As I started this segment I was going to share with you the next part of my journey as well as my first mishap. To keep it short and simple, I'll only share my first medical mishap and save the rest for later.
As I’m about to leave Easter Island and head to the airport, I received a text that my flight would be delayed by about six hours. [Click here if you missed Easter Island].
No problem, I still have time to catch my connecting flight from Santiago. In total my itinerary would touch four airports, three flights and total about 30+ hours between flying, layovers, etc in order to reach my destination.
Now, have you ever yanked at a cuticle and then the surrounding area on your finger felt a little sore and tender?
Well, as I was waiting for my departure in Easter Island, this is what one of my fingers felt like. I didn’t remember fiddling with any cuticles, I didn’t see any loose cuticles, but then I could have done this unaware.
On the first flight, Easter Island to Santiago, Chile, my finger started to swell; the more time that passed, the swelling continued to expand. By the time I landed in Sao Paolo, a finger on my right hand was not only swollen but started to look green. Not the green that makes for great gardening!
Was I that tired I was hallucinating? Could my finger really be green? To top it off, a finger on my left hand also started to swell.
When I finally arrived in Brasilia, I had two very green, painful fingers that felt like they would burst at any moment.
I rarely go to doctors, and if I must, I will put it off as long as possible, but by the look I got from the pharmacist in the Sao Paolo airport pharmacy, I knew it couldn’t be good; just in case I wasn’t already put off by the green color.
I arrived at my Airbnb on a Friday evening. I put my bags in my room and then said to my host, I think I need to find a doctor to look at my fingers, would you help?
I had just spent time in Spanish speaking countries where I could get by with basic language skills but now I land in Brazil and speak maybe two words of Portuguese at best.
This was going to be interesting; could I have picked a worse or better place for medical needs?
I soon found how blessed I was with an amazing host and a city that couldn’t be better for medical care!
View from Sarah Kubitschek City Park
Brasilia, is the capital of Brazil, since the 1960’s, and is a ‘pre-planned‘ and ‘pre-designed’ city. This meant that all the medical facilities were within a few blocks of each other, you could actually walk from one hospital to the next if you wanted.
After spending a useless hour on the phone with my travel insurance company, only for them to tell me I had to pre-pay and then claim the expenses back, my Airbnb host drove me to a hospital.
We were advised the doctor would be in surgery for 30 minutes so he would see me after that.
WHAT?! A 30 minute wait?!
This wasn’t good enough, so my host drove to the hospital next door. We took a number and registered and I was called into the doctor in less than five minutes. Yes, you read correctly, a wait of less than five minutes in the hospital to see an actual doctor on a Friday night! Wow!
The doctor had an assistant to help but he said I had a very common infection. He sliced a bit, drained it, gave me antibiotics, told me to keep the area clean, covered and changes the bandages/ band-aids/ plasters regularly and sent me on my way.
I went to pay and was advised the receipts would be sent via email. Out the door I go and was back at my Airbnb, all within a course of one hour from the time we left her apartment to the time we returned.
Can you recall the last time you went to the hospital with your problem solved and were out the door in less than an hour?
Wait, that’s not it! My host commented that the cost of the treatment was very expensive for Brazilians. At that point I hadn’t done the exchange rate calculations and when I did later, I almost fell to the floor to realize it was under $300.00 including the antibiotics. Unheard of in the United States!
So my first mishap showed me what a good medical experience can be like and I was very fortunate to have such an amazing Airbnb host to take such extraordinary care of me!
Now are you waiting for some gory and gross pictures of green fingers? Sorry to disappoint, I didn’t think to take them at the time, however here are a couple of interesting shots I took in my short stay in Brasilia. If you really want to see those gross pictures, just ‘Bing’ or ‘Google’ ‘infected green finger images’, that will give you a sight full, ewwww!
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There are some pictures found in what looked like a ‘bird’ shop. I found the variety interesting.