June 05, 2006 GMT
(2) Argentina: The Argentian Hospital Experience

I returned early to my room and had an afternoon shower. It was normally important to catch the non-peak periods to ensure you had lots of hot water. This was not the case here.

I had lots. A veritable deluge crashed upon my body...hot, steamy water the temperature and quantity of which I had not experienced for several weeks. I languished in the extravagance of it all.

I towelled off and placed my parts on the table. Things were not looking so good. The Bolivian antibiotics and cream were having no effect on the bites. The first day had shown a dramatic change but after that nothing. In fact, things looked like they were regressing.

I played a quick game of marbles and then put everything back into the pouch. It was time to go see a doctor.

I checked into Emergency. They had three (3) cashiers...no waiting. A lovely lady sauntered up to the window. I explained my problem. She exited the cage and guided me to Consultation Room #4. "The doctor will be with you soon," she said, as she exited.

The room had a small 4 ft desk, 2 chairs, an examination table, a sink whose faucet spewed water at an alarming rate and a few bottles of disinfectants. I settled in behind the desk and looked around the room. Then I realized I was on the Doctorīs side of the desk and reversed positions. No sense pissing him off before we get started.

An orderly came in to see if I was comfortable. I was. The cleaning lady stopped by to say hello and see if I needed anything. "No thank you. I am just waiting for a few minutes," I said.

I waited and I waited and I waited. After half an hour I had finished correcting the city map I had picked up at the Tourist Office and was reading my book. The cashier returned and was surprised to see me still there. She hurried away. The cleaning lady returned and flooded the room with an inch of water. I stood on the chair as she squeeged the water out into the hall and disappeared around the corner. "Are you closed?" I shouted after her. She half turned and smiled as she chased the water down the hall.

I settled into my book. Suddenly the room was full of people...two doctors and two nurses. I non-chalantly gazed up from my book, wondering what all of the commotion was about.

The doctor sat in his chair and leaned across the too small desk. I leaned forward only inches away from his face. The other doctor crowded in with the two nurses. They pressed closer in order to be better able to catch every word. Between them they had assumed that their limited English would allow them to understand what I had to say. My life was in their hands. How could they cure me if they could not understand my problem? The strain showed on their faces. The blood drained away leaving only a pallid, sagging complexion. My eyes traced their faces and sensed their concern...

I began to speak. They pressed in closer, into the ever tightening circle...like a football huddle on the last down of the last game.

I addressed them in Spanish. I told them about my family, my friends, my desire to continue living, my trip through Bolivia, my meeting with the insect and my desire to return to my friends and not meet with those who had pre-deceased me. They began to relax...the color returned to their faces. They breathed a collective sigh of relief. They could understand me. They could help me.

As I finished my dissertation I leaned back in my chair and surveyed the crowd. The doctor spoke.

"But, where were you bitten?"
"Over here, on Harry."
"On Harry. On my right testicle. Don't you name yours?"

He figeted. The other doctor twiddled with his stethoscope. The nurses giggled.

"We will have to have a look."
"Of course." I stood up and unbuckled my belt.
"Stop! The nurses have to leave."

I shrugged my shoulders. "Perhaps they will have some Input."
"No! They must go."

Nobody moved. All were interested in a look at the gringoīs equipment. The doctor moved to usher the nurses to the door. They were gently urged in that direction. There was a slight scuffle at the door and then it closed behind them. I dropped my drawers.

"There is a lot of swelling, No?"
"They are normally that size."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, they are in the dormant state now. You should see them when they are active."
"You should put ice on it. It will reduce the swelling."
"OK. Is that all?"
"No, I will give you an injection and some antibiotics. Do you have any allergies?"
"No. Will you be giving me penicillin?
"No. It doesnīt require that. I have something better."
"Are you sure I don't need penicillin?" "What about this medication from Bolivia?"
"It is not right. Do not take it anymore. This will fix the problem."

I packed my equipment away. I raised my pants. A orderly came in with the injection. I dropped my drawers and leaned over the examination table, exposing my white buttocks. The needle was poised for penetration. Someone leaned on the door, from the hallway. It swung open. The needle entered. The crowd peered through the opening...

I like a good Piece of Ass but this is not fair. I dressed and the door closed.

I shook hands with the doctor and limped out into the street. My right buttock was beginning to harden up....

Posted by Robert Bielesch at June 05, 2006 11:53 PM GMT

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