Thursday, May 31, 2007
More Adventures in Medicine
About 4 weeks ago I slammed my elbow down pretty hard on the deck trying to uncleat a line. Ouch. It hurt for awhile and then it didn't but in the meantime I got a bulge on my elbow the size of an egg. Didn't really hurt but looked bad and was uncomfortable. So, we strolled down to the local hospital/emergency room. For any of you who play Silent Hill . . . 'nuff said. We waited for nearly an hour in a hallway. Whatever process there was seemed completely at random. I made eye contact with the guy who I assumed was the doctor a few times but he just smiled and walked on in his surgical head gear, jeans and sandals. I was about to stand up and say, "Quierno vera un doctor!" when he waved me into an 'office' that had random people wandering about. I showed him my elbow and tried to tell him that it happend about a month ago. Apparently I don't know the word for 'month' and was probably telling him that his mother did this to me.
Well, he got over that and speaking a little English asked me if I was Americano or Canadian. How did he suspect I wasn't from Luperon? I signed my name into a ledger he had and then he motioned me to the examining section of the office which was an exam table and a little moveable partition. (We figured the operating room was outside where the light was better.) At this point he went for the biggest needle in his arsenal (has the US ever invaded the Dominican Republic? I really have to get my history done up front.) Well, with the needle nicely inserted into my elbow he then extracted an alarming amount of red fluid. Nice. All fixed! Looks like a normal elbow again.
Price? Zero! And no forms to fill out. Imagine how long I would have been filling stuff out in America. Of course there they wouldn't have been mopping the floor with a dead rat but there's always tradeoffs!
The doctor was actually very good and everyone was very patient with the non-spanish speaking patient. I suppose if I needed open heart surgery they would have moved me to somewhere else...like outside!