Sunday, May 31, 2009

Long Saturday

I went back to the hospital early the next morning, assuming (and telling the family) that I would be fetching Irene and bringing her back for some sun-soaked recuperation. Just after I got to the hospital, the nose specialist showed up. He was a very interesting young man. His dad was a history teacher and he is a history buff himself. He talked the whole time he was examining and splinting Irene's nose. I was ashamed that he knew more about the Alamo, the Spanish-American war, and the Louisiana Purchase than I did. He was, however, thrilled to find out that I lived on the Lewis and Clark Trail.

He told us it was a good thing that she bled as much as she did since that would prevent any blood clots. His English wasn't as good as Dr. Arturo's, but with Dr. Arturo's coaching and some guessing on my part, we got what he was saying. After he left, they gave Irene breakfast, a TV remote, and a control for the air conditioner. We also met Gloria, the patient liaison. She asked if we spoke Spanish and when we said no, she said it would be a good chance for her to practice her English. I was glad she knew English because none of the nurses spoke a word of it.

After a while we started wondering how long Irene would have to stay there. After all, it was only a broken nose! When Gloria popped in about noon, we asked her to see if she could find out. She found Irene's file and came back with the news that the file showed it would be afternoon or evening before she would be released. Oh, boy, how am I going to let Stan and Gram know?!

I located the number of the resort in my purse and tried to dial out on the phone in the room. I don't think that the resort was a local call. Earlier, when I called with a report for the family, Gloria had had to ring the front desk and have them call Torres Mazatlan. Now I couldn't call out again. I really couldn't even get the thing to give me a dial tone. Amazingly, with the handful of Spanish words I knew plus some gestures, the nurses did the same thing for me as Gloria had, and I was able to tell the family to go ahead and cook dinner because we were stuck there for a while.

For lunch, I wandered back out to the nurse's station. Just as I walked out and was asking Dr. Arturo where I could find some food, an American lady came out of the next room and said she would show me how to use the cafeteria. That was another adventure! First you go to the receptionist, tell her what you want, then pay for it. She gives you a receipt that you take to the cafeteria, just through the door and to the right. OK, but the receptionist also didn't speak English and the other American didn't speak Spanish either. (I really gotta learn Spanish!) Gloria to the rescue. She helped me tell the receptionist my order and get my receipt. Now to get my lunch. The cafeteria is six feet wide and about fourteen feet long, with a narrow counter on one side with a couple of stools. I could see a kitchen in the back, with pop coolers and bins of vegetables. A shy girl came out and took my receipt. The other American had ordered a cup of coffee, so they microwaved a Styrofoam cup of water and handed her a jar of instant coffee.

They handed me my burger in a box and I went back up to Irene's room. I had to pick through and take off the tomato, onion, and huge slices of avocado, but it was a pretty decent burger. Later I went back down and got a Coke. The receptionist got a dearintheheadlights look when she saw me coming, but was relieved when she understood that I only wanted Coke.

After an afternoon of both of us dozing in front of the TV, Dr. Arturo came in and released her at about 7:00. Now to the cashier. The bill said $19,000.00! Irene was hyperventilating. I couldn't get through to her that that was pesos. They don't take Champus, of course, so she had to put it on her credit card. In the taxi on the way back to Torres, she finally realized that with the exchange it was only about $1600.00 US. Pretty good for the excellent care she got.

Since I forgot to take the camera to the hospital, I didn't have pictures to blog with. Stan took some nice sunset pictures from our balcony, however.

Meanwhile back at the "ranch" Stan whiled away the hours cooking, wandering around the resort, and listening to Gram retell story after story. They also argued a bit about how to cook the chicken.

As soon as Irene hit the shower Stan and I hit the beach for some moonlight over the ocean time. People at the resort asked after Irene and were very relieve to hear she was fine.

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