Jason had a fever yesterday along with a very sore throat. When he woke up this morning his fever was worse and his eyes were very swollen and bloodshot. We took him to Parrita, a nearby town with a 24 hour clinic.
Aside from an outdoor waiting room, it’s the same deal as pretty much any other emergency clinic; you register, wait to see triage, then the doctor. So, after waiting in the initial line twice (we forgot his passport and had to get a paper from another woman at another window saying our copy was sufficient) we went back to see triage. He tells them how he feels, gets his blood pressure, temperature and weight checked and we go back outside to wait for the doctor.
The doctor checks him out, confirms that it’s a throat infection, and gives us a prescription. We take that prescription to the receptionist, she stamps it, then we turn around and walk a few steps to the pharmacy window and leave it with them. Then, back outside we go to wait for the medicine.
I go back in to ask why it’s taking so long and the woman tells me she called us a long time ago. “Estyler, si?!” Uhh… what?
Without confusing you too much, the basic rule in Spanish speaking cultures is that a child receives two surnames, the fathers family name and the mothers family name. So when they read Jason’s passport, they see his middle name and assume it’s his father’s family name. Then, to add just a touch more confusion, they added an “S”.
I would’ve never in a bazillion years figured out that we were “Esteeeeeeeler.”
On the bright side, I was able to spend at least forty minutes admiring this mama bird protecting her nest.
Also, I should mention that this was all free. There’s a law in Costa Rica where all hospitals and clinics are required to accept any and all patients needing emergency care. If during that visit you need medication and you happen to be a child, a pregnant women, or elderly, you will get that without cost as well. How awesome is that? So this is the second time we’ve brought a child to this clinic and never had to open our wallet. Both times the children were given a big plastic bag of medicine with enough acetaminophen to last them a few months, plus antibiotics and anti-inflammatory meds. Generally, I prefer to use natural remedies, but it’s always nice to know that modern medicine is available when you want or need it. And really, how awesome is that for health care in a “developing” country?!