I’m happy to report that I am home snug as a bug in my own sweet bed and it never felt better.
What was planned as our get-away to paradise for a “rest” vacation turned out nothing even close…Let the drama begin.
We arrived, as per my previous blog, to our favorite vacation spot at Cayo Levantado – Samana – Dominican Republic after the minor “mid air exposion” of my sharpie pen, leaving me with hands of indellible ink. And to look back and think I should fret about such a minor incident, which completely ruined my salon manicure….(as Kimmy would say…”Sorry about your first world problem, Auntie Robin). That was Saturday.
SUNDAY – great day at the beach all day. In the ocean – reading on the beach, wonderful meals and topping it off with a cigar on the balcony with a great glass (or two) of vino. Who could ask for anything more!?
Lea, here is your pool…as you can see, it’s still empty and waiting for you!
MONDAY – wee hours of the morning I was awaken by pain everywhere..in my teeth, my face, my head and a cough from hell. Really? Seriously? And it started to RAIN. Oh ya…and it gets worse. We feel the salt air from the ocean will make me feel better, so Mikey parks us under a palapa to keep dry as the torrential rains intermittently pass through. I felt like pooh.
TUESDAY – Just when I think I can’t feel any worse, well, I feel worse..I think my head is going to explode; each breath is work. We have dinner planned for our favorite a la carte restaurant, Don Pablo’s….We have to leave before desert (I know, right?).
From what I could actaully taste, this asparagus, pumkin (yes, Mikey ate PUMPKIN!) soup was yummy!
WEDNESDAY – It’s not letting up – the cold or the RAIN! We were told there was a system coming from the states (we’ll blame that on Trump) that was suppose to pass through, but decided to stay. Now Steve, before you get all – “I told you it was the rainy season”…we have been to the Dominican at this time of year many, many times. Never rained like this before! Not that it stopped anyone from doing what they pleased. It wasn’t a constant rain – but when it did rain…it poured, as the saying goes. Cancelled our dinner reservation to the new Rodicio restaurant.
THURSDAY – I’ve had enough. I know now that the cold is not going to run its course on its own. I had not slept well since Sunday..actually not really at all with the constant coughing. I make the dreaded call to the island doctor. Now when our West Jet Tour guy insisted we meet to discuss all the do’s and don’t on the island (and of course, to try and sell you the excursions) the one thing he did say was “Don’t go to the doctor without calling me first. Last person that went to the doctor paid over $2500 dollars for an ear infection”. Bad right? Don’t call the Dr., right? Call Herman, right? Mikey calls him – no answer. No answering machine. This guy was as useless as a grave robber in a crematorium and a personality of a brick. So we call the big bad Dr. and she was able to see me right away. Dr. A. Figuereo-Garcia is a young, bright and sweet physician practising her trade for the past 5 years. I immediately trust her. She had that way. However, after my examination, she is concerned about my blood pressure; “So Robin, you haven’t taken your blood pressure medication today?”…”Oh yes, I did take it about an hour ago.” Fast forward to an awaiting boat to the island then greeted by Johnny, the parametic. My ride is a blue and white ambulance. Apparently a resperatory infection and high blood pressure in an “older” person is quite dangerous…so this is where the adventure begins…
Did I mention this was the one and only real beautiful, rain free days? Check out the sky!
With lights flashing at 125kms in a 40kms zone; dodging dogs, kids and bazillions of motorcycles with Mikey in the front seat of the “bambulance” trying not to allow his terrified screams to escape him. Now I must interject – I wasn’t dying here, but Mario Andretti apparently had team orders.
We arrived at Las Terrenas at the private clinic and a medical team was waiting..
Before I go further, I want to say that at no time did I feel that my health was compromised. The team of doctors and nurses treated me with empathy, respect and kindness….all in SPANISH. Not a word of English. Funny isn’t it, when someone doesn’t understand what you say..you say it S-L-O-W-E-R and louder…still sounds the same to me…Spanish! There was an interpretur there…who could speak a bit of broken English.
After the initial examination and sounds of ewwwwww and oooohhhh when I coughed, I was sent for an x-ray and hooked up to IV to input stuff to make me feel better..YES!
We thought this would be a great blog shot for effect! Sent it to the children at home to get their attention…let’s just say they didn’t think it was a funny as we did. I am still the guilt master…
At this point, all I wanted to do is breath and SLEEP! So, just before they released us, they shot something wonderful into that IV of theirs…and I was pretty much in la, la land. Even sitting in the little house where they gave us 5 different medications and the $1800 U.S. Hospital bill, didn’t phase me. Wonderful Johnny & Estephan waited the approximately 4 hours for us to be released from the clinic to take us back to…paradise.
Then this happened about a half an hour into our return trip….
A truck carrying sugar cane rolled over and blocked the road. It was a free for all! People running to grab the 50 pound bags of sugar cane over their shoulders onto their motorcycles…some even had two bags! (pictures compliments of Johnny!)
After our caring paramedics checked out the scene to make sure there was nobody in need of medical attention, we turned around, backtracked and took a different route back home. Me…I didn’t care…still in la, la land..except when I coughed..which was often. I ran out of water so Johnny instructs Estephan to stop the ambulance and he runs and buys me more water. I love this guy! Johnny looks to be in mid twenties, and does his job very well. I find out that he is also part of the Red Cross and helped during the hurricane crisis. Johnny tells me they work 24 hours a day for 20 straight days, then 10 days off. Our 45 minute trip home has now taken us through the coast. The parademedics then turn into tour guides, as you can tell they are so very proud of their country. I’m pretty much out of it, so they ask Mikey if he would like to stop and take pictures of some of the amazing sites…. Our 45 minute ride turned into over 2 hours due to the detour!
Our tour guides – slash Paramedics. Two amazing men – BRAVO and thank you to you both!
FRIDAY – Did I mention the rain? It did stop here and there…
I was starting to feel a little bit human. Mikey talked me into going for breakfast….
We were able to keep our reservation ‘do over’ at Don Pablos that evening and so glad we did. We had an amazing feast..most I’d eaten in days…which leads into our final …adventure…
Sill looking a little under the weather..
Although I had to sleep sitting up, I did sleep most of the night. YAY..it’s time to go home!!!! I can’t wait to get home, even though I’m going to be THAT person on the plane; the hacking, snot nosed, sneezing person.. Then it happens….The explosive diarrhea….I can only pray that the 45 minute bus ride to the airport, without an on board toilet is not going to go sideways…Holy shit…literally and figuratively, I need to catch a break…
I have white pants on.
P.S. I wasn’t the only snot nose, sneezing, hacking person on the plane….I gave it to MIKEY….
Let me leave you with this…although our vacation was nothing like we’d planned, I take away a different understanding of this third world country. Where the medical staff use an iphone’s flashlight to look down your throat and the only time they use gloves is for a turniquette, this country houses the most kind, real people I’ve met in the world. Hats off to you …. and thank you.
Life is Good……