Monday, August 14, 2006

A birthday to remember

Monday 14 August 2006

I got up and was in a rush to meet Simeon and go the forest; we were going to cut trails and follow the monkeys. We found the same troop again, near to where they had been yesterday. At about 1pm, we left to go down the mountain. When I got to our room, Rob was lying down. He was extremely pale, and he mumbled that he had thrown up in the morning. The girls in the kitchen were very worried about him. They fixed him a “suero” (rehydration drink), and I tried to fix him a coconut (yes Amy, it is very difficult to hack through a coconut, especially with an inferior machete). Rob refused to drink either. He said he was nauseated and did not want to throw up again. He wanted Gatorade and ice, so I fixed him that, but he threw up after just a few sips.

That’s when I became really really worried. I went and found my two new Chilean friends Soledad and Alejandra. They do not speak English, but they are very nice and talk to me slowly so that I understand them. They told me that there is a clinic in Mérida, and we could go over there and bring a doctor back for Rob. They walked with me to the clinic (note, Soledad is about 6 months pregnant) and found that the doctor was out. A nurse gave us some kind of injection to bring home that was supposed to stop him from vomiting. Rob seemed even worse when we got back, and we realized he had a fever. Soledad said she would find a driver for me if I wanted to go to the hospital in Altagracia. I decided that was the best thing.

By then it was almost 5pm and Altagracia is an hour away. I quickly threw some things together in an overnight bag, while Soledad and Alejandra went and found Jorge (the hacienda driver). An hour later over bumpy roads, we arrived at the clinic in Altagracia. The conditions seemed quite grim. No air conditioning or fans, no toilet paper, no pillows, and mosquitoes everywhere. They started him on an IV, gave him medicine to stop the vomiting, and then tested his blood sugar. 246. I think normal is somewhere around 100. They told me that he was diabetic and we needed to go by “ambulance” to the bigger hospital in Moyogalpa. I think they gave him insulin and kept him on IV’s. He looked awful and felt even worse. I spent a long, hot, uncomfortable night on a pillow-less, sheet-less cot next to him. The nurses and doctors were really nice, but I kept wondering how anyone could really get better in a place like this.


At 4:12 PM, August 18, 2006, Blogger Amy, Ben, and Bryn said...

Wait, is Rob actually diabetic?? I have to admit that I'm glad you did not take any pictures of this; I might be too horrified. I am reading these entries aloud to Ben as I go and he says, "But this was four days ago! Tell me he gets better! Is Rob dead? If Rob is dead, can we keep the Insight?" He's kidding about that last part--I think.


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