Friday, June 12, 2009

Off To The Clinic

Ever since Dave and Tracy left, we've been having beautiful sunsets - sorry, Dave!

Today I had my first Roatan clinic experience, and I must say, it's very different from the usual U.S. doctor visit. I've had a sore foot for several days for some unknown reason. I didn't injure it, it just began hurting, then swelling, just distal to the medial malleous (below the inside ankle). Very strange. Getting progressively worse. Time to seek out a doc.

I decided to go to the clinic at Anthony's Key Resort. You can just walk in, never a long wait like at the other clinic. The clinic itself is quite unusual. It's on the grounds of Anthony's Key Resort near the dive shop. Serves the guests of the resort, but they also take non-guests. The highlight of this clinic is the hyperbaric chamber, one of only two in the Bay Islands used to treat decompression or the bends. The resort caters to divers.

So I walked in and, there, in the waiting room was this enormous hyperbaric chamber with chairs lining the room around it. I checked in at the desk got a number and had a seat right in front of this chamber. It looks like a huge L.P. gas tank with port holes! It is big enough to accomodate two divers. Then I noticed that in addition to the television tuned to Honduran soap operas that was sitting atop the chamber, there was another black and white "t.v.". Soon I realized that what I was seeing on the screen was a man lying inside the chamber receiving treatment, breathing through an air regulator like divers use. Holy cow! A very worried young woman sitting next to me was obviously a family member as she kept getting up every few minutes and going over to look in one of the port holes. The girl at the reception desk also monitored the chamber, checking the gauges, reporting to the doctor. Another, older woman came in, another family member, and expressed concern about the man's position. He appeared to be asleep with one leg bent up. The girl monitoring him used a radio-type handset to speak to him, asking him if he could move that leg; he moved the other one but at least he was responsive.

The doctor came out, called my number, and I followed him to a small treatment room where I began explaining my problem. He wasn't much help and apologized, saying that he was not an orthopedist. He suggested I take an anti-inflammatory and if it isn't better in a few days, let them know and they can call an orthopedist to come in and see me. He followed me out to the desk and whispered to the girl. She then told me that there was no charge! Can you beat that?! No charge. Amazing. Of course, I still have the sore foot...


  1. I wonder if the guy in the chamber was one of the local lobster divers we are always hearing the horror stories about.

    Hope your foot is ok!!

  2. Just getting caught up - sounds like you had a great time with the kids. Keep us posted on your foot . . .