exploring, examining, exchanging, expressing
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
My spider bite is still healing, but now I'm dealing with a new wound. Months ago, during my hike up to the waterfall in Montezuma, I smashed my big toe. It never quite healed correctly, leading to an ingrown toenail. I was going to wait and deal with it in the US, but while in Bocas, a couple of hospital employees noticed it and said, "I hope you'll visit a doctor for that. We've seen people lose their toes because of it." I decided not to wait.

On a friend's recommendation, I went to CEDCAS Clinica to see Dr. Carla Mastroeni. Thankfully, my roommate agreed to tag along and translate. Medical visits are one time that you really don't want miscommunication.

The entire experience was quite different from doctor appointments I've had in the US. First, the doctor saw me before my scheduled appointment time. I didn't have to spend hours in a waiting room. Also, I paid upfront, and the cost was staggering: $30 for the whole thing. Seriously, why is medical care in the US so messed up?

There was a little confusion at the beginning. When the nurse started the routine exam, she asked my roommate something about my blood pressure. My roomie thought she was asking if she could take my BP, so she said yes. Later, we figured out she was asking if I had a history of high BP. That led to a few minutes of the nurse showing concern that I wasn't on meds and such. We worked it out, though.

It was time to get to the business at hand... err... foot. I showed the good Doc my foot, and she commented that it was "Muy bonito." She actually tried her best to make me comfortable. She did a good job, for the most part. But the toenail was ingrown and had to go. I knew this was coming. I laid down and they injected me to numb the toe. Pain. Weird feelings. And eventually pressure, but no pain. It was kind of like having a tooth drilled at the dentist. I could hear the sounds. I knew what they were doing. I couldn't really feel it, but I knew I didn't like it.

When it was done, she showed me the toenail. Ick. Then she asked if I wanted to look at my toe before they bandaged it. Stupidly, I looked. Eww. Then I got my prescriptions (antibiotics and anti-inflammatories) and instructions (clean it 3 times a day, wear sandals when possible). And I was done.

Now I just have to follow the doctor's orders, wait for it to heal, and try not to look down.


Blogger misterorange said...
Bro, believe me I've been there. I got a toenail removed when I was 16 and after the mini-operation I went into shock. I had no idea why all of sudden I couldn't stop shaking and crying.


That said, I'm glad you're all bandaged up. As for the cost of healthcare...ugh. I hope and wish that we may one day get socialized medicine. One can only vote. (heh)