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Eye infection

Written on: Wednesday January 23rd, 2008

A journal entry from: Kevin and Julie's RTW

Location: Santiago, Chile

Author: Julie


This morning, Kevin?s eye infection is becoming noticeably worse. We thought it was just a simple infection caused by his contact lenses so he threw out his old contact lenses and case the day before but his cornea was now swollen and red. In a couple of weeks we would be heading to Patagonia and we wanted to make sure that it wasn?t too serious so we decided to see an optometrist.

After eating at Burger King, we stopped at an ice cream shop across the street. We ordered a scoop but the person after us ordered the largest sundae we had ever seen. In a huge wine glass shaped container, the employee first added a massive amount of whipped cream, then added three scoops of ice cream, a couple of bananas, more whipped cream and topped it with one more scoop of ice cream, and the cup was still only half full. I don?t know of anyone who could have eaten all of that but it would have been fun to try.

Finally, we walked over to the eye glass store section off of Miraflores street. We had passed the area the day before on our way back to our hostel. We walked by shop after shop looking for one advertising a doctor in its office but we couldn?t find any. We finally had a bit of luck when we were approached by a woman giving out discount pamphlets to a nearby store. We asked if she knew of an eye doctor and showed her Kevin?s eye. She said to follow her so we did. She brought us to her store and picked up the phone, made a phone a call, asked us if we could see him now. She had made an appointment with at doctor for us. She then walked us the 4 and half blocks, up 6 floors and into the doctor?s office. She even offered to wait for us at the office to make sure everything was okay. We told her we would be fine from this point on but she insisted that we stop on the way back to let her know what the outcome was. She was so nice and we were incredibly lucky to have met her.

The doctor who treated Kevin was really nice and offered to do the examination in French, English, Spanish, or Arabic. He was originally from Lebanon but had done his studies in Cuba and worked in the United States to finally settle in Santiago. He is now a teacher at the Universidad de Chile and has his working practice. He took one look at Kevin?s eye and decided to check closer under his microscope. He was finally diagnosed with acute Conjunctivitis (pink eye) which had spread to not only his cornea but on the reverse side of his eye lid where there were small spots of blood.  He invited me to take a look through the microscope. He wasn?t sure how Kevin had contacted it but it was very contagious and we had to be careful for the next five days. He gave Kevin medicated eye drops that had to be administered every 2 hours for the next 24 hours and then every 4 hours for the remaining 4 days. We had to return the next day so he could see the progress that had been made. If we hadn?t been travelling he would have had us stay in Santiago for two weeks till the infection was completely gone.

In the evening, we met up with Mark and Maxine for drinks at our usual spot. We were really hungry but we wanted to try somewhere different so we wandered the neighbourhood trying to find anything good. Eventually we were too hungry to keep looking so we returned to the pasta restaurant we had eaten at a few days earlier. It was a late night for everyone as they were leaving on the morning bus to Mendoza while we hoped to catch a train later that afternoon to the town of Chillan.