Sunday, 24 March 2013

Cuba - Day 13 - Holguin to Ciego De Avila - Disaster Happened

Andi started to have some stomach pains the on the way back to Holguin. He took some Chinese poo pills which helped a bit, but still not one hundred percent. We got up at 8:00 am and walked up the three hundred steps to the hill, which was great.

Fron the top

On the way back, Andi’s stomach felt uneasy again. We got back to the casa, had shower, breakfast at 10:30am, bread, ham, eggs, juice and coffee as you do in Cuba. Our hosts were very nice to us we must say, so we paid some extra for their outstanding services they provided for us. Everybody was happy.

We walked to the bus station, the guy in the ticket booth sold us the bus tickets, but he said the bus is 11:30am, which we were told the night before was 12:15pm. WTF? In cuba, you just don’t know who is right who is wrong.

11:30 passed, no bus, 11:45am passed, still no bus. If we had not been here before 11:30am, we would shit ourselves if the bus was not here. Finally, 5 to midday, the bus arrived. Then the driver told us they will stop for lunch, the bus will leave at 12:30pm. At this time, Andi had done two toilet visiting, he was not happy.

Back to the waiting room again (because when the driver went out for lunch, they locked the bus, everybody had to come out.) 15mins later, I went out to see if the bus started to load, and saw Tony, any Irish cyclist we meet a couple of days ago near Santiago De Cuba. He has been cycling around cuba for 8 weeks. It’s his last week in cuba. He was going to Ciego as well. I told him Andi was not well, he said he had some good pills to stop guts ache etc.

The bus was loading again, we were all on the bus. I asked Tony if Andi can have some of his good pills. Andi took some of the good stuff, it didn’t work. He had two vomit and things getting worse. I could see he was in severe pain, but can’t do anything to help. The last time I saw him like that when he had a kidney stone. I asked him if it felt like that? No he said.

By 5pm, he was almost passed out. He asked me to ask the coach driver when we will be in Ciego, he needed to get to hospital. That was what I thought too. The bus driver said 20 mins, and I just saw a road sign said 40kms to Ciego, I knew it will take longer than 20min, but we were in the middle of nowhere, it won’t be quicker if we got off the bus and get an ambulance either. So I had to go back and lie to Andi we will be in town in 20min, please hold on.

We passed some horror crash and burned car and a tractor on the road, I had all my mind on Andi, even didn’t think to take a picture of that. When we got to the bus station in Ciego, Tony asked if he could help. By then, Andi couldn’t even stand up. Tony and the other guy help Andi get off the bus, I took our two bags and I was going to get a taxi. The coach drive came and told me they will drive Andi to the hospital, so we went back on the bus, they drove directly to the E&A gate, we put Andi on the wheel bed, I felt a little bit relief - some one can help Andi now.

The doctor in the hospital spoke very little English, but the students there who can really speak good English. One male doctor came checked on Andi. About 10 min later, we went to see a female doctor, she then sent Andi to test blood, then X-ray, then ultra sound.

They were very helpful, especially the student who has been pointed as our interpreter called Carlos.

Later on (one hour maybe two, I had no ideas) we finally finished all the waiting and checking, Andi was given a bed and was about to have some drip to put on him. He told me to tell them give him some thing to stop the pain. I did ask the doctor, but I don’t know if they give much pain killer or not.

A young black female doctor came to discuss with me about Andi’s medical history. She spoke perfect English. Later I found out she was from Namibia, has been studying medical for 6 years in cuba. She then translated all to the doctor in charge.

With all the students and doctors help, Andi finally settled down. The pain was still there, but he could have some rest.

Tony, after settled in a Casa, came to the hospital found us and offered more help. Thanks Tony.

It was 10:00pm, and an other doctor come to checked Andi again. He explained to us that Andi didn’t have anything severe needing operation - that is good news. I am impressed that for one patient, they have gone through many special doctors to make sure their diagnose was correct.

Andi’s Version

Whoa .... what a day .... one I don’t want to repeat, not sure of the cause and the irony of this is the incubation time we don’t know.

Ellen pretty much summed it up, for me while sitting/laying in the bus I started to lose feeling in my hands and feet then arms and legs as well, I lost all my motor function and was shivering badly to the point I felt my body was shutting down.  to be honest I was very scared.

I don’t remember the last part of our ride I am guessing maybe the last 1/2 hour or so, I don’t recall getting off the bus but we were very lucky to have a concerned driver that took us to the hospital which is well above their duties especially negotiating a 12 metre bus around the narrow streets to get us there.

This is me looking totally stunning (per cool runnings)... you dead .... ya mun 

To the driver I will probably never see again thank you so much.

I couldn't do much to help but to them I am very greatful, their diagnosis was Severe Gastro Enteritis so a pile of antibiotics.

On the better side of this report Ellen snapped a couple of pics of the town that I missed out on.

Groovy coloured buildings

A cool old Harley too ... I could easily take that home.


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