooo doesn’t speak a lick of English) to come to the hotel, come with me to the ER at 18:00 the remainder of the two days and tell them to inject me. She also promised to find out the info on my other medicines.
Ofc the medical staff at the ER wants info on things I can’t answer as I don’t speak Turkish and they don’t speak English but after a few ifs and buts I’m finally given the injections.
The next day the driver doesn’t show up.. I’m only told he’s late when i ask why he hasn’t showed up. I missed the appointment for the injections that day as I had another appointment booked 1h later with a medispa that was already paid for which I informed the clinic on. I was continually told a few more minutes over and over again over the hour until it was too late. He showed up 1,5 h later.
The next morning I was picked up for the airport 7 HOURS before my flight left, for a 1 hour drive. At that point I just accepted it.
At no point during the trip the clinic respected my time nor anyone else’s.
They continued to give me wrong information or no information.
They failed to support me through communication between me and literally any medical staff.
Almost all of the communication is through body language or rough translation via Google translate. The translator was there a few hours on the surgery day and for like 4 minutes at the hospital entrance when the driver picked me up from the hospital.
I was at a local Turkish hospital with Turkish staff (who btw had never heard of Karisoclinic) and Turkish patients who all spoke Turkish.