Thursday, February 23, 2006

A trip to the Mexican medical clinic

A doctor’s visit, a chest x-ray, a rental “breathing” machine, two medicines – and about $200 (US dollars) later – I found out that I have bronchitis. I was worse instead of better.

But first, let me back up. I did OK on the drive to Puerto Penasco. As I drove through the charming downtown of Ajo on Monday morning, I was so sorry I never got to explore it. At the US/Mexico border we picked up our Mexican insurance and then drove on to our destination. Jeremiah, Cat and I settled into space 71 at Playa Bonita RV Park.

Rally events started Monday late afternoon with a chilly Happy Hour on the restaurant’s outside patio – chips, salsa and pitchers of Margaritas – and ended with a lovely shrimp dinner.

Tuesday morning was a car tour of Puerto Penasco that included driving by the fish markets, bakeries, restaurants and shopping areas. This is a typical poor Mexican town: mostly dirt roads, rundown shacks and other tiny homes, kids and dogs running loose, topes (speed bumps from hell), semi-hidden stop signs (tourists seem to be the only ones who stop at them), a handful of intersections with actual traffic lights (one of these intersections had both stop signs and traffic lights!), and of course the ocean (called the Sea of Cortez in this area).

There are two shopping areas – the “regular” one with sidewalks and paved road and “shacks fifth avenue” – aka the “dirt mall” with supposedly cheaper prices. And this doesn’t count the many walking vendors (“Best price for you”) many with similar merchandise with a variety of prices.

On Wednesday my friend Carol Rayburn took her mother, her aunt and me shopping at the regular area. I bought a beautiful, locally made coffee mug. That evening our rally group had a Mexican buffet dinner. I’m not feeling good at all – darn it! The weather is chilly, so instead of shorts and t-shirts, I’m in corduroy jeans, long-sleeved shirts and a jacket. And I had a bad night on Wednesday – coughing a lot and after every coughing spell I had a pounding headache. I’ve been feeling various levels of sick for a week now.

This morning, I decided I needed to go to the medical clinic. One of the rally host couples took me over. Surprisingly, there was only one person ahead of me to see the doctor. My blood pressure was sky high (reason for the headaches after my croupy coughing), I couldn’t even take deep breaths without coughing so that the doc could listen to my lungs. He sent me down the hall for a chest x-ray. This led to the bronchitis diagnosis and the need to rent the “breathing machine” and take an antibiotic.

This evening I skipped the rally-provided dinner. I’m hoping for a better night tonight. This being sick is the pits!