Sunset as seen from Isla de la Piedra near Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Near Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Where are they going next? Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Off to the hospital

We don't often talk about health issues, unless they directly affect our travels. And really, we don't have any health issues. We're both healthy and in good condition and neither one of us take any medications for anything.

So when something goes wrong, it's a bit frustrating.

The day we left for Calgary, Ruth mentioned she had a pain in her right lower back, and she felt a bit lethargic and nauseous. This reminded her of the kidney infection she had when we were in Colombia in 2015.

And by Thursday night, we knew something was not right.  By that time, she was popping Advil every four hours and had shakes and fever if she didn't. The exact symptoms she had in Colombia. That time, the problem was quickly fixed with Cipro, which is available without a prescription down there.

But not here.

So, we headed into Swift Current yesterday to go to the walk in clinic.

Canada's health care works well for some things, but not so well for others. Many people have no family doctor, and in the case of the little town of Cabri, they used to have a town doctor, but he moved out a year and a half ago and has been replaced by a nurse practitioner and you need to book well in advance to get in to see her.

We were at the walk in clinic around 11:00am and we were surprised that there weren't many cars in the parking lot, and there didn't look to be many people in the waiting room. Inside, the reception girl asked if we had an appointment, but of course we didn't. She said "sorry, we're not taking any more patients and you'll have to come back at 5:00pm when it will be first come first served".

So it turns out that so many people show up when the place first opens that they book them for the day so they don't have to hang around. Otherwise, if it is more serious, they send you directly to the hospital.

On the way to the hospital, I suggested that we stop at a pharmacy and see what the pharmacist says. So we did that, and the guy was really helpful, but said that he could not give us Cipro without a prescription but that there were other more mild antibiotics that he could.

The Cipro worked last time, so we figured we had better go to the hospital and get it that way.

Fortunately, the hospital was not busy and Ruth was taken pretty much right away. Over the next three hours, they took a urine sample, did a CT scan, came to the conclusion that she has a kidney infection, and gave her a prescription for antibiotics and a pain killer. Ruth asked about Cirpo, but he said this other one would work fine. I don't have the name of it right in front of me.

Anyhow, then it was back to the pharmacist where he said "Oh, that's one of the ones I could have given you without a prescription, but I thought your symptoms appeared too severe for that one".

Frustrating. Anyhow, she's taking the pills now, but no improvement yet. The doctor did say it would likely take 24 hours to start to see some improvement. She also says that the Advil worked better than the prescription pain killer.

So, I'm going to go down to the park today and help out a bit. Ruth will stay here and rest.

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30 comments:

  1. Hope you feel better soon Ruth!! As a purveyor of a dozen or so UTI's, I know how you are feeling. My urologist put me on low dose antibiotic Macrobid for 6 months to finally clear it up. Now I never travel without a full two prescriptions with me at all times. Cranberry juice be damned, give me the drugs!!!! Hugs to you.

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    1. Thank you Nancy! Luckily it is rare for me to get a UTI, long time ago it was bladder infections but think I only ever had two or three of them. These last two have been kidney infections. Hopefully it doesn't become a regular thing. I think that before we leave I may just get the pharmacist to give me another prescription to have on hand just in case this infection resurfaces. I have to agree that the cranberry juice wasn't going to help me with this one, it might have helped if I had started drinking it when I first suspected that an infection might be coming on. Anyways, today is definitely a better day for me than what yesterday was, so hopefully that trend will continue.

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  2. Oh dear. Rest Ruth and wishing you a speedy recovery!

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    1. Thank you Shannon, I am starting to feel a little more human today. Hopefully it will only get better.

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  3. Hopefully Ruth will recover quickly and feel much better sooner than later.

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    1. Thank you, I am starting to feel a little better already.

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you! Already seeing a small improvement. :-)

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  5. Prayers for a speedy and complete recovery.

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  6. Sending positive thoughts, Ruth!

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  7. Wishing a speed recovery and an improvement to our Health Care. It has really gone downhill with all the cuts.
    Kathy had Bladder Infection a week after returning from the US. Must be in the Water.
    Be Safe!

    It's about time.

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    1. Thank you Rick and Kathy, I am starting to feel a little better today so hopefully things have turned and it will only get better from here. When I compare our medical system to Mexico's we have a long way to go. Many of their pharmacies have a physician available for a consultation, if they find you have something more serious then they immediately send you off to see another doctor otherwise they will tell you what you need to do and prescribe medication if it is needed. I really wish that this was available in Canada. And the cost to see that doctor is usually about $5.

      I highly doubt that water would have cause this issue.

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  8. Tough to keep those doctors in small towns, Canada or US, I guess. My dad was a general practitioner in a small town, but then he was a small town boy his whole life.

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    1. Yes it is! And he was a good doctor and everyone liked him. We was originally from South Africa and that is where he headed back to. The nurse practitioner they have in the town is really good and is able to do much of what a doctor can but she is popular and you can't get an appointment or at least two weeks ahead of time.

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  9. Even in Mexico you now need a script to get Cipro. I never travel without Cipro nor Macrobid. If you want my professional RN opinion send me an email. FYI the antibiotic should have taken the pain away within two hours. Perhaps the dosage is not high enough.

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    1. One of the members in our caravan group had no problem getting Cipro when we were in Jocotepec this past March.

      Everything we had read told us that you would notice a different within 24 to 48 hours just like the doctor said. I don't think I have ever had an antibiotic work in two hours.

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  10. Yikes! Sending healing thoughts your way Ruth. Hope it clears up soon!

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    1. Thank you, there has been some improvement already.

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  11. I am really happy to see the doctors are not prescribing Cipro unless the situation is dire. The fluoroquinolones, Cipro is one, can have very serious side effects. Yes, they're effective, but they can also cause life altering complications. In the US they come with a black box warning, but they're still over prescribed.

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    1. I agree, Cipro is not something I want to take unless absolutely necessary, we have read about it and realize that it isn't an ideal drug to take but the pain I was in was so bad and I remembered that when I tried one of the other antibiotics when I had my kidney infection in Colombia and it didn't work and I went through several days of severe pain and uncomfort I was willing to try Cipro and I thought this was going to be similar as well but luckily this antibiotic the doctor put me on does seem to be effective but it leaves me with a constant headache which just won't go away. :-(

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  12. Just curious, what is name of the antibiotic doctor put you on? Thanks.

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    1. I was prescribed Trimethoprim but I stopped taking it and now I am trying a different one called Nitrofurantoin or Macrobid because the other one was giving me a serve and constant headache that just never stopped and painkillers wouldn't even get rid of the headache. Hopefully this new one will be better.

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  13. Sorry to hear. Speedy recovery!!

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