Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Sanatorio Americano

After four months of travel without any major sicknessess (other than the sniffles or food poisoning from that Strawberry Empanada), my good luck finally ran out when I reached Rosario, Argentina. Having just found a nice apartment and started my Spanish lessons, a tickle in my throat turned to a scratch to the feeling of having swallowed broken glass.

I spent all of Wednesday in bed with fever, barely able to get out. My throat was so painfully swollen, I couldn't really put anything down other than water (I've just now finished a bowl of Ramen, my first food in 2 days). I bought local antibiotics from the pharmacy, losenges which sort of helped. Earlier today I made the decision to see a privately-run "Sanatorio," as they are known, as opposed to the public hospitals.

I was first asked for my "obrero social" (social work), which I didn't have, so I had to pay 50 pesos. Sanatorios, though private, are free for social workers (like in France). I had to wait about an hour, there was one General Practicioner and no real line or system of knowing who was next; I finally got in just my asserting myself (which is hard to do when you can barely talk). The Doc took one look at my throat with a flashlight and nonchalently informed me that I had a throat infection and wrote me a prescription for antibiotics. No temperature taking, no strep test, just antibiotics that I have to take for the next 7 days. Not that different from a US clinic I suppose, and as I walk in, not to shabby on the wait time!

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