We got to experience the health care system here. Since we camped in the woods while in Norway, we, as in I, picked up a few ticks. For the most part they are no big deal except that in Latvia they are known to carry Lyme disease so you kind of have to watch for a reaction. I noticed a while ago that the bite that I got on my arm had a little swollen circle around it, about an inch in diameter. But I didn’t have any fever and other symptoms which included using words in the wrong context, is pretty much normal for me without contracting a disease, we didn’t think it was anything to worry about. But last night I noticed that the circle is bigger and it has swelled up a little more. So I showed it to Neil. He said we’ll find a doctor and if the arm falls off in the mean time, he will carry it to the doctors office himself. That’s comforting.
Today we went to the hospital and were hoarded into the emergency room. I tell you, after what I saw, I don’t think I could ever work as an emergency doctor, bless their patience. As a Christian, who is supposed to love all people, I will hold back what I really thought of the circus there. We waited for an hour and a half but they were really busy and we decided that it’s not worth sitting there.
Instead, we walked into a small private office to see an old doc. He was a character you could put in a movie. A really sweet, straight forward, old man with a big Rudolph the Red nose, who took one look over his glasses, with gold rim, at my arm and said that I won’t die but I do need antibiotics because the tissue is swollen since we didn’t take the tick out correctly and have left the head in my skin, which has spread the infection.
The office was something you’d expect to see in an old bachelor’s pad – a big mess everywhere. In the corner there was a big pile of … who knows what, but nothing that was creepy and moved, just papers. On his desk there was everything from a stethoscope to books to papers to even a set of something that looked like tweezers – all in a big messy pile. Surprisingly, he knew exactly which corner of the desk the tweezers were at when he pulled them out to show us how to pull out a tick correctly.
But his business like manner and knowledge and 1/4 of the cost that the emergency room would have slapped on us made me really appreciate the old man. And my arm hasn't fallen off yet!