Saturday, 14 August 2010

Welcome to the not so great side of travelling...

I started this blog with the intention of making it as real to those reading as possible (despite how rubbish my descriptions or writing may be) to give you an idea of the different aspects of travelling, the emotions involved, the happy sides and the not so happy sides, because so often people at home will only ever see the happy smiley photos and not see those not so great moments. Of course they are few and far between and often make great stories but they are there and they are a definite part of travel. I have tried to be honest so far and I feel todays little adventures need to go down as well. I think it would be wrong of me to skip them and miss them out because they are not your average happy smiley memory, so here is todays little experience...

I have been unwell for a while, and in my usual way have tried to ignore it, tried to carry on with life and hoped it would go away. And as usual when these things happen to me, ignoring it has not solved the problem nor did the issue go away, it got steadily worse until I finally grew up and went to the doctors. The issue was with my stomach, it has been in pain and affecting my hunger, energy, mood etc. So yet again I whipped out the travel insurance (I seem to end up in hospital most times I go exploring, for one reason or another). Sooo I had to find a hospital to go to before I could go, I had heard the private ones are slightly more money but apparently a lot better, so thinking my health is pretty important I headed off to find one. I wondered down to the side of Quepos where I have never been before, the first doctors I came to was shut, Saturday you see. The second was open but had a big black bow on the front door. I had learnt just last night what a big black bow on someones front door means... it means someone has died. I turned around and walked away immediately, I did not want to be visiting a doctors with a big black bow, I didn't feel it would have great vibes. Anyway I eventually found a good doctor close to my house and went in to speak to him. We went through the details, I'll spare you those and he gave me instructions to stop eating beans and rice (this is practically all they ever eat here so nice and simple) then he turned to look at me and said "...and I will give you a shot". Not so pleased about this I said i hated injections and held me arm, to which he said "oh no, not in your arm... in your but" Oh no, oh really no, no no and no once again, of all my little adventures with doctors so far in my life they have never led to an injection in the but, I have always managed to avoid this, but not this time it seemed. Sooo it turned out I could have it in my arm but he said this injection really really hurts and takes about 30 seconds to give, if I had it in the arm it would hurt soooooooo much but if I had it in my but it would only hurt so much. How to make a patient feel better about something they are scarred about... tell them just how much it really is going to hurt and then tell them to relax because "it's better that way". He wasn't wrong, it fricking hurt like crazy! I stood up and went to carry on my meeting with him at his desk but there wasn't a chance of me sitting down, no way, that wasn't going to be happening. Not until my head started going, I felt slightly sick and made a mentle note of where the bin was, just incase, not wanting to inturrupt him I politely sat down trying to ignore how bad my head was feeling but it got worse and worse very quickly to the point where I had to say I was feeling odd. That was it, that was the last thing I remembered before I was on a journey. A quick, crazy high speed journey, I don't know where I was going but I was with lots of people who I knew and the pain was quite high. Anyhoo next thing I know I was awake, no longer sat in my chair at his desk but in a bed with concerned faces rushing around waving more needles. If there is an inbetween part to being asleep and awake i forgot about it on this occasion because I did not want another needle stuck in me so very quickly woke up and said, "no not another needle, pleaseeeee no more needles". He seemed hugely relieved I was awake, he told me I had seriously worried him and that my heart was not working well. Good stuff, so we've solved the stomach issue but now have heart issues, isn't this consultation going oh so well. (of course I didn't say this I just thought it in a slightly comical way, I was able to be comical because I was lying down, everything is ok when you can lie down.) Anyway he didn't stick the next lot of drugs in me and I managed to persuade him out of the bag of fluids and settled for him syringing syringe load after syringe load of seriously stong suger stuff down my throat. He kept asking non stop "how did I feel, what was wrong?", it was now my head and arms but apparently that was the side effect to the other drug in the shot, drug number one affects the heart (if you react to the drug) and drug number two affects the head, but I was only having a mild reaction to drug number two apparently. It didn't feel to mild, my head felt pretty weird but I was sat upright having a conversation with him about what the big orange box was that was now at my side and my seriously low heart rate on the monitor so I guess my head was working pretty well to be doing this.

This went on for a while, us having interesting conversations about the various bits of equipment around the room, my heart rate, with the odd syringe load of sweet stuff down my throat until he let me stand up. It was a success so he released me like a wild animal back into my habitat and I am free to roam around until Monday morning when i have to go straight back. I have his number and at any moment if there is another reaction to my pills we need to ring and they will come but I feel that while I have had a broken wrist on my birthday in France that required 4 days in French hospital and a load of metal, two days in hospital in Peru for altitude problems and there was something else somewhere else but I can't quite remember right now all followed by this mornings Costa Rican episode I am aware when i go on these trips the importance of a good first aid kit and medical insurance. For anyone who is reading this and may forget such things can Lucy please have just 10 seconds of seriousness (I don't think I can do any longer) and say NEVER FORGET THESE THINGGGGSSSSS!!!

Just to let you know, I am free to wonder around Quepos, my stomach is feeling alot better my arms and head are feeling wild but all is hunky dory, so a success i would say. Maybe next time I will be adult and go to the doctors when i start feeling ill... maybe. I am now thinking of being in Cusco with Dot, Beth and Jane after ignoring the altitude problem for almost 2 weeks before we finally decided to go. It turned out to be quite an awesome experience, two nights of accomodation paid for on the insurance for all of us and between us we managed to flood out our entire room and woke up to my socks floating across the room. It was so funny and quite a memorable experience... I think Costa Ricas experience will add to Peru and France and lets hope it is the only experience here, I feel I have definitely had my fair share of doctors for this trip and made good use of the insurance for yet another trip!!

So be sensible travelling people, have insurance. Muchos love I am off to look at apartments. Hasta Luego xxxxxxxxx

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