Part 2 ITA Unexpected hospital visit in a foreign country

by Glenda

Well where I start. I returned to the doctor after having blood tests done etc to find out that I had mild Typhoid and various other things. I was a little shocked as I don't eat out much and I don't buy lettuce. I was then told it could come from various places. No washing your vegetables or not washing your hands regularly or eating vegetables from a restaurant that haven't washed their food first. There is a string of ideas and you just don't know where it came from as it can be in your body for a while unnoticed.

So after talking with the doctor he said to come back at 5.30 pm and I am sure he said it would only take an hour and then do the same for the next two days. So I had arranged to come back at 5.30 pm for one hour and then had arranged to meet up with several people and had many other things happening in the coming days which I ended up canceling as I ended up in hospital for nearly 2 days to my surprise!

Now first you need to remember I have the language barrier. I have enough to get me by but when it comes to doctors etc I didn't understand everything! So they kept asking me did I bring my PJ'S and I said why?? I am only here for one hour and I also saw a friend who said he had it done and he stayed overnight so by this time I am getting a little nervous and I felt alone as I had no one with me.

Also, because of the language barrier they did not understand me either so they were not answering my questions as if I had known before hand I was staying overnight I would have had things more organized but that wasn't meant to be.

They told me to get into bed and when I saw the LARGE intervenes drip I was panicking more as I could tell I was going to be here for hours and so once again I asked, 'How long does that take to go inside my body?' And the nurse replied 48 hrs.

So by this time I am stressing more as I hadn't told my neighbors that I wasn't coming home and they would start worrying where I was and am I ok? All I had was my days clothes and I was limited on whom I could call to pass the news around. So thankfully my a friend helped me with many calls etc as no one was answering my text messages from my mobile phone and as it's a new phone I only had limited numbers in it to call people. The most important was my bible study group and my boss, whom never came to visit.

I was expecting 1 or 2 visitors and I discovered that I was the only one in this clinic overnight so every 30 minutes I had a nurse come in and check my drip etc or take my temperature. I never got any sleep the first night as my left arm was attached to this drip so I had to carry this stand around when I needed the bathroom etc, So the next morning I was feeling a little lonely and feeling that I had no friends to visit me and wandered how I was going to survive till Wednesday.

Thankfully in one way a girl from a seven day Adventist church came in my room with the same illness as me but one frustrating part was that she had visitors every hour and every minute on the phone so I found that a little difficult so by lunch time I rang my friend again to see if she could find a phone number to call my neighbors as normally I could call them to say hay can you bring some change of clothes over etc. Thankfully, phoebe sent from her home some PJ'S and a book over via taxi for me so I could feel a little decent for the public. (She was my God send) she couldn't visit but at least she sent the taxi for the delivery.

My boss finally rang to say he had received a call from phoebe and asked why I was in the clinic, which I explained, but after chatting to him today after the event he told me he didn't understand why I was in the clinic and he thought I was just at home with a drip.

I finally got a visitor from my neighbor as they were going to call the police and look for me as they were panicking where I was.

So ending up in hospital in a foreign country all unplanned causes many problems as everybody life was going on normal unaware where I was and what was happening to me.

I was thankful to be home safe and sound and took the required medications for the next week plus the weeks' worth of injections. (This explained my weight loss 5 kilos less then when I was in Australia.

While in Cochabamba for 2 years I got involved into the local community with a wonderful women's group and various church groups.

I developed strong friendships with many Bolivian ladies and I still in contact with many of them 3 years later.

My church in Australia always commented on how well my Spanish was and I said it was all thanks to my language school and my Bolivian family whom I lived with for 7 months and also my work as all in Spanish and not much English. That was the advantage of being single on the mission field as you could focus on your language learning and just get out there compared to others that were either home with children or living on an English speaking compound.

A few extra things that happened in my first year there were;

1. Stolen passport and delayed in Chile for 5 days
2. Blocked credit card in machine and then $800 us stolen
3. Waited 10 months for 1 year visa
4. Cancelled cruise in Australia for my 40th birthday as I was awaiting adoption news.
5. Paid for 2 year visa for adoption (but no child any more)
6. Lost card in machine but this time ok just waited till Christmas for my new card. So thanks to another Australian in Cochabamba

Journey of Bolivia 2008- 2009 to come later on.

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