exploring, examining, exchanging, expressing
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
No, this is not a result of my night at the bars. At least, I don't think so.

Sunday morning I woke up with a huge ear. My right ear was swollen, like it was filled with fluid. It had been a little sore for a couple of days, but Sunday it just blew up like a puffer fish. Honestly, I wasn't worried. Something like this happened before, last year, and the swelling went down after 2 or 3 days. It just looks really bad.

Of course, Monday it was still big and red, so people noticed at school. My academic coordinator graciously offered to take me to the pharmacy and serve as my translator. Very motherly, no? Well, as we were walking down the street, I told her it was probably just an outer-ear infection - something like swimmer's ear. She said, "This happened to another teacher before you got here. It turned out that a spider pissed on his neck." I was sure she was kidding. She swore it was a common problem here. I considered leaving the country earlier than planned. But we continued on to the pharmacy.

Why were we going to the pharmacy instead of a doctor's office or hospital? You see, here in Costa Rica, the pharmacies have doctors on site. They can do quick examinations and offer prescriptions for simple issues like this. So, instead of waiting for an appointment and paying a huge fee for a doctor's visit, I simply had to get a quick once-over by the pharmacy's doctor and pay about $6 for three days' worth of antibiotics. Simple and inexpensive. It's a nice system.

My ear is already a bit better today.

Oh, and the doc said the infection was probably caused by a mosquito bite (there's one on the right side of my neck). He said they are filthy creatures and a common cause of infections. So it turned out to be mosquito shit, not spider piss. Such a relief.