Ecuador part two

Part One is Here.

The first thing I remember is smelling urine and feces.  It was a strong smell that became the main focus for several moments before panic set in.  

I couldn’t see, my ears felt plugged and the smell was horrid.  

That’s when I started to panic, a full-blown panic, screaming, thrashing panic.  That was when I realized I was tied to something, the only thing I could move was my legs.

Oh. My. God.  I sucked in cold air which felt weird because my body was hot and my skin felt clammy.  I sucked in more air and more air, trying to relieve this overwhelming need for my heart to burst out of my chest.

Someone was immediately at my side and whispered words to me, words that I understood, in English.  That’s when I started to cry.

The same person was touching my face, I felt her move something round and plastic from my cheeks and gasped when she pulled at my eyelids, they immediately snapped open as a woman in green scrubs smiled down at me.

I was horrified.

They taped my eyes shut.

I struggled to speak but my voice wouldn’t come, I looked up at her through tears as she placed a cool clothe against my head.  She murmured again and moved away.  I started to freak out again, straining against the restraints on my hands.

The nurse was back in a minute with more wet towels, she placed them on my face and bent low to my ear.  She told me I was at a hospital in Quevedo, Ecuador, it was more like a clinic but whatever.  She said I had a severe form of dengue fever which I know now as being dengue hemorrhagic fever, the worst kind.  

She said I barely made it through, my temperature at the highest had been 104.7.  I was anemic and dehydrated, I infiltrated almost every needle they tried to put in me and I had one seizure before I reached the climax of the virus.  None of these things I remember.

She said she was glad I was awake because for a while there she thought she’d have to be dealing with two angry American parents threatening to sue because I died in a foreign country. 

I cried again, my whole body aching.  She told me I was going to be flown to Panama to a larger hospital where they could deal with everything.  But until then I was under her supervision.

She told me I was going to be alright.

Three weeks later I was back in the United States, it took that long before the USA would let me back in due to my infectious disease.  Yes I had an infectious disease, my BUN was still elevated but the docs felt there was nothing to be worried about.

The recovery was slow, I returned to high school 60 pounds lighter then when I left and I sure didn’t need to loss the weight.  I was followed by a infectious disease specialists, I caught a bad staph infection in one of the bites.

Do I regret doing it?  Not at all.  Would I change a thing? Apply more DEET, but otherwise no.

Did this clear my path to nursing? A bit, but made it clear that somewhere in my nursing career I want to do foreign aid work.


~ by Kim on August 4, 2008.

3 Responses to “Ecuador part two”

  1. That sounds like such a nightmare, I can’t imagine, even without being so sick having your eye’s taped shut, feeling closed in, that’s a nightmare.

    Wow, I’m glad you made it!

  2. Dude, this scared the hell out of me.

  3. Cladious- thanks, so am I

    Tracy Lynn- scared the hell out of me too!

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