Finally, a moment of calm

Trip Start Jan 16, 2007
Trip End Mar 01, 2007

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Flag of Cuba  ,
Thursday, January 18, 2007

Lucy's fever has subsided. Finally there is peace enough to write, although it may be short.

I never thought we'd need an alarm clock on this trip -- no early morning flights, no plans to do anything other than slow, easy drifts about the island of Cuba. But Lucy's odd, unidentified illness, which has seen her temperature spike to 40 degrees Celsius since arriving here yesterday, has its own demands. Our only hope of keeping her comfortable is to administer Tylenol every 4-5 hours -- and since we have no way of waking ourselves, this means we're maintaining all-night sessions.

I'm writing this in my notebook, knowing I won't put it up online until the situation has resolved itself. I don't want my or Julie's families in the same state of anxiety as us. But I get ahead of myself.

After all of us suffering through colds and flu for the first two weeks of the year, it seemed like with just two days to go before our trip, we had almost a clean bill of health. With only my partly stuffed sinuses lingering, we even ventured out into the snow for a walk on Saturday and ate dinner at my parents' Sunday. But Julie noticed Lucy seemed warm on Sunday night, and Monday morning she felt toasty.

Julie's foresight booking our first week with an English-speaking pediatrician, Julio Roque, paid off a few hours ago big time. Julio actually ended up arranging for us to stay at this larger place just down the street, but I called on him at 10pm tonight when Lucy's temperature hit 39.9 under her arm (that's about 104.5 F).

His more thorough examination confirmed all the findings of the other doctors to date:
- no abdominal pain, ruling out appendicitis
- no rash or discomfort with joints (meningitis)
- nice clear sounding lungs (no pneumonia)
- no significant vomiting
- no apparent pain anywhere other than complaints of temperature

He will check in again in the morning. He thinks things should stabilize with the antibiotics. If they haven't, we may be going to the hospital for x-rays. His biggest discover was that the child's Motrin we've been giving her to keep her fever down is inadequate for her. We
switched to Tylenol and 2 hours later it was down to 38.5, and it's now almost back to normal.

Cuba trickles into this haze of medication, too odd to serve as a mute backdrop: the elaborate rope and pulley system Julio uses to lower his front door key to any callers to his 2nd storey apartment; the crumbling but inhabited buildings around us, which at night echo with the staccato of domino games; the presence of song and voices, always.
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wmjohnstone on

green with... envy?
Finally a sunny day in Fairfield, but like you guys my health could be better -- anti-inflammatory for back pain, going thru tissues for a sneezy cold. Green around the gills.

Pen & I were in Cuba exactly six years ago, two glorious months in Havana, Artemisa (where the Puentes musicians live), Trinidad, Santiago, Sierra Maestra ($20/day by the shore, incl. food & beer).

I still write friends we made there. Email back if you'd like contact info, etc. (if you're anywhere there's email, you should be so lucky).

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