Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Saturday Whine

The train left the tracks a couple of days ago and has now derailed.  Once again, I find myself sick in Paradise.  Desperately seeking a Z-Pak.   And yes, I know, antibiotics are over prescribed and often not necessary, but I have a little problem where the simplest cold often progresses to bronchitis and asthmatic wheezing.  So better safe than sorry.  I tried simple measures for the past four days and now I'm going for the big guns.

The first stop this morning was Chedraui where actually, a young girl who knew nada about nada (not a pharmacist) would have been perfectly willing to sell me a box that appeared to be the same drug after I found it on the shelf for her.  I was tempted to take it and run, but the dose was 500 mg and I decided I'd rather be certain since I'm a few years short of a pharmacy degree.  Next stop, Similares just a few blocks down the street.  The pharmacist there told me in Spanish that I'd need a prescription for the drug.  She directed me to the hospital in El Centro.  Ummmmm.  I didn't want to go there.

So we headed to El Centro wondering if Dr. Salas would be in his office on Hidalgo.  I then remembered a friend telling me that Similares in El Centro had a doctor upstairs who would write a script for antibiotics.  The doctor he'd mentioned speaks English and has a decent reputation, so I decided that would be an option.  At Similares, I walked up the staircase to a tiny waiting area outside a glass door and waited my turn in the germ incubator with a fan blowing directly on my face.  Wheeze wheeze!  After a 30 minute wait with three people sicker than me, I was motioned into the room.  The doctor was not who I thought it would be and didn't speak English.  Oh well, chalk it up to another strange new cultural experience.

Basically he listened to my chest, then wrote me the Mexican version of the Z-Pak after I mentioned my doctor always prescribed that drug for me since I develop asthma with almost every cold now.  I'm sure the only word he understood from my babbling was the name of the drug I wanted.  He went over lengthy instructions with me trying to write down the details in English.  One tablet a day for 3 days.  The list of instructions also included drinking no cold beverages and no ice.  Huh?  Those are the instructions I'm choosing to ignore.  The other cultural shock would be that this doctor actually takes the money himself.  He said 35 pesos and thinking 350 pesos, I gave him a 500 peso bill.  After quickly realizing my mistake, I gave him two 20 peso bills.  No insurance cards needed here! 

After shaking off the weird feeling from my rather dubious visit to El Doctor, we stopped for lunch at Jax.  I wondered if I should ask the waiter to warm my ice cold bottle of water in the microwave.  je je je   

Maybe I'll feel like taking a ride in the Chevy golf cart by tonight.  And just maybe I'll feel like spending my last day on the island tomorrow doing something fun!  At least the view from the sick room today is wonderful!  Better than my couch at home.

Here's a bit more charm from around the island.

Favorite house in El Centro.

Comex rose garden.

Peace Gallery in El Centro.

South end gate.

Carnival rides by the La Gloria church.

Dr. Simi on Juarez yesterday.  Too bad he wasn't handing out free Z-Paks!

Colonia door.

Love the way this dog lies on the sidewalk with her legs casually crossed.  Reminds me of Saby!


Brenda Maas said...

What is a Z pak? Just curious.

Sounds like a pretty normal Dr. visit to me and that he really tried to accommodate you by attempting to write the instructions in English.
Yes, the Drs. take the money themselves at Dr. Simi, or here they do anyway.
Unless you go to a Dr. who primarily treats English speaking tourists they probably will not speak much or any English, after all most of their patients don't need them to.
Hope you feel better soon.

Brenda Maas said...

Sorry, just 1 more question for you. Having never been to a Dr. in the USA, when you are waiting for your appointment do you not wait in a waiting room with everyone else that is waiting or do they work it differently there?
Thanks, I am always curious to hear how things work in other places.

Life's a Beach! said...

Brenda, just cultural differences. I didn't mean to offend by being humorous. Doctors in the U.S.never deal with money anymore. The mere question of how much something is going to cost puts a doctor in the U.S. into a tailspin with instructions to ask the person out front in the office about it because they want nothing to do with the money side of it. Same goes for most dentists in the U.S. Pharmacies and doctor's offices are normally separate in the U.S., although some large drugstore chains now have what are called Minute Clinics inside them where a nurse practitioner will diagnose you and write a prescription. Those waiting rooms are also tiny and I normally avoid those also because I figure I'm just trading one illness for another by sitting in the germ incubator waiting. I know that Dr. Salas speaks English, but we haven't been able to get our U.S. cellphones to connect here on the island, so I took the quick way. The doctor was certainly nice enough, and he made light of the fact that we couldn't understand each other.

A Z-pak is a large 3 to 5 day dosage of azithromyacin, which works very well to clear up sinus and bronchial infections quickly.

Once again, sorry if I offended you by making light of cultural differences. In the U.S., we often wait a day or two for a doctor's appointment when we're ill, and that's not a good thing! I'm glad there's a way to get an antibiotic quickly down here so I'll be able to return home on my scheduled flight in a few days.

Brenda Maas said...

Hi, thanks for your answers and sorry if I came across as being offended, didn't mean it that way. The printed word can be taken in so many ways in which it is not meant, so much easier to speak to someone in person lol.
I was just curious as I have never been in a Dr. office in the USA. In Canada we wait in the waiting room with everyone else waiting for their appts., often there are several Drs. in one office so you may have quite a few people waiting. I have always thought it was a good way to catch something else besides what you already have lol, so always avoided going to the Dr. until the last possible minute lol.
Drs. in Canada do not deal with money either; but then in the province that I lived we didn't have to pay to see the Dr. we just showed our health card number at the desk and the office billed the health care system.
Dentists in Canada don't take the money either lol, the person at the front desk does that, I am sure that the dentist would think you were nuts if you tried to give him the money lol.

Thanks for the info. on the Z pak. I have a lot of allergies and get sinusitis also, which also turns into bronchitis often, in fact I think I probably have it right now also. I will write down the name and maybe that will also work well for me. Many meds. don't work for me as they either don't work or make me sick to my stomach.
Thanks again for all the info..
Get well soon and I hope I didn't offend you with all my questions.

Life's a Beach! said...

Brenda, I think Z-pak's are a little hard on the stomach. Similares insisted that Acidolphilus be bought with it as a 'package'. If you get a prescription, take it to Chedraui. I think I just hit them at a bad time when they weren't staffed because there's usually a pharmacist there who knows exactly what I'm looking for and Chedraui doesn't try to upsell you a bunch of stuff with it. I think Similares almost uses the language gap with tourists as some kind of weird way to make you buy extra stuff. They also insisted I purchase two bottles of liquid with the prescription. It was bottled water and I just told them no. Earlier in the week, I went in to get some of an acid-reflux drug I take and they tried to sell me two other bottles of stuff with it for 150 pesos. I went out to Chedraui and got what I needed for 54 pesos. And you didn't offend. I was just worried I'd gone over the top and offended people on the island. Ha!

beentravelin said...

Sorry to hear you trip is coming to an end. It's always sad to lease Isla!

Brenda Maas said...

Ok the suggestion of Acidolphilus could be because some of the antibiotics also kill off all the good bacteria and that counteracts it, hopefully saving you from getting a yeast infection later. Good idea on their part to suggest that actually or in my mind anyway.
No Chedraui stores here; but I have pretty good luck at Simi. They always ask if you need vitamins or whatever is their daily/weekly special and unless it is something I want I just say no. The "bottled water" thing might have been the anti dehydration stuff they use, don't know for sure.
They may be trying to do a "tourist thing", hard to say, as I don't know what it is like there. I have enough Spanish now that I can usually manage to understand what they are saying.
As long as you want generic meds. Simi is usually the cheapest here.
Have a good trip home.

Anonymous said...

Afteг loοking over a hаnԁful of the
blog posts on your blog, I honestly likе уour
way of blοgging. I book-markeԁ it to my bookmark webpagе list аnd will
be chесκing back in the nеar futuгe.

Τaκе a look at my webѕite too and tell me
what уou thіnk.
Feel free to visit my homepage 1 month loan