I am so appreciative of Argentina’s medical system right now. I have been sick seven different times during my five-month trip. Six of these times were stomach-related issues, and only one was severe enough to make me consider seeking medical attention (but I did not).
I also have developed a skill that I would like to undevelop—a knack for timing these illnesses with travel.
This sixth illness has been totally different. For three days, I have been fighting what I labeled a cold. Unfortunately, this did put a bit of a damper on the last two days of my dad’s visit as my energy and appetite diminshed.
I went to a pharmacy late Saturday and was told to see a doctor so I could get a prescription for antibiotics. But, I was smarter than that! At the advice of my fantastic nurse practitioner at home, I brought a bottle of Cipro with me to South America, so I started taking those. Also, I was nervous about figuing out where to find a doctor, how to navigate the system, etc, and happily avoided the uncomfortable situation by prescribing myself the medicine I already had (but missed an opportunity to work on original goal #1.)
The nature of my cold changed and I felt like I was improving slowly. However, on the third night, when the woman in whose guest room I am living came home at 1.30 am, I was noticeably worse. At her suggestion, we went to a clinic around the corner from the apartment.
As she noted, I had a 7.30 am flight but could not travel in my condition.
I had to pay $44 upfront to see the doctor. No argument from me. A mere 20 minutes later, I had been diagnosed as having a 38.3 F/100.9 C fever and a bacterial infection, informed Cipro is not the appropriate drug for treating it (no wonder I was not significantly better after three days), given a shot of the appropriate medicine, and handed a sufficient supply of free samples of the same medicine. The shot cost me about another $4.
The clinic reminded me of the urgent care centers and drugstore-based clinics that are proliferating in many parts the US. However, the fees here sure are better! I do not know if my insurance will reimburse the $48 (there’s probably a high deductible I have not met yet*), but even if not, it was money well spent!
And, just in case you were wondering, I am DONE being sick—every kind. I am tired of missing out on outings and meals because I am unable to leave the house. Enough already! Basta ya!
*For those of you who live in countries where the phrase “a high deductible I have not met yet” does not make sense, do not spend time trying to understand it. Just be thankful.