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9262kms: Oaxaca City and a visit to the Hospital

Written on: Friday April 25th, 2008

A journal entry from: North America in our Camper Van!


We left the coast and headed inland and upwards, to Oaxaca City. The road from Puerto Angel (Zipolite) to Oaxaca was only 180 kilometres, but with the 1550 metre elevation gain along the windiest road through many small villages and over many topes, it took us well over 6 hours. The scenery however, was fantastic. Our primary reason for heading to Oaxaca was to visit the famous Monte Alban Ruins, and to drop my brother off at the airport.

However, about a week ago I discovered a ?variation? in my daily routine, and for those of you who know me, my favourite routine, that is. After contacting our travel insurance we decided to go to a private clinic in Oaxaca to see a doctor. The doctor, who spoke no English and used really big Spanish words, tried to understand what was wrong with me and Michelle desperately tried every combination of her limited verb vocabulary to talk about my plumbing problem. Finally I knew that he understood when he asked if was gay. ?No no no no, just having some issues down there.? Two minutes later my pants where down and he was utilizing his point dexter in ways I don?t want to describe, needless to say it was a little uncomfortable. He then indicated that he wanted to take an ?excremento? sample and requested that I head upstairs to room #9, where they had some hospital beds.

We were a little confused when they brought out a hospital gown (since when do you have to wear a hospital gown to give samples?). I was given a bed pan, a small plastic jar and some crazy fast Spanish instructions. While my Spanish comprehension is getting better by the day I had no idea how to get the sample into the small amount of containment that I was given, so I turned to Michelle, ?Did you understand??.


?Okay, I will just improvise, what I do best!?

For some reason I figured that little plastic jar was for number 2 (although it was very small) and I would have to transfer the number 2 sample from the bed pan into the jar. Not wanting to contaminate by bed pan I found a convenient plastic bucket on the floor which was about the same quality as most Mexican toilets, deposited number one and set it aside. Next I worked double time to get a sample of number 2 into the bed pan while Michelle went and fetched some toilet paper from the van as they had left us none and there was none in the bathroom. When Michelle returned, I was scratching my head about how to complete the transfer. Finally we decided to leave the little jar empty and let them deal with it. When the two nurses returned they saw a road apple in a stainless pan and empty plastic jar and looked very confused. They asked Michelle and I something which we had to get them to repeat several times before understanding? they were looking for the urine sample! A wave of confidence rolled over me as I thought: ?I anticipated their next move!?, and I proudly handed the nurse the bucket from beside the bed. We didn?t understand why but they started giggling amongst themselves. Next one nurse took the urine bucket and poured it into the small plastic jar. Michelle leaned over, ?Rob, good thing we didn?t put the poo in there!?. When the other nurse returned with the ?urine? bucket, this time with a garbage bag in it, we clued in. I had pissed in the garbage can and almost shit in the urine sample container. Michelle laughed so hard that the next room over started knocking on the wall requesting us to quiet down. Next they came looking for a blood sample, good thing I didn?t have to do that one myself!

After I finished providing the samples of all of my bodily fluids except snot, saliva, and sweat the nurse returned this time with an IV bag and tower. Michelle and I were now really confused as we thought that this was only going to be a ?check up? and some tests. Thankfully, at that moment the doctor showed up with his son, who was about 20 years old. His son, Paco, spoke English and could translate for us. The doctor explained (and Paco translated) that the lab results would be back in four hours. In the meantime, he wanted to have Rob on IV and prepared in case the results of the lab test indicated that they should perform further ?examination?.

This whole time, Chris was hanging out outside and waiting around. Now that we were only going to be waiting for the results, we all agreed that it made no sense for Michelle and Chris to hang out at the hospital, especially since it was his last full day in Mexico. They decided to take a taxi downtown to hit the craft market and check out some of the city sights.

About four hours later the lab results came back and Michelle and Chris returned from their day in the city. Based on the lab results, the doctor gave me a prescription and indicated that he didn?t think it necessary to complete further tests at this time, but he would like for us to get lab tests done again in a week?s time. The nurse came and removed my IV, and after paying the hospital bill, I was allowed to leave. Michelle and I agreed that we didn?t mind having an excuse to take it easy in the Oaxaca region for a week.


From Thea Avis on May 14th, 2008

Your sense of humour to describe the tests required should be sent to Reader's Digest. You might be paid $25 - priceless (well $25 worth anyway)