Saturday, October 4, 2014

Reunited and it feels so....TERRIBLE! I need a Doctor!

Last we chatted, I was excitedly preparing for Ev's return to the island. He was flying in at noon on Sunday, so on Saturday, I prepared by buying his favourite groceries (MEAT!), purchasing some Czech beer, and tidying up the house for his arrival. Every now and then I would turn to my captive audience (dog and cat) and exclaim enthusiastically, "Evan's coming home tomorrow!" Their ears would go back, the dog wagged his tail and the cat looked at me expectantly. Exciting times.

Things went downhill quickly.

By midnight Saturday, I was laying on the bathroom floor, dripping in sweat, experiencing what I could only guess was a case of food poisoning.

I took some meds and set my alarm for 11:30am so that I could pick up my man from the airport.

A romantic reunion of lovers (ew, I hate that word) beaus embracing lovingly after 3 weeks of separation -  it was NOT. Hunched over the steering wheel, perspiring profusely, I slowly drove up to the terminal, rolled down the window, and muttered, "Let's. Go."

Poor Ev.

By Monday evening, things had gotten worse and I was experiencing severe stomach pain - the kind that doubles you over and takes your breath away (ginger ale ain't fixin' this!) Ev and I decided to visit the hospital - I mean, may as well try out that free healthcare.

Because I am a government employee, I am entitled to free healthcare. Unlike Canada where our tax dollars pay for our healthcare, the Cayman Government foots the total bill - which is great; however, I was a little concerned what my free healthcare would get me. First, I knew that the insurance only covered me at one of the three hospitals on the island. I envisioned the hospitals in the US (as seen on TV) for peeps with very limited or no insurance - crowded chaos.

I was pleasantly surprised. Within an hour and a half of entering the hospital, I was in an emerg bed, was examined by a doctor, had IV fluids, and had just returned from an ultrasound. Boom. Not bad.

Once it was determined that I had a bacterial infection (I haven't a clue how I got that but most google searches reveal "ingesting feces" - awesome) and IV antibiotics were administered, I chilled out and we took this picture: romance at its finest.

Hospital selfie. Some people tour the beaches, I prefer the ER

I felt pretty rough for a few more days, but I dragged myself to work on Wednesday, concerned that my schools would be searching for me, needing me, wondering where the h their new speech therapist went (for the record, no one noticed that I was missing).

I went back to work too soon. I was tired. I was weak. I was incredibly cranky and totally "over" this whole experience - I just wanted to be back in my house in PA surrounded by familiar things. I knew I had had it as I watched the vicious dogs (they're baaack!) tear apart a snake from my treatment window (no lie!) and asked the 8th child of the day, "What does a policeman do?" (we're working on occupations) Aside: Best response ever from a second grader: "You pay them to go away, ma'am." I'm assuming that kid has seen way too many movies...yikes.

The day just escalated from challenging to "What am I doing here? "quickly. I was told by the ER physician to make a follow-up appointment with a Doctor as soon as possible, so I was frustrated when my island cell phone completely failed to power up. I immediately took it to the nearest cell dealer and the woman oohed and ahhed and stated matter-of-factly, "You need Kirk Sullivan."

Um. Ok. I don't know Kirk Sullivan. Tell me more.

"You need to call Kirk Sullivan about your phone," she continued.

"Great. But I don't have a phone to call him from," I responded.

She directed me to Kirk's office in downtown Georgetown and told me to hurry, as the office closed in 1 hour. I high-tailed it in EDO Japan (my little foreign car), feeling rotten. I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the rearview mirror. Skin sallow, eyes dark and sunken in, I was not the poster child for Cayman Island living. And I just needed a working phone to make a Doctor's appointment, dammit.

Georgetown is the area where the cruise ships dock. Pretty cool when you first arrive on the island, but a total pain in the ass when you're attempting to get anything done. Cruise Ships equate to hundreds of lost tourists, aimlessly wandering the streets, looking for rum cake and cheap booze (tip: there is NO cheap booze on this island. Trust me, I have looked) In addition to the tourists are the tour buses lined up and down the streets, leading to excess traffic and complete chaos. There just happened to be 3 cruise ships docked on this particular today. Ugh. Turning onto the main street downtown, I became angered by the lack of rules these drivers were adhering to. You can't just wave someone through a 4-way stop! There are rules! Annoyed and overreactive, I finally found a parking spot and raced into the office building. It was 4:45pm and my greasy hair was pasted to my sweaty face as drops of sweat dripped down the back of my legs.

"I need Kirk Sullivan!" I stated.

"Yes, this way ma'am."

I was escorted to a small room with a ticket window - no one was behind the window.

"Kirk!!!!" yelled my escort, "He'll be right with you, ma'am."

I turned around and was shocked to see 9 other customers, waiting in chairs.

"Are you all waiting for Kirk Sullivan?" I inquired.

They nodded.

"Is there a line?" I questioned

They shook their heads.

How the h do we know who is next without a line?

As more and more customers entered the room, with the escort yelling, "Kirk!!!" I seriously began to wonder if this was a joke. Is there even a "Kirk" ? Does this phone whisperer even exist?

After 45 minutes of waiting - yes, the office was actually closed at this point, a man, who could only be Kirk Sullivan appeared behind the window.

"So whose phone is broken?" asked Kirk from behind the window. Five out of nine people began talking simultaneously, waving their phones in the air, explaining their phone issues.

This is how he fixed the phones. There was no line. No one person was served before the other. We were all kinda "served" at the same time. Wow.

Frustrated but satisfied that my phone was in working order, I left after a 2 hour wait at the office.

At this point I had worked an 8 hour day, battled cruise ship traffic, spent 2 hours waiting in line a non-line, and was feeling sick, exhausted, and fed up. I decided the only thing that could cheer me up was a Smoothie from Smoothie King. I entered the Smoothie shop to a room full of customers wandering aimlessly around in circles...or squares...I'm not sure.

"Is there a line?" I inquired.

15 people, perplexed, looked back at me and shrugged.

Good Gawwwwd. I'm done. Done, I say!

The bacteria, the snake-eating dogs, the lack of traffic rules, and the absence of lines had completely sent me over the edge. I felt like the Cayman Islands had officially flipped me the middle finger.

Cranky, miserable, and defeated, I arrived home. Evan led me to the pool area and encouraged me to chill out. And then this happened:

Ok, CI's - I forgive you

And I took a deep breath and began to settle down. Tough week. Remind me not to ingest feces. Maybe lines and traffic rules are overrated? Next week will be better.


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