El Doctor

By Em - October 01, 2016


My Spanish is... Let's put this nicely... Mucho terrible.  To cut myself some slack- I didn't learn it in school, and I've rarely traveled to Spanish speaking countries.  But I've been getting by.  Saying things like, "please can I window not closed?"  I seem to be providing entertainment to the locals.  They tend to laugh and smile and respond.  And I smile and shrug as if to say, "yes, I am a stupid white girl."

My minimal Spanish was especially interesting on my trip to the doctor today.  Unfortunately, my fantastic ability to injure myself resulted in a full day at the local clinic.  The spines from the tree embedded in my hands were unfortunately looking worse and clearly getting infected.

I sat in the waiting room and put my thoughts together.  I believe this is what I said to the doctor: "my hands are sick.  They have many plant spines.  I want them to exit.  I don't want a big infection."  I Stumbled my way through conversations regarding treatment and payment.  

My understanding was that I would get a local anesthetic to numb my hands and the doctor would remove the spines.  They would send me home with an antibiotic to take three times per day for seven days and an anti-inflammatory as well.  All together it would cost $70.

I went back into a room with the nurse expecting to receive a local shot in my hands but... I was told to lay down for a shot in my ass.  I'm not really sure what it was for... 

At this point I had been in the clinic for almost four hours.  It was 3:00pm.  I sat down to wait for the doctor on my freshly sore butt, a little bummed I was missing out on an adventure... The plan was to meet at the hostel at 2:00 to go to the suspension bridges.  I didn't have a way to communicate that I wouldn't be able to make it, and assumed they left without me.

And then I hear my name! My backpacking family came and found me to make sure I was doing okay before heading into the jungle.  Shortly thereafter the doctor gave me about a dozen small shots of local anesthetic in my hands where all the spines still were.  This was the most painful part.  And then I closed my eyes while he dug into my hands for about 45 minutes.  They were 45 of the worst minutes.  The spines were very deep and brittle and came out in tiny pieces from deep inside my hand.  The one on the base of my wrist.  Finally, he was done.

 I thanked him and told him I hope I don't see him again.

So, no jungle adventures for me today, but I certainly had an adventure of my own.

...but I still really don't know what the shot in my butt was for.

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