Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Broken Rib in BA

So, I was sick last week with the gripe/flu/cold/whatever you want to call it that's been going around lately...and we're talking the works: aching head, sore throat, runny nose, and a horribly racking cough. To make a long story short, said racking cough was so severe that I'm pretty sure I cracked a rib.

After extensive research on the internet (WebMD, you're a lifesaver) I discovered that it is quite possible to crack a rib if you have a severe enough cough, and according to the symptoms, that's what I have. I can't say for certain because my visit to the hospital was a bit shorter than planned. Story time. My traveler's insurance ran out last month and I have yet to get a plan down here, so on Tuesday I went to one of BA's public hospitals hoping to see someone who could tell me what the deal was with the stabbing pain in my side.

Needless to say, the visit did not go as hoped for, but almost exactly as anticipated after a year of living under Argentine governance. We got there and waited in a line to go up to a counter and present my problem, just as people in front of me were doing. The woman behind the glass window was apparently some kind of gate keeper who got to decide who got to see a doctor and how soon. Anyway, I gave her my information and what I thought was wrong with me, and she (quite rudely) said that I had to wait around the corner and that there was "muchisima demora." Translation: at least 3 hours wait, if not longer.

So...basically I said fuck it, for several reasons. First of all, hospitals creep me out. I feel like I'm coming down with ten diseases as soon as I get within 10 feet of one. Secondly, the woman pissed me off which made me not want to wait. Third, there isn't really anything you can do for a cracked rib, except take pain medication like aspirin so that it doesn't hurt too badly when you breathe or cough. Fourth, knowing this I didn't really want to pay someone, without insurance, to tell me something that I already knew. So after about five minutes we left and went to McDonald's for dinner. One Big Mac, fries (complete with 2 packets of ketchup, of course), and an ice cream sundae later I was satisfied. In pain, but satisfied.

It still hurts when I cough and when I take a deep breath, which is really hard to do sometimes. I feel like I can't expand my chest as much as before, and it hurts really bad if I try. It also hurts if I press on it, so I try not to do that too much. Also I can't really move quickly or do any heavy lifting, or play soccer since there's the potential for actually breaking a rib. If it's just cracked like I think it is it should take about 6 weeks to heal. I don't want it to actually break, because that's when you get things like punctured lungs and other inner organs. Ouch.

Anyway, that's my update/rant for the week. Oh, I also have to switch internet companies at some point because the goverment decided that my provider isn't actually legally allowed to be a provider or some crap like that. Joy.


  1. Say wha?? That totally sucks about the rib! Though I was admittedly much more suprised to learn about the internet provider... wtf is that about? Didn't we have, like, the #1 provider in Argentina??

  2. You crazy?

    Get back to the hospital immediately!

    You are no doctor. Don't self diagnose.

    If don't like the hospital go to another.