Tuesday, June 08, 2010

I'm not a prophet, but...

...I told everybody at the beginning of the internship that at some point during the next 7 weeks they just might experience some digestive discomfort (euphemism). Otherwise known as Montezuma's Revenge or Dia-poo-poo. That curious sensation of having quite a bit of gas but not sure if...oh, never mind.

Well, Micah had a visit from the Aztec's last king in a big way yesterday. It hits everyone differently. Micah's first hint of the coming fury happened over lunch yesterday when he passed out while eating his milanesa. Really. His head went down into his food. The rest of the group thought he was joking, but he wasn't. By the time I got there, and half a Coke later, he seemed fine. Just a dip in blood pressure. Heat sickness. Too much exercise. Too much sun.

But his conditional deteriorated into some serious vomiting by mid-afternoon. By evening he was seriously weak, unable to keep even his swallows of Gatorade down, but he wanted to give it time, to see if he started to feel better on his own. Didn't happen. Time for a doctor's appointment.

By around 9 p.m., Micah was too weak to get in the car. Really. I was reminded of my second cousin Dan, who said that he hadn't missed a day of work for sickness in 5 years, but when he ate a bad taco, was unable to walk down the stairs, he was so weak. It happens.

So we called a doc who actually came to our house. With a nurse. He poked Micah, gave him a shot to stop the vomiting, poked him again, gave him another shot to...not sure what...and told us that we needed additional tests to make sure we weren't dealing with appendicitis. At this point I began investigating Micah's overseas health insurance that each intern got as part of the program, and printed out 32 pages of it, including a rather vague section on pre-verifying medical procedures. I called a person in the U.S. who was supposed to give me info on the insurance coverage, who was downright nasty...but I digress.

So Micah needed some x-rays and some blood work done. In Mexico, these sorts of tests are not done in the hospital but in a separate laboratory. The nearest one that was still open at 10 p.m. was about 30 minutes away. So Micah and his bucket slowly and painfully got into our little red car, and off we went. By 11:30 p.m. tests were taken, blood sample given, and we were told we could wait till 1 a.m. for the results of the blood work, or come back. I looked at Micah and decided that 90 minutes in a metal chair would probably do him in, and decided to take him back home. After Micah was settled in again in our comfortable overstuffed sofa, I went back out and bought him the medicine the doctor had prescribed, then returned around 12:30 a.m. to the lab, arriving at 1:05 a.m. When I got back home at 1:35 a.m., I called a very sleepy doctor, and read the results of the blood test over the phone.

During most of the night, I was becoming more and more convinced that Micah just might need to have his appendix removed. Fortunately, the blood test proved otherwise. Medicine would do the trick. Today, Micah feels much better, although still rather weak, and probably a good 5 lbs. lighter. Thanks for all of you who prayed!

Total cost: Home doctor visit w/ nurse and two shots--$56
Two full thorax x-rays and a complete blood test--$74
Medicine, including antibiotic and anti-inflammatory-$62
Not having to have surgery in an unknown hospital--priceless!

1 comment:

Dan said...

Thanks for the shout out!