True test of living on a small island

Trip Start Jan 09, 2013
Trip End Jan 22, 2013

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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Today I decided to finally seek a doctor's care. The days of being tired and lethargic have been dragging on too long, and yesterday my throat started hurting. When I woke up this morning, I had lost my voice and swallowing had become painful.

But what started as a quick "stop" at a clinic this morning became a frustrating and exhausting 3-hour search for a doctor!! At the first clinic, the doors were shut closed and it didn't appear to be open. At a second clinic, I was told that the doctor was assigned to a hospital today. I really wanted to avoid going to the hospital because I knew from Alex's visit that the cost would be expensive. Since those were the only 2 clinics I had seen around the neighborhood, I went home and asked my host family for advice.
Brunit told me he would take me to a doctor on the other side of the island (15-min bike ride). That was so nice. I hopped on the bike with him and Jo followed us, so she can take me home later.

When we got there at clinic #3, the gate was closed! UGH. I just wanted to see a doctor already!!
Nobody was there.
Brunit knew one more clinic, so we took another ride in search of a doctor. Unfortunately, the doctor was not in today. He was on the mainland of Bali.
Feeling weak and defeated, I just wanted to cry. Jo was doing her best to keep my spirits up and keep me going.
We got back on the bike, and started heading back when we noticed a sign on the clinic #3 that said the hours are from 2:30 - 8pm. It was 1:30pm. Jo and I decided to grab lunch somewhere and kill time until 2:30pm.
I thanked Brunit and sent him home.

At 2:30 we returned to the clinic. Still no sign of anybody. We waited 10 minutes and gave up.
Jo decided to swing by clinic #2 again to see if the doctor had returned from the hospital and ...FINALLY!! He was back and I was able see a doctor!

Please remember that I'm on a remote island in SE Asia. The "clinic" consisted of a wooden desk and 2 plastic stools. His pens stood inside an empty milk carton :). The "bed" for him to examine me on consisted of a plastic tarp over some table. He checked my blood pressure, my breathing and my temperature.
Everything was all good.
He suspected that I have caught some virus and have infection in upper body. Gave me some antibiotics and sent me home with an order to stay rested for another 5 days!! Ugh.

But today offered an important lesson - that life on an island is not always paradise and tropics. Crisis sucks on an island.
In our country we have so many medical facilities, treatments, and even over-the-counter drugs to care for our illnesses. I can't even buy vitamins here without seeing a doctor. The resources are scarce.
Today made me think about the conveniences I take for granted and don't even realize it until its no longer available. It's one thing to go without pizza or sushi and give up indulgences. Having no access to medical care when needed is...well a bit disturbing.
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Oli on

Sorry to tell you this babe, but viruses are not cured with antibiotics. What kind of doctor is he?! I hope you feel better. Just lots of rest, tea and lemon, lots of vitamin C, and hopefully in a couple of days you'll be fine.

oshioshi on

The only kind that was available! ;)
Ok maybe he didn't say virus...I was weak and hot, I don't remember half of what he said. Thanks babe, miss you!

Shana on

Can you get mail? Do you want me to send you anything> Vitamins? Nyquil? Cambells chicken noodle :)

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