Saturday, December 19, 2009

A series of (un)fortunate events - Day 5

Day 5 was sunny and bright - we couldn't have ordered better weather - and I was finally ready to turn in the crutches. I was out of Tylenol, and while I was semi-mobile, I was still in a lot of pain and the ankle was still ridiculously swollen, so after breakfast we went to the shop to buy some.

Nope, no Tylenol - not at the shop. "The clinic might have some," the cashier said, in a tone that didn't offer much hope.

We had to return the crutches to the clinic anyway, so off we went. Almost all of these resorts have 24-hour clinics with Cuban-trained doctors and nurses. We met the doctor - a young woman - and I explained that I had sprained my ankle earlier in the week, and did she have "Tylenol?" Blank stare. "Asprin?" I asked hopefully. "For pain? Paracetamol?" (Paracetamol is the common British term for acetaminophin, and I knew she had British patients at the resort.)

"Ahh, paracetamol," the doctor said knowingly. Then: "NO! No paracetamol. Anti-inflammatory." I knew what I wanted, but apparently the doctor knew what I needed. And I wasn't getting paracetamol.

She gave me a packet of 8 pills - I've lost the packet now, but it was some Spanish version of "Anti-inflammatory". "You take one every 12 hours. Comprende?"

"One every 12 hours," I repeated. Really? Because I was taking 2 Tylenol every 4-6 hours for the pain, and that didn't sound promising to me. "The... pain?" I asked weakly.

"Sí, the pain, it will take care of the pain," she said confidently.

Well, I didn't have much choice, and she seemed pretty certain of herself. "How much?" I asked.

"$8.45," she said.

Well, that seemed reasonable, and she dutifully counted out the change from a 10 peso note.

So I took my first anti-inflammatory/alleged painkiller and we headed off to the beach.

And after about an hour, wow. My ankle felt so much better that I was suggesting we walk down the beach there to take a Hobie cat sail.

The Hobie cats had been racing up and down the shore all week looking beautiful and fast and sleek.
Husband took these photos - his digital camera is waterproof.

I had to take off my CI processor, since I was going to get good and wet (even if I didn't fall in, the chance of which precluded my wearing the processor anyway), so Husband explained to the pilot of the cat that I was deaf and wouldn't be able to hear him. He replied that he had a niece who is deaf. She'd been born with severe heart and lung problems and needed several surgeries to save her life. And they think the massive doses of antibiotics she was given to protect her from infection during that time destroyed her hearing.

Which is one of the best theories for why I lost my hearing. Small world.

Maybe there's a future for Cuba in which she has access to a CI implant too.

These Hobie cats, with the aid of a stiff breeze, go really fast and are just so much fun.
That's the pilot in this pic. He was excellent at communicating with me - telling me when I needed to move here or there to redistribute weight, for example. I was laughing out loud at the sheer fun of it, and so were he and Husband.

You are really conscious of how tall the sails are relative to the hull, and how much force the wind applies to them.

After the ride the pilot was most concerned that I'd enjoyed myself and had a good time. I did! These kinds of experiences are the easist and best to do while deaf. Sound plays so little role, and your other senses are so fully engaged and stimulated.

My ankle? HA. I didn't even know I had ankles for the duration of the ride.

On day 6, Husband was going to go on a jungle excursion. He had planned this one back in Canada too - I hadn't planning on going - and I insisted that he book that one, too, after the stupid ankle sprain. I was mobile now. The anti-inflammatory was doing wonders - and the pain medication was working just as the nice Cuban doctor promised it would. I planned to spend day 6 on the beach. In fact - I was about ready to start my Cuba vacation :)




Blogger Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

I was thinking that acetaminophen would not be my first choice, if i had an injury with swelling. An anti-inflammatory would be much better! When i hear 12 hours between doses, i think maybe it's a brand of whatever's in Aleve (naproxen sodium?).

That cat sail looks exhilarating. It would be ideal to have a pilot do the work, and just sit back and enjoy things!

2:35 p.m.  

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