A Visit to Clinica La Fortuna

Part II

I promise I did finish this story two days ago, but somehow the ending didn´t save and I was so tired and annoyed that I just split the story in two. Sorry; bad idea to leave you hanging like that. Where did I leave off. Ah, yes- clutching my leaking ear, which is still leaking by the way.

In the middle of the night all Jon and I could think about was how we didn´t want to drive to a strange town and hospital down an unknown dirt road.  Jon suggested we go back to our lodge and sleep a few hours until the clinic was open. I didn´t disagree. I´m not sure how I slept since my ear was causing me agonizing pain, but I must have been tired enough to catch a few winks, because the time flew by quickly. We set our alarm and when the ringer went off we grabbed a box of tissues and our hospital bag and set back out on the road.

We arrived at the clinic at 7:08 in the morning, and it was teeming with people.   Those in the clinic took one look at my bleeding ear and immediately showed me to the door that said “Emergency” on it.   At the time I was worried about losing my hearing permanently but really stopping the pain was first on my list.   Since we were foreigners and had no idea how the clinic worked we were very thankful to the residents of La Fortuna who told us which of the lines of people to stand in and when. After the visit with the emergency doctor he proclaimed that the only thing he could do was give me some pain-killers and clean out my ear. To do so we had to stand in no less than five lines.   There was the line to be admitted to the hospital, the line to pay, the line to see some woman who sent us away, the line to get my blood pressure taken, and finally, the line to get my ear cleaned up in. By the time we stood in the last line I had almost passed out from the pain. Two doctors cleaned out the ear with Q tips and told me not to get it wet and to shower with Q tips and Vasoline in my ears, to keep the ear dry. They told me in Spanish that if I had facial paralysis I should go to the hospital. Um, yes… And also not to go towards a wall. The youngest doctor with adult braces gave me a handwritten prescription on a torn piece of paper that told me I needed antibiotic ear drops three times a day and a pill. We waited in yet another line for forty five minutes, in order to receive…. Wait for it…. A magical Ibuprofen pill!

“We just waited in line for close to an hour for Ibuprofen?” I asked.

“Yes,” replied Jon drowsily.

I could not WAIT to get the ear drops in my ear and get some relief from the pain. Luckily the combo of the ear drops, a decongestant, and the Ibuprofen has sufficiently numbed the ear. I´ve been taking that combo for a few days now and the ear, for the most part, feels better. Since the injury doesn´t directly have to do with cancer, my What´s App messages to Dr. M haven´t been too fruitful. Whatever the local doctor says to do, he agrees with. My ear still leaks heavily though, although more puss and goo than blood … Jon and I have decided to see the resort doctor when we arrive later this afternoon, but at least I haven´t been in pain. In fact, I still haven´t let my ear ruin my vacation, although I have basically run out of my pills and need my sister to relieve me today at the resort where she and her fiancé arrived last night. Hopefully the doctor will tell me to keep doing what I´m doing and hope for the best, but you never know. You guys should see me… short hair, steroid neck, swimsuit, and tissues in hand to wipe up nasal drip or ear goo leak. I´m quite the sight… Perfect to be photographed with my family as the maid of honor in my sister´s wedding.  Ill let you know what the doctor says.




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