Monday, February 24, 2014

Medical Care on Roatan

Many of you have asked us what kind of medical care is available here on this island. Thankfully, we have not had any serious health issues, but we are learning the ropes from friends who have had some life-threatening issues and came through safely.

Don and I have both been battling lung congestion this past week (no doubt caused by too much fun with daughter Rachel and niece Crystal and quite probably some germs that Rachel generously shared with us). Don has recovered, but I have been getting progressively worse. Last night's efforts to sleep induced a 4 hour coughing marathon which may have left me turned inside out.

This morning, I set out for the clinic at Anthony's Key Resort. (We sent Rachel there during her visit.) The doctor spoke only a little English and I speak only a little Spanish, but we were able to understand each other beautifully. Bottom line: I have bronchitis.She gave me two nebulizer treatments and a small bag containing 5 days of prednisone, a cough medicine, and an antibiotic - Cipro. I told her I was allergic  to Cipro. (Apparently that is the drug of choice.) Next she pulled a box of Azo------- something. I shook my head and told her that I take Amiodorone and believe that Azo-----------was contraindicated. She quickly nodded her agreement. Searching the shelves again (AKR has their own little in-house pharmacy, as does Ms. Peggy's clinic), she selected a box of erithromycin. Yes, I said, I can take that. Unfortunately, there weren't enough pills remaining in the box, so after apologizing, she wrote a prescription to take to the pharmacy in Coxen Hole. She told me to come back tomorrow for another nebulizer treatment.

And what do you imagine the cost of this care to be?? $24.00!!! for the office visit, 2 nebulizer treatments, 2 drugs. I sent Don off to the pharmacy to get the antibiotic but expect that it will be quite cheap also.

Now I just have to get well.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Reluctant Birthday Girl

Yesterday was Leidy's 14th birthday. She's growing up! I asked her if she would like to have a birthday party at Ms. Susan's with all the kids. She said no. I said "really? No party?" She nodded her head. She is so shy and hates to draw any attention to herself. She said "I don't go to Ms. Susan's on Monday." Well, I said, "we could just have the party on Tuesday" which is one of her days to come for English lessons and homework help. Nope. How about just a cake? No. 

I had already bought the cake mix and frosting, enough for all the kids. So Susan and I decided that we would just bring out the cake on Tuesday and not make a big fuss. Don and I arrived to find only the two 9th grade boys, Oscar and Victor, and one 7th grader, Nelson. No Leidy. Susan said the 7th graders must not have any homework or they would be there. Nelson had not been to school this morning, so he didn't know.

I was a little disappointed. I had 24 cupcakes, vanilla ice cream (her favorite), and a gift bag waiting for her.

We went ahead and fed cupcakes to the boys and adults. Susan called Concepcion to see if Leidy was coming. A little while later, we heard kids coming up the driveway. Leidy, her little cousin Alexander, Jessie, Jacee, and their little sister, Jeslee. Yay!! Susan was not thrilled that they had brought along the little kids, but the kids were thrilled with the cupcakes. All except Leidy. She finally said she would have one later. I asked if she would like some ice cream ."Yes", so out came the ice cream for one and all.  I told her she had a gift bag. She glanced down at it but did not grab it to look inside. Can you imagine any kid you know being that reserved? She did thank me. 

Kids kept arriving. Apparently, word had spread that we were having a party for Leidy. And more little siblings also came along with their big sister or brother. Karla and Carlos were the last to arrive. They were too late for the ice cream and there were only 2 cupcakes left, but I wasn't going to serve them because we had more people than cupcakes by that point. There are 2 older girls, 18 and 20 years old, who come for English lessons, and one of them had brought along a little sister.Sigh. It was quickly becoming a madhouse! So, I quietly wrapped up the last 2 cupcakes and told Karla she and Carlos could eat them on the way home. Karla could not resist sticking her finger inside the foil wrapping and licking the icing! I do hope she gave one to Carlos on the way home, but I wouldn't count on it.

Meantime, the 9th graders have to have some kind of round, white object for their science class. After much discussion and internet searching, we finally decided that they need something like large styrofoam balls. I suggested they ask their teacher where we might find such an item on Roatan.(We have no Michael's, no Hobby Lobby or anything of the kind.) Oscar said they have a new teacher (the first one lasted only 4 days) and she is new to the island so she would not know. Great. I can't think of any place on the island that sells styrofoam balls or anything similar.

 Also, we learned that the entire school is going to the beach on Friday and each child needs 100 lempiras ($5.) for the bus and food. Oscar said he and his siblings did not want to go, they would just stay home. I asked "don't want to go or your family doesn't have the money to go?" He sheepishly said "no money". I said "if we give you the money, would you want to go?" He smiled and nodded his head. Ok, then. We will provide the money. Susan and I decided to  share the cost for all the kids to go. These are very poor families; they don't have extra money for things like this.

So, the reluctant birthday girl had a party after all. Susan and I both thought that, while a bit rowdy, it was a success, and Leidy was quietly pleased. And so was I.