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My big toe



Relevant pictures seemed inappropriate. Fairy floss, anyone?

And what a fun-filled couple of weeks it's been. Once again, Nicaragua is celebrating the virgin. We asked our Spanish teacher Veronica if there was a month that they didn't celebrate the virgin here, but apparently that's unheard of. Anyway, on to the events!

The first exciting thing that happened was I had to visit a doctor AGAIN the week before last. It's just ridiculous, I never need to visit the doctor in Australia where the doctors all conveniently speak English. But get me in a foreign country and all of a sudden, there is the necessity to visit excellent individuals for vital problems who unfortunately I struggle to speak a similar language to. The vital problem? One of my toes became grotesquely infected. Unpleasant.

Dave went down to our friend the English speaking chemist who likes to force visiting foreigners to sing for their supper, or get as much Spanish out of them as possible before acknowledging his ability to help. Which is nice really. So Dave tried to wheedle some pain-killers and the address of an English speaking doctor out of him. It was already five on Friday afternoon, which is not a good time to be wanting a doctor anywhere, and a particularly bad weekend for wanting a doctor at all being that the virgin was scheduled to be duly celebrated again all weekend. But Dave managed to get the name of a guy who would most likely still be open. Our favourite thing about the chemist is his guitar and amplifier, which he keeps proudly displayed just behind the counter at his shop on a stand, and apparently occasionally whacks out a tune. Excellent.

Dave walked and I hobbled to Doctor Blanco's surgery, which was fortunately just around the corner. The set up was a little odd; there was a complete and obvious lack of receptionist and a couple of rows of plastic chairs with several people in them. There was also a small alcove with pamphlets, and a darkened, closed door behind the alcove.

Dave asked a guy if this was the place to wait to see the doctor. The guy said it was, so we knew we were in the right place, but we had no idea what to do next. Who to see? Where to go? I went with the path of least resistance which involved hanging out on a plastic chair and waiting to see what everyone else did. Turned out that the darkened door would open sporadically, and somebody would hop up off their plastic chair and head inside. Fair enough. As I had got there last, I would just wait till everyone was seen and then ask the doctor about appointments or whatever it is they do. Dave headed off to get Kaleb and I waited.



Oh look! It's Kaleb on horseback!

By quarter past six it was my turn to approach the door. I went in, and the doctor explained that he was sorry but his receptionist hadn't shown up today so he was doing it all. He asked me pertinent questions, checked my heart, lungs, eyes, ears, and blood pressure, and finally got round to my toe (I would have been putting it off as well). Basically, I'd managed to stub my toe just inside the nail so it was all bad. The doctor informed my that he would cut a section of the nail away and my battle with anesthetic began.

I am not overly susceptible to anesthetic. I could still feel it when they took out my wisdom teeth and my toe was hurting so much I wanted to make sure it was completely dead. Which, after anesthetic spray and three injections, the doctor was satisfied that it was. I wasn't convinced. He got a very exciting pair of somewhat blunt scissors and started cutting, and due to my resilience to anesthetic I did the sensible thing and fainted.

I've never fainted before. It was very exciting. I don't remember actually fainting, but I do remember all of a sudden hearing a very loud voice in Spanish, seeing a blurry man in white leaning over me, having smelling salts shoved in my face and a pineapple flavoured boiled sweet stuck in my mouth all at the same time. The doctor was a bit upset by my fainting, I'm sure the last thing he wants in his office is an unconscious gringo. But because I couldn't understand his Spanish I had no idea where I was and it took some time to figure out the whole weird situation. You know, where am I, why am I here, who is that man and why is he talking Spanish, can I go back to unconsciousness now, that kind of thing. So he did the sensible thing and went out to get Dave, who was back in the waiting room.

The doctor told me it was because I watched him cut my toe. I wanted to say "listen, I worked in a pathology lab and I've seen a lot worse, and I really could have used a bit more anesthetic" but I felt it more prudent to nod in case I threw up. After telling Dave that I had to be very careful he sent us on our way with a prescription, some hardcore painkillers, and his mobile number in case anything went wrong. Dave found out from asking his secretary that Dr Blanco just stays at work every night until there are no more patients to see. That is some job.

So I got home, put on a jumper in the thirty degree heat, and fell asleep. And I'm never doing anything that may result in an infected cut on my toe again.



Pay particular attention to the English translation of the ingredients, starting about halfway down...
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Mmmm, wings.