poo water’s revenge
my last post was a clever little piece where my stomache issues became a metaphor to describe my colombian relationship. while it may have seemed like just a bit of literary genius, my intestinal trauma is now a story of its own.
i only recently realized it had become a force to be reckoned with, and was likely having an effect on my energy level and general loveableness. i think i’ve been unusally obtuse, cranky, short tempered, and lethargic. slowly the joy of being here and my freedom has started to run away from me. after a brief respite and then once again essentially urinating food out of my asshole (i’m told world travelers discuss human waste quite a bit. in an effort to be worldly, i will as well.), i decided i had enough. i went to the clinic/hospital place; the fancy one.
this is the part where i weave a tale of my crazy experience in a developing country’s hospital. except it’s not very crazy; i’m just a brat. it begins now. in a very caribbean way, getting medical attention required walking back and forth all over the hospital getting directions from the customer service station like, “go that way until you get to that thing and then go right.” meanwhile, i’m wondering why i haven’t been tossed on a cot in some overcrowded room where i can moan and groan like a whiny gringa. i wanted inpatient nurses with serious attitude eye rolling my frailty as they poked and prodded, and demanded i give samples of some bodily fluid or other. i got none of this. instead, i searched for consentimiento wherever i could find it and lashed out when it didn’t come.
no one should have to pay for shit, especially when your shit is caused by a poor public sewer system, but all told i’ve paid about 100 or so greenbacks for drugs and services rendered. the first bill was for my consult with a really fucking smarmy doctor who was all sophomoric about colombian bacteria’s resistance to CIPRO and prescribed meds before running any tests. i saw this once before when my friend took his dog to the vet; they just prescribe based on symptoms, which actually reminds me of modern psychiatry. i’m kind of into it. the logic is i can then decide to pay for tests or just trust the doctor’s economical yet superficial assessment of my ailment. i like labs, results, charts, official diagnoses, and spending money. i’ll take the stool sample, please.
since i’m in a medical facility, in choosing a restroom to render a stool sample it didn’t occur to me to to check for two essential parts of basic hygiene: 1) toilet paper, and 2) soap. my bathroom had neither of these things. i’ll spare you the details. then, i walked around looking for a lab analysis place which once i found appeared locked and closed to my narrow euro vision; no one answered when i knocked and a giant sign said “cerrado.” i went back to servicio al cliente who told me i just had to knock really loudly, they were in the back. “i did that. there’s a sign that says closed. can you call them for me? is there a phone?” no. i’d like to say, dear reader, that at this point, my body has not retained any food or water for about two days. i was weak as a kitten, nauseated, and pissed. the folks at servicio al cliente bore the brunt of my assholery, but they were good sports all in all. the lab lady said it would be an hour for results, then a bunch of shit happened -including my first case of vomiting in i don’t know how many years. i slept on various couches in various waiting rooms, one which was inhabited by a young lady who had one of those painful and incessant dry coughs, that while i’m sure was frustrating and difficult for her, irritated the living crap out of me. if i wasn’t sure she was close to death, i would have killed her.
after my tests came back and i found a random doctor meandering about to read them to me, i made two new friends:
these are not my actual house guests, just representations. i acquired them… who knows when? it could have been my first day in santa marta as symptoms start occurring maybe 1 or 2 weeks after infection, if they show at all. street food. fish. ocean swims. river jaunts. fruit juice. ass play with prostitutes while frolicking in poo water. there is nothing i can do but wait these bitches out, i’m told. everybody still has suggestions for me, but my biggest battle is to CIPRO or not to CIPRO? i’m not allowed to eat street food anymore, i have to be super obnoxious when i eat out and ask about how things are cooked, and my wet dreams about fresh, raw vegetables are doomed to forever give me gastrointestinal blue balls. being a vegetarian from san francisco -where all digestive dreams come true- i don’t travel to eat, but this shit, figuratively and literally, makes me want to go home. almost…