I started coughing in the airport.  Just a dry, raspy tickle that wouldn’t go away.  As the week progressed I coughed more and more, until I sounded like a 60-year-old chain smoker drinking gin and prognosticating the world’s downfall.  Not sexy, let me tell you! I brought all the emergency supplies I could when I came- mucinex, Vicks, tylenol, tea. But it clearly wasn’t enough.  By Saturday evening I was feverish and shivering. I spent all day Sunday in bed, drinking tea, eating soup, and coughing.  Eww.

Clearly, I called in sick today.  Fever.  Alternating sweat and chills.  Headache and sore back from coughing.  I gave up.  Pepita tapped on my door around 8:30 to check on me, worried and mother-henish.  She told me to never walk barefoot and stay covered up, and offered to make me breakfast.  Frankly the thought of eggs and beans made me nauseated.  All I have wanted for days is tea.  I thanked her but declined, made myself some tea, and went to the doctor.

Easy. All you have to do to find a farmacia here is pick a direction and walk.  One will appear on a corner within a few blocks.  Every single one of them has a state-funded clinic with a doctor right next door.  No appointment needed, just wait your turn.

The doctor was kind and (thankfully) my Spanish is sufficient to say I have a cough (tos), a fever, and chest congestion.  He listened and tapped and made me say “ahhh”, then wrote a lengthy prescription (I have a respiratory infection).  Antibiotics, cough syrup, cough drops, and a package of needles.  He was patient to explain what each thing was (’cause forget me even reading his handwriting, much less deciphering the unfamiliar Spanish terms) and then sent me to the pharmacy. 156pesos later (about $15) I had a bag full of meds and was standing back at the doctor’s door.  Evidently, antibiotics in Mexico come in injectable form only (either that or he just really wanted to stick me with a needle).

As I watched him open the package of antibiotic I realized it had 6 little vials and so I asked, “What do I do with the rest?”

“Regresas aqui por 5 dias,” he said.

Oh…

I get a shot a day for the rest of the week, at the doctor’s clinic.  Fun!  (not)

I must say, he has the lightest touch ever.  I barely felt the needle and I was on my way back home in less than 2 minutes.  In my room I was greeted by a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice left for me by Pepita (or, more likely, the girl who cleans the house).  Now I’m going to make soup and go back to bed.  I really do need to be at work tomorrow.

Strange vials of antibiotics, needles, meds, and fresh-squeezed OJ.  I’ll be all better soon!

 

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