You'll go to great lengths, as far as paying with your soul, just to find a cure. I know I did. Okay, maybe not the 'paying with your soul' part. Not yet.
For one whole week we endured bumpy, unpaved roads (even the paved ones are a mess) aboard a hired badass Delica in the Gobi Desert with a European couple we met through Couchsurfing. And during the first five, Luna vomited everyday. Hubby puked on the sixth. The ride was that wild.
So it wasn't surprising that on the fifth day, Luna contracted a fever. Thanks to our Mongolian driver Ganba, we found a hospital in one of the remote towns. The two-story hospital was as deserted as the Gobi. Luna was given pills that we had to slice in halves because it's too strong for her age, suppositories, and vitamins that looked like Airsoft pellets (which in my opinion should come with a "choking hazard" warning). We never gave her the pellets. I mean, the vitamins.
On our last days in Laos (where we traveled for three weeks last March), Luna had an eye infection and we were totally clueless where she caught it. A sign of such infection, by the way, is having a yellow watery discharge from the eye. Hubby and I searched for eye drops in a bunch of convenience stores but found none.
We were supposed to visit Pha That Luang the day before our flight out of Vientiane. We saved the best for last. However this didn't push through for we stumbled upon an ophthalmologist's clinic while we were walking towards it. The clinic's business hours run from 5:00PM to 8:00PM only, so we thought, might as well stick around and wait for it to open.
The ophthalmologist did not speak much English (he proudly mentioned that he speaks fluent French though) but managed to say "bacteria". Not a comforting word to hear but at least he seemed to know what's going on. He gave us three bottles of eye drops, and struggled to explain the doses. Cost us a whopping $20.
Our limited time in Turkey (no thanks to my fifteen-day visa) pushed us to fly six times in two weeks. Every three nights we changed hotels. And we did sightseeing almost daily. Luna's health gave in after she climbed Pamukkale's "Cotton Castle" twice. The freezing water streaming down the travertines partnered with the strong gust of equally cold wind must have been the culprits for her cough-cold-fever combo.
Five days after and about a thousand kilometers away from Pamukkale, our hostel's owner in Şanlıurfa walked the hubby and Luna to a public hospital. Şanlıurfa Province shares a border with Syria, and the culture is evidently more Middle-Eastern than European. Arabic is widely spoken and only a few people speak English. Suffice it to say that the owner Mustafa had to accompany them in the hospital to explain the situation.
Mustafa assured us that he "knows everybody". And true enough, even if Luna's a foreigner, she was given a free injection for her fever. The doctor prescribed about five bottles of meds and were surprisingly cheap. In case you missed it... Five bottles!
Ahhh. U.S. Health Care System. Why on earth did we have to deal with you? Five wee hours of waiting in line with a baby who hasn't eaten nor drank the whole day.
Okay, to be fair, the doctors were able to give her the right treatment. With just one pill, Luna started craving for milk in an instant (had that not worked, they would have given her the drip). We were never told what caused her loss of appetite.
I've seen hubby cry only three times in our life together (he cried several times while watching Naruto but he was good at concealing tears). During a hospital visit in Brazil's one of 'em.
What caused our rush to the hospital: Luna's struggle to breathe from twilight to dawn.
At seven in the morn, we asked pharmacists in a drug store a few blocks from our hostel for a nearby hospital. They only spoke Portuguese. One of them pointed at their staff who was sweeping the parking lot and exclaimed, "Spanish!", as if it was the biggest light bulb moment in her life.
I took the directions in a language I barely understand, a language that the Brazilian actually barely speaks!
She served as our translator the whole time we were with the doctor. When he mentioned that Luna will undergo an X-ray test for pneumonia, hubby and I both silently broke down. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. Like, up there with giving birth and losing Luna in a department store for five whole damn minutes.
We picked up the result ourselves from the X-ray room then handed it to the doctor in his office. The translator soon followed. There was a quick conversation between the two, then we were told that the result was negative. Apparently, it was just too much mucus. Doctor gave us a prescription for meds then signaled with the classic Brazilian thumbs-up sign.
Have you been in a similar situation? If you don't have kids, have you had any serious health issues while on the road? How did you confront it?
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