Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Peru Trip-Out of Cusco

So, light-headed and dizzy, which was becoming the norm for me, the group made our way back to the hotel in Cusco, via our bus. We disembarked and upon entering the hotel lobby, a nicely dressed man was waiting for me---the doctor. We went upstairs to our room where he checked my pulse-ox and stuff. So, the reading on the finger thing was 80, and I am thinking it is ok, b/c that would mean I had a B. Wrong. The doctor told me to lay down on the bed and not to move while he went to get the hotel O2. I asked him what the deal was, and that's when he told me that a normal reading would be 95+ and that he was concerned about the sounds in my lungs. Huh? Then he said that anything under 85 required constant O2. Hhmmm, I thought. Maybe that explains my unability to walk up steps.

The plan was for me to go to his clinic, just down the block, and get on O2, go to a hyperbaric chamber, and be on intrevenous fluids and anti-biotics overnight, and then to fly down to Lima the next day. Karen and I were not going to Lake Titicaca--the doctor said that he has trouble breathing there, and he was used to 11,000+ altittude. So, off I went on my next adventure.

At the clinic, they gave me a bed to lay in, some old lady O2 (the nose clip kind) and then the poor nurses jabbed me 5 times to get a vein--evidently I was really dehydrated, didn't know that-- to start the IV drip. It was ok for a while, but time moved very slowly and thankfully Karen stayed in the room most of the time. She did leave to go eat and bring me back some food to eat. As the night wore on, things got weirder--Carlos our guide stopped by once shortly after I arrived, and promised to come back-he didn't.

The doctor made arrangements for me to go the another clinic with a hyperbaric chamber, we left around midnight in a van that was an "ambluance". They brought a gurney, but I walked out on my own, thank you very much. At the chamber clinic, I had to put on PJs, since nothing metal could be in the chamber. Karen slept while I lay in the air-tight, kind of freaky chamber. It is like a sub doored tube--no handles on the inside and clear plexiglass for about 2 feet so the occupant can see out. It was weird--hissing O2 came from the bottom, and I was trying my hardest not to freak out b/c I was trapped with no escape. The plexoglass fogged up and I could see where other occupants had written on the fogged glass---kind of really freaked me out.