The experience of Brazilian A&E! Days 415-416
Having travelled for over a year I haven't been ill once. But, of course, I do occasionally like a bit of a drama so have now had the experience of Brazilian A & E!
We woke up to the sound of the sea, waves gently surfing onto the golden beach. Our first day in Black Point Beach Club was spent relaxing, chatting, playing cards, swimming in the pool, walking along the beach for some fish and salad, more chatting, more playing cards, more relaxing. I did also do quite a bit of research for our 47 days in Argentina and Chile and got advice from Laura and George from their two weeks trek. A big picture idea of where we may visit. I never realised that Argentina is the 8th largest country in the world. It did not surprise me that Brazil is the 5th largest. And, just for a bit of interesting info, Kazakhstan is the 9th largest; who’d have thought?
On Day 416, we knocked on George and Laura’s door for breakfast to find out that Laura has been unwell first thing in the morning. Oh no! She did join us by the pool later that day, and we carried on chillaxing similar to yesterday. Tim and George found a chessboard and have a few games together. I also started to feel unwell. Oh dear, was it something we ate? Laura thought it was water that we drank from the dodgy Airbnb we stayed in for one night. I felt more feverish that sick, so I went to lie down in our room, and stayed there for the rest of the day.
Eventually, Tim came up, ready for bed and then that’s when the fun started. No that type of fun. I remember going to the toilet and then sitting on the edge of the bed feeling a bit sick. The next thing I remember is finding Tim screaming at me “Lindsey, Lindsey” with panic in his voice.
Apparently, I must have vomited so violently that it blocked my nose and Eustachian tubes (yes, I did Biology O-level), then for some bizarre reason, locked my jaw, stopped breathing and collapsed. I’m not sure of the order as I don’t remember a thing. Tim quickly put me in the recovery position, tried to open my mouth, but it was his yelling that jolted me out of my unconsciousness.
Just as I am writing this, Tim interrupts me to show me a video on BBC news about Schadenfreude Why do we feel joy at another person’s pain. Haha – rather apt!
Anyhow, back to my story. I was all a daze, didn’t know what had happened, didn’t remember throwing up…a blank in time. This made me think about my dear Mum who must have lived like that for years, in and out of lucidity.
The worst thing for me was that I couldn’t get the gunk out of my nose. It was revolting. I think Tim had it far worse, seeing me totally out of it, unable to breathe, even if it was just for a short while. It was a good job he was with me, mind you.
By this time, George and Laura came rushing in to see what all the commotion was. When they found out, they quickly got into action, helped clear the mess up and packed a bag for me as Tim insisted that I went to A & E. They really are the most caring couple. A trait that George has had since the day he was born. Even when he was a wee boy, he would be so kind and caring for babies, to his friends, to everyone. A beautiful, gentle soul who I adore.
I digress again. It was gone midnight by now, yet Ricardo from the Hotel very kindly took Tim and me to the hospital, and we got there in 15 minutes for the 20-minute drive! What a star he was, translating for us to the doctors. I really didn’t want to go, the thought of sitting for hours on end in A & E when all I wanted to do was sleep was not appealing, but I was too in shock to insist.
After Ricardo informed the receptionist of my condition and she completed a form, we immediately got ushered in to see a doctor who took my blood pressure; low as normal. Down a corridor and waited 5 minutes to see another doctor. Wow, I was amazed at the speed of service and did wonder if I was being fast-tracked as a private paying patient. After a while, I realised that no, no charge, this was the level of service of the Sistema Único de Saúde (Unified Health System) here in Brazil, a constitutional right and free for everyone, even foreign visitors.
The Doctor was lovely and thought I probably had a virus. She advised me to drink plenty of bottled water and to wear plenty of mosquito repellent, then instructed me to have a saline drip, and my blood tested. In another room, the three of us carefully made our way through, over someone being sick in a bin, and another man sliding off his seat with the shakes. The nurse, again immediately came, drip in, blood out and within 90 minutes, tests arrived all ok, and we could go back home. I was obviously feeling a bit better as I suggested that Tim took a photo of me. Hey – it’s all for this blog you know, I hope you appreciate that!
So my record of not being ill on our travels (mossie bites don’t count) has now broken. Damn. Let’s hope it is not for at least another 832 days and not so dramatic next time.