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AIBU to invite internet friend to consider India for Lasik?

(28 Posts)
captainmarvella Thu 14-Mar-19 06:42:29

I have a (not close but still a nice) friend in UK I met on an online fitness forum, we have been email motivation buddies for a a couple of years. She is planning to do Lasik and has got a quotation of about 2500 pounds. She has also been worried about the fact that her endo is not ordering the right tests for her and is thinking about investing in private tests ($$$).

Now, Lasik in a top hospital in my home city in India would cost about 600 pounds. It’s walking distance from my parents' house, I did my Lasik there and I can vouch (of course I realise what worked for me may not work for another, just saying that I know they do a good job).
In the private lab near my place, It costs about 60 quid for a full thyroid and vitamin panel test (you don’t need prescription). One of the best endo doctors in the city charges around 5 quid for consultation. Medicines are similarly cheap and do not need prescription (mostly).

AIBU in thinking that my friend should come to India for a week (or two!), enjoy some sightseeing and facials and massages, perhaps a thorough dental check (10 ten quid), do the thyroid and Lasik here and get a holiday out of her hard earned money?

Though I won’t be in town to help her, on a daily basis I can certainly meet her once or twice, and of course help her in hiring trustworthy drivers/guides etc. Even If she doesn’t want to stay in my parents' place (they do have a small spare room for guests, no attached toilet though), there are many many airbns and hotels nearby which offer air-conditioned rooms with full breakfast, lcd tv, wifi and private bathroom for less than 15 quid a day. Even with return flights and all the little luxuries, this should not cost more than 2 grand!

Am I nuts in thinking that I can suggest this to her, to come to a new country, when I won't be there in person to host her full time?

Wallywobbles Thu 14-Mar-19 07:12:07

I think it's a lovely offer. And I'd say yes. But please don't be offended if she says no. I've travelled all over because I was brought up to grab these opportunities, but many don't.

Ragnarthe Thu 14-Mar-19 07:20:39

Won't the cost of flights and accommodation mean she just breaks even but with jet lag?
Seriously though, can I come? grin

PotolBabu Thu 14-Mar-19 07:29:52

No no no. I am Indian. If she doesn’t know anyone in India please don’t recommend she navigates the Indian healthcare system on her own. Especially as a foreign woman with limited eye sight for a while she will be very vulnerable. As Indians it is easy to forget how much we rely on ‘knowing the system.’ You also don’t know her in person. This is a very bad idea all round.

captainmarvella Thu 14-Mar-19 07:32:40

I am Indian too! And I will be in the same city if she decides to come, and I will def be able to help her out with suggestions etc. I can also go with her to the hospital, just that I cannot host her in my house (I live with my inlaws) or be with her 24/7 (work commitments).

captainmarvella Thu 14-Mar-19 07:33:57

Ragnarthe, you are right. I totally forgot about jetlag shock

If you consider India to get any medical treatment, PM me any time, I am happy to brainstorm and suggest options smile

captainmarvella Thu 14-Mar-19 07:34:40

Wallywobbles, true, I have to remember not to take it personally if she says no!

Ohyesiam Thu 14-Mar-19 07:34:55

What is lasik?

captainmarvella Thu 14-Mar-19 07:39:09

LASIK is a non-invasive surgery used to correct vision in people who are nearsighted, farsighted, etc. It changed my life. No more thick glasses, achy nose or rude comments from rude people about being owl faced!

SnowyDaze Thu 14-Mar-19 07:40:00

I’ve spent considerable time in Mumbai and Delhi for work. I have to think carefully about where I eat and that’s just to avoid food poisoning. I certainly wouldn’t be booking surgery!!

Eyes are so delicate. A fuck up on the part of the surgeon or with her aftercare would have dire consequences.

By the way, I’ve had Lasik. It is the best money I’ve spent (£4k about 10 years ago). The first month after I thought I’d made a mistake, as my eyes were so sore/dry/itchy. Since then, it’s been amazing. She’d be foolish to have the op overseas, but particularly in India

PotolBabu Thu 14-Mar-19 07:40:01

Look I have looked after several ill people in India including my parents (I don’t live in India regularly). It is a pain. She will be vulnerable on her own and if things go wrong she will be in big trouble. Some medication is available OTC and cheap but lots really aren’t simply because you pay for them. I just really wouldn’t take on this responsibility for anyone other than immediate or close family, certainly not an internet friend.

Btw I have had lots of eye surgery in India as a child. During one I had a bad reaction to the anaesthesia and collapsed. Had to be admitted to a bigger hospital. Tons of running around. I was 15, my parents were fairly young and fit. If there was the remotest possibility of this happening there would be CHAOS. I have a lot of experience with Indian hospitals and they do demand a credit card up front and insidious costs do add up. I think you are being very blasé about a medical procedure.

sailorsdelight Thu 14-Mar-19 07:42:13

2500 is a bargain! Mine cost 4K tho I had a high prescription which does tend to push the price up!

WoahThereMama Thu 14-Mar-19 07:45:41

When I had my laser eye op - admittedly 15 yrs ago now - the price included 12 months of aftercare checks. As part of this, I needed a top-up surgery in my right eye (free of charge). No of this would’ve been possible if I’d got the surgery done abroad.

captainmarvella Thu 14-Mar-19 07:48:48

Potolbabu, fair points. But I assure you I am not being blase. I was going to offer my friend the spare room in my parents home, to recuperate after the corrective surgery. I could pop in every day, and of course my parents' maid can help my friend if she needed any help. I have a lot of experience with hospitals too, I was born and brought up in India, and my uncle is a doctor in a major hospital here.

I am not thinking of suggesting this idea as a harebrained one, my friend had expressed a life long ambition to visit India, and I just thought this is many birds in one stone... instead of spending such a large amount of money on a single procedure in the UK, my friend can get so much more out of the same amount. But I do realise now that it may not be so simple...

captainmarvella Thu 14-Mar-19 07:50:08

Snowydazw, may I know why you say "particularly in India"? We have some of the best hospitals here. Aristrocrats and world leaders have come to our hospitals for treatments.

captainmarvella Thu 14-Mar-19 07:52:23

Woahtheremama, very good point.

In my case I had pain and irritation for 5 days after the surgery, but it was all okay after that. I did go to checkups one month later, and afterwards once a year after that. I feel like a fool now. Somehow I thought my friend can have the surgery here, and the follow up checks in UK blush

HotpotLawyer Thu 14-Mar-19 07:54:52

It is a lovely offer, and I know India to be home to much top medical practice, but I think in view if the need for aftercare, and a long flight so soon after the surgery in a pressurised cabin it might not be the best solution for her.

But that’s for her to decide. Offer if you like!

PotolBabu Thu 14-Mar-19 07:58:49

I was also born and brought up in India. And everyone in my family except for me is a doctor (parents, sister, BIL and DH- I am the only one that escaped!) And have spent the last 3 months helping a parent navigate hospitals in India. For someone used to the NHS the bills were astronomical- yes lots of smaller expenses are much much cheaper but the big bills are MUCH bigger. 2 months in a fairly bog standard hospital was well over 20 lakhs with one surgery. It is not a financial risk your friend can take if something goes wrong.
Note I am not doubting the level of care. I know many Indian hospitals are great.
And no one can be there for her 24/7 and between the language barrier and her vulnerability as a single woman with limited eyesight this is a terrible idea. No matter how much domestic help your parents have (she’ll need someone to constantly translate for her to begin with...she will struggle to ask them for basic things if your parents are not there).

Also you are inviting a total stranger into your parent’s house at a time when they may be vulnerable. I cannot begin to stress how this is not a good idea.

Idonotlikeyoudonaldtrump Thu 14-Mar-19 08:00:10

Don’t feel like a fool! It’s a lovely idea. You could offer and let your friend make her decision?

grumiosmum Thu 14-Mar-19 08:04:30

Last time I went on holiday to India there were a few people staying our guest house who had come just for medical/cosmetic procedures.

This is a common thing.

TheHodgeoftheHedge Thu 14-Mar-19 08:11:21

I think anyone who goes abroad to try and get cheap surgery is on a fool’s errand. It’s all well and good until their are complications or follow up care requirEd, which is frequently, and then your stuck.

captainmarvella Thu 14-Mar-19 08:15:53

Lots of food for thought. Thanks, all. I will take a day to think about this and decide whether I should suggest her the idea.

HotpotLawyer Thu 14-Mar-19 08:23:07

It would be a big responsibility for your parents, and for you.

If your friend would love to visit India, better to do it when she can enjoy it and make the best of it.

OKBobble Thu 14-Mar-19 08:37:59

When I had laser eye surgery there were a jumber of pre surgery appointments and a number of post surgery appointments. How will she have these? If she has them in the UK she will presumably still need to pay for them (they would be covered in the £2500). However with airfares and spending money etc she won't actually be making that much of a saving at all but taking on massive risk. If I were her I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole

marcopront Thu 14-Mar-19 14:34:19

Something else to consider is the price for foreigners will be more than the price for locals. At least that was the case at the hospitals I went to in Mumbai.

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