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Tragedy in Huatulco


Well, not really a tragedy, but definitely a small scare.  After our mountain excursion which included hiking to the Llano Grande waterfall, I got to experience Mexican Medico care. I remember on the ride back to the resort, having an achy feeling on my face right on my jawline. I didn’t really think much of it, I figured I was about to have a break-out from using so much sunblock on my face.IMG_3311I woke around 2 am to excruciating pain on my jawline. When I reached up to touch my face, I realized something was really wrong. In the dark of our room, I could feel a knot on my jaw that was burning hot and about the size of an egg. I quietly laid in bed until about 5 am, but when I realized it was getting bigger and probably wasn’t going to go away without some antibiotics, I woke hubby. I wouldn’t let him turn on the lights to look at the assumably freakish-looking growth on my face. Instead, I told him he was going to have to get me to a doctor–and soon!IMG_3326

We knew there was a Medico on resort, and called the front desk to find out where he was located and what were his hours. Apparently, the front office agent thought my 6 am call was serious enough and he patched me on through to the Medico, whom I obviously woke up. He said he would be on resort by 9 am and could see me then. I was in so much pain by then, we were waiting at his office an hour early.

The doctor was dressed in a pink shirt, white pants, and pink shoes and had two assistants who’s combined age probably wasn’t even 40. (Really, they looked like tweens.) He took a look at my face and said he believed I had been bitten by “something” and said he would need to give me a shot in the cheek (he clarified big cheek, not little cheek) and write me 2 prescriptions, which I could then fill conveniently right in his office. He said it would require $450 USD in order to get treatment.

I was in the habit of charging resort services to the room and presumed I could do that with the medico visit. Nope! No credit cards either.  He said $450, cash, US dinero. I was rooting through my small purse (it’s really only big enough to carry a little cash and a cell phone) trying to count up my cash on hand. The tweens, who were now on either side of me intently looking down into my purse as I was sorting the cash, now felt like thugs. I was sure if I balked at giving them every last dollar I had in my little purse, they would take it anyway. We had only brought about half of the requested amount up from the room with us (thinking certainly it wouldn’t cost THAT much), but the good doctor said he would be leaving the office soon and we could put the rest in an envelope and slip it under his door before noon that day.

After my shot, and 2 filled prescriptions for medicines I’ve never heard of, we left the Medico’s office. We returned before noon and slipped the rest of the money under his office door.  It really felt like we were committing some type of crime instead of paying the doctor’s bill.  Thankfully, within a couple of days, the swelling in my face had subsided and I was starting to feel better.IMG_3411This was one of the incidents that made me see the value in travel insurance (see my post on Why You MUST Buy Travel Insurance).  While this small claim probably wouldn’t have even met the deductible I likely would have chosen, and I still would have had to pay cash, what if it had been worse or cost even more? Or what if I didn’t have the cash on hand? I don’t even want to think about that.

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Categories: International Travel, MexicoTags: , , , ,

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