Friday, May 17, 2019

There isn’t much to talk about this week. I was sick again!

I guess the antibiotics I was on for the first go around didn’t cover everything I had. A trip to the doctor in Libertad this week, along with some blood work, confirmed I had a bacterial infection, now in my lungs. I earned myself a course of two antibiotics to nip this in the bud. Yay for me!

La Libertad

On the plus side of things, it was a beautiful day in Libertad when I went to the doctor. I arrived early so I had time to hang out on the malecon and enjoy the sunshine before I went to my appointment.

View of the fishing trawlers off shore…

A look around the malecon in Libertad.

From Libertad you can see Salinas on the peninsula.

Getting Sick in Ecuador

I have to admit that I was freaked out about being sick for so long. My mind started going to what if I have something serious? What would be my plan of action? Like it or not, the medical system here can be difficult to navigate, even for a local, much less an expat. The language could prove to be a challenge through the process as well.

I have IESS, the national health insurance, but would I really opt for that? My one experience “trying it out” was less than satisfactory. For a dermatology appointment I couldn’t even schedule an appointment because they were booked out four months. I was told to call at the beginning of the next month to see if I could schedule one. Doesn’t melanoma move rapidly once it takes hold?

For that I chose to see a private provider which proved much more efficient, and downright cheap by any kind of US standard. Still, if I had something serious that needed immediate hospitalization, and potentially cost a lot, what would I do? Where would I go? It is a dilemma.

The Problem and Solution

I see the problem like this…the best medical care in Ecuador is in Cuenca, and I am an 8 hour drive from there. When I was sweating profusely for hours in the middle of the night, wondering if I was going to live or die, I thought I would just get in a taxi and have the driver take me to a hospital in Cuenca. Seemed like the best odds for survival to me.

A few days after my perceived “crisis”, I shared my plan with my friend here. He said, “Well hell, don’t you think maybe you could just call us and we could take you?” I said sure, you could do that, but this is the problem. If I died en route there would be so much paper work with the local police. In fact they may even take your truck if I’m dead inside it. I decided in order to maintain our good friendship the taxi was a better option. 😉

And this is how it goes living on the coast of Ecuador.