Monday, February 25, 2013

Doctors and Hospitals in Quito

Greetings from Quito, Ecuador.  I apologize to those that have been keeping up with my blog for the length of time since my last post.  However after 6 types of medicine, a local remedy (Te de Coca, tea from the leaves of the cocaine plant), a visit to a local doctor, a visit to the local hospital, and $140 later I believe I am (finally) on the mend.  I developed some ear issues while diving that quickly escalated to extreme pain.  I was able to take Amoxicillin in the Galapagos and that helped significantly.  Upon arrival in Quito, slight pain in my ears returned accompanied by an unrelenting headache, and extreme fatigue.  I assumed it was the extreme change in altitude but went to the doctor just to be safe.  I was told that I still had an infection and my Eustachian tubes were inflamed   I paid him 20$ cash and walked out with a script for 2 medications.  I began taking the medicine immediately, but after another day and a half of increasing severity of the pain I decided to hit up the local hospital.  You know some people collect shot glasses from their travels, and others t-shirts.  Me, I go for medicine and local medical clinic visits.  I have a feeling most of you would be quite surprised about the facilities in an Ecuadorian hospital.  The doctors and nurses care greatly although they are limited in english, and the facilities are clean modern.  The son of the owner of our current hostel accompanied us and was very helpful in relaying symptoms en Espagnol to the 2 nurses and 2 doctors that checked on me.  They determined that my infection was still bad and the medicine I had been given thus far was insufficient to combat my issues.  SOOO, the remedy?  The nurse, a grown woman, told me she was going to have to give me 2 my butt.  Do you remember that all you 6 year old selves out there, shots in your butt?  I have to emphasize the grown woman/ nurse thing because she giggled and acted almost embarrassed in having to do this.  Heck, I did not care a single bit.  You can do whatever you want if it is gonna make me feel better.  So about 20 minutes after the shots they brought me 3 types of pills and a bill for...$106.83 (this is my total bill for about a 2 hour hospital visit, 2 shots, and the 3 types of medicine).  I believe I would be looking at least a grand in the states...with insurance.  So there you have it, a detailed account of my past few days in Quito.  We have done a little sight seeing, but it is hard to enjoy it while your head is throbbing.  Hopefully things will be totally better now, and my blogging can return to its semi-educational, semi-satirical manner.  Ciao.

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