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Day 40 Ciudad Bolivar

Monday, July 11th, 2005

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Today I woke hoping to find, well, nothing, on my body. It didn’t happen. I could tell something was wrong immediately because I could feel the almost stickiness of my skin. My arms were a beautiful shade of red and every exposed area of skin was raised a mm or so. Things didn’t look good. I knew the Cortisone would have wooped it. I knew right away that I had to go to the hospital. I took a quick shower and put on my long sleeve shirt to cover up my nastiness. I went out and grabbed a cab. I just showed the guy the name that the doctor had written. He dropped me in front of the hospital and wandered in following the stream of people. It was your usual third world hospital with dirty floors and a bunch of sick babies. They were giving people fluid drips and oxygen right there in the waiting area. I found the sign which I was looking for and took a seat in line with the other people. It took only about a half an hour to see one of the physicians. I explained as best as I could about all the different factors and what had occurred. She wrote down some info on a couple of slips of paper and sent me to another room. I was kind of lost, and looked it, so she walked me over and told the other nurse what I needed. There were six other people in the little room. Three of us had to sit on one gurney to stay out of the way. There was a baby getting shots and screaming in pain. At least I wasn’t going to be the biggest baby in the place. Now hygienically I was a bit worried. The nurses didn’t wear gloves, we were all just in this little room where they were just shooting people up left and right. I watched the nurse put together this one concoction in this roll of quarter sized syringe. I felt sorry for that little baby. The nurse put a big squirt of saline solution, then a squirt from a small vile, and then another squirt from another vile. She gave it a whirl and then pointed at me. Son of a bitch. Where in the hell was she going to inject all that fluid. I would grow another ass cheek if she shot that whole thing in there. Well she hot an IV needle and stuck it in my arm. Then she attached the vile. My blood squirted into it and then she started slowly shooting me up. The whole time I watched as this little bubble just bounced around at the end of the tube. I knew that wasn’t right and that she knew about it, but she was just talking it up with the other nurse and the ladies with their kids. I just watched as she kept shooting the fluid into my arm. I am almost certain that my mom, being a surgical nurse would never have a bubble in one of her shots. If she were there, shit like this wouldn’t be happening. The regret for not having my mom involved in my life more sure has become apparent on this trip. Hell, I bet she could make one hell of a Sherpa. We’ll see when the time comes, Everest. The shot finally just about ended and she yanked it out before the bubble killed me. She then yakked out some directions and kicked me out of the office. I was kind of lost when the original doctor found me. She took my paperwork and took me to the office where I was to have some blood tests done. The lady in there had no time for my non-Spanish speaking ass so the doctor stayed and helped me out. I wanted to marry this lady right then and there. She was pretty and nice and she took care of me. What else did I need. They told me to come back at 1 pm. and to bring the results back to her. Since it was raining and it was only a couple of hours later I just hung around the hospital and took a nap on the patio. By the time I woke up it was almost one. The rash had already flattened out and was starting to disappear. I went to the office and they had not finished yet so I went out for another walk. 2pm the same. At 3pm I tried one last time and it still wasn’t finished yet so I just said screw it. The rash was clearing up so I figured why worry and left.
[read on]

Day 39 Ciudad, Bolivar

Monday, July 11th, 2005

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The bus pulled into the station at around 5 am. I was fast asleep and barely woke up before the conductor woke me up. I groggily grabbed my stuff and headed down. Based on the time I figured it was Ciudad Bolivar. The conductor confirmed that by letting me know that it was my stop and to show him my bag. I grabbed my bag and headed into the station. I have learned that in order to keep all the taxi drivers and hawkers off of you, you have to come up with something that will take you off their radar. Mine was that I had to wait until 7am when my friend would arrive before I could go anywhere. That worked since the word got out and people stopped asking me questions. I wanted to hang around a bit so that the different Posadas and hotels would be open. I waited until 7 and grabbed a taxi to Plaza Bolivar, the home of about four Posadas. Posadas are basically German guest houses that are popular with the back packers. I just picked the first one in the guide book an d headed off. The place was run by a happy go lucky German named Fini. It was him, Kenny who arranged all the tours and help coordinate the Posada, and a Elmaria (sp) who did all the cooking and cleaning. They had rooms and hammocks. I chose a room since I just wanted a place to drop my bags and get relaxed. I could always move later. The place was rather nice with a good homey feel to it. You basically just fill out a card and out check marks when you grab a beer or soda. It was based on the honor system. For all the tours, Kenny knew all the companies and could set everything up. I ended up just chilling out talking with the bunch of travelers who were there. There were Swedish, German, Czechoslovakia and Spaniards. It was cool to finally be in an international backvpacker place. I did a couple of walk arounds but became kind of nervous about the rash since it had grown to the entire arms and was now on my chest. I asked Kenny about a hospital and he suggested the Childrens hospital right behind the Posada. He suggested I wait until 3pm since most places closed for a mid afternoon siesta. At three I headed over and talked to the doctor who was on her way out. She took a look and told me it was something I ate and wrote down a quick prescrption. As soon as I saw Hydrocortisone I knew that stuff would fix me up. I took a run down to the pharmacy who had everything else except the Cortisone. I bought what they had and took off for another pharmacy. It was the same with that and the third place. That rash must really get around. Well, it was almost 3:30pm and the time when she said they would be locking down, so I took off running back to at least get the other shot done. I told her what happened so she wrote down the address to the Emergency Hospital where I could go on Saturday to get the second shot and also some Cortisone. With that I went back to the Posada. I had a late night feast of some of the Arabic food I had left over from lunch and headed to bed. I hoped and prayed that I would wake to a new and rash free day.

Day 37 Caracas, Venezuela

Thursday, July 7th, 2005
Today, thats right today. I am actually writing this as I post it. After last ngith sleepless hell, I actually woke up feeling rather good. My head had cleared and most of all that phlegm actually went ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 36 Caracas, Venezuela

Thursday, July 7th, 2005
I felt much better today. The cramps are still there, especially after I pee. I'm taking that as a good sign in regards to my kidneys not having been blown out my ass. The cramping does suck ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 35 Caracas

Wednesday, July 6th, 2005
Blah. Blah. Blah. Who would have thunk it. The fifth of July is Venezuelas Independance Day. I´m not sure what the history is but it basically meant everything was closed. They had a huge parade which I watched ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 34 Caracas, Venezuela

Tuesday, July 5th, 2005
From my prior entry, you can probably tell my night kind of sucked. Being sick really puts in perspective the need for having people in your life that would take care of you. I guess being sick resistant ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 33 Caracas, Venezuela

Tuesday, July 5th, 2005
sick.JPG In the morning my priorities were pretty much nil. The room that I had did not have any hot water so that was a big downer. At $20. a night the price ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 32 Venezuela

Sunday, July 3rd, 2005
1st hotel.JPG This was written on the front entrance way to the Hotel. I had to stay there just because of that. It might have just said Swedish Swimsuit Models staying here, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 31 Puerto La Cruz

Sunday, July 3rd, 2005
puerto la cruz.JPG I guess this pattern of writing on the fly is going to be the norm for a short while or until I give up on this blog stuff. This ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 30 Venezuela

Friday, July 1st, 2005
Well, since there was a bit of excitement last night and today was just a rainy travel day, I´ll finish off what happened. After the internet session, we asked around about different places to go that night. We were fair warned ... [Continue reading this entry]