Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Standards Too High? We didn't almost die.

It is a truism that faculty parties are perhaps a bit boring and staid, not very fun.   But perhaps my standards are too high.

In Amsterdam, it looks they will use a more sensible standard from now on.  "Sure, it was boring.  But least hundreds of us didn't almost DIE from food poisoning..."  Story.

Vacations, too, I guess.  Here is the LMM's account of our Tuesday night here in Chle, from an email to our sons.

We think Dad got food poisoning.  Not sure if from breakfast yesterday or dinner last night.  He didn't eat lunch, was saving for a big dinner.  He was fine all day, walked to restaurant, not far. He had some bread, butter, some of that tomato/onion thing. [Ed:  She means pebre.]  I had tomato salad, plate of tomatoes with no skin.  Dad had plate of avocados, said was feeling bad before he ate it  but ate it.  He ordered corvina (?) with the fried egg on top and french fries. [Ed:  Corvina a lo pobre, something one would only have if REALLY hungry.  But I was.  Until 30 seconds later, I wasn't.]  When it came, he said he wasn't feeling good, didn't eat a bite.  I had chicken and mushrooms, this not as good as night before, was in cream sauce.  He waited while I ate.  Said felt really bad, I told waiter in terrible Spanish to hurry with the check that dad was sick.  

He came over, dad paid, got up and fell straight back, passed out cold.  Two waiters came running, I screamed, only two other people in entire restaurant, they came running over, everyone speaking Spanish, I have no idea.  Dad came to, said he felt better, could walk back to restaurant.  Said he thought low blood sugar, felt this once before in 1986 while at Dartmouth.  They said we should go to hospital.  Dad said no.  They said they would get a driver.  (think it was one of the employees).  Three people walking us out, including the chef with his tall hat on.  Walked down stairs, Dad passed out again.  Hit head on stairs.  Had a constable there, she called ambulance.  Dad came to briefly on his back, and immediately spewed vomit like a whale..  Waited for ambulance, took us to ER.  Everyone speaking Spanish and I'm lost.  

To ER, took us right in.  Took vital signs, all good.  Thankfully doctor spoke English.  Young guy, had Calvin Klein T shirt on and Adidas sweatpants.  About my height, dark hair, eyebrows.  Think this was about 10:30 or 11:00.  Gave dad IV for fluid.  Took a while, real run down hospital but all nice and try to be helpful.  Dad not feel well, not a very comfortable bed he was in, back hurt (probably from the fall)   His stomach was upset but he didn't tell them he felt like vomiting again, thought they might keep him overnight.  Customer service lady from hotel came to hospital, named Trinidad, she spoke English.  Gave us her number to call if needed anything, arranged for cab back to hotel.  Went to fill out paper work and pay. Dad had left his driver's license at hotel, had only taken pesos and credit card.  They told me charge was something like 13000 pesos.  Went to give them credit card (we are low on pesos, another story). They said only took cash, I said I didn't have enough pesos.  They asked for dad's ID, told them we didn't have it.  They then said it was free, no charge.

Waited 30 min for cab.  Got back to hotel, dad went to bathroom in hotel lobby and threw up again, all over.  Told hotel people, they were very understanding, Trinidad had told him about dad's experience.  Dad felt lot  better after that.  Took hot bath.  To bed, was shivering, Got him extra blanket, fluids.  He fell asleep.  I stayed up to about 2:30 reading to make sure he was ok.  He slept fitful.  He got up to try to have breakfast, had two bites of toast.  Then back to bed all day.  I went out to get more water, gingerale, gatorade, soda crackers.  Made dad drink liquids.  He just got showered and we just left the room for a bit so they can change sheets.  Won't be going out to eat tonight!!

Okay, so that was bad.  But the LMM went down for dinner at the hotel restaurant, had an omelette.  Three hours later, she was dizzy, feeling faint, and driving the porcelain bus herself.  She is still up in the room, and is not well at all.  I feel better today, not completely better, but better.

Anyway, now we'll have a new standard for vacations also, like the faculty at Amsterdam.  "Did you have a good vacation?"  "Sure, it was GREAT!  Not once did we pass out in the street, surrounded by workers and police, and send them all running when we puked like a whale!"  By that standard, I hope that all our future vacays are improvements over the last 36 hours.

Nod to Anonyman.


jD Cross said...

So sorry to hear. I have had two vacations in the past few years that included episodes as you describe (luckily, only for me, and not also inclusive of the wife). Some of the worst experiences I can remember having - being in a place other than one's home and feeling so bad. Blerg! Not good. Hopefully everybody recovers quickly.

Jeff said...

I want to know more about this "puked like a whale" thing. Do whales puke a lot? Or is it a reference to the whale's size and the volume of liquids they're able to hold in their innards? Or is it a reference to how whales can forcefully expel water from their blowholes? It seems like it could be either one. Is puking like a whale forceful, projectile vomiting, or is it just puking a lot, volume-wise? Or both? Inquiring minds want to know!

Mungowitz said...

Yes, Jeff, it was the "forceful expulision of air and water through the blowhole on surfacing from a dive" that I was going for. I don't think whales puke, unless they have too many pisco sours. And for a whale, that would have to be a LOT of pisco sours.

Anonymous said...

Of course whales puke. It is called ambergris and it is worth a lot of money!

Sorry to hear you were sick. Your stories remind me of my brief vacation in Chile. Hope the rest of your time is better...


Angus said...

Mungo are you concerned at all about the level of detail and nuance in the LMM's description of the Doctor?

John D. said...

13,000 pesos for the bill? According to Google currency converter that's about USD 27.35. I think I figured out how we can afford Obamacare - outsource to Chile!

Seriously, though, so sorry to hear about your sicknesses. Hope you all recover soon.

Mungowitz said...

Angus, there is NO question: The LMM would have left me for the young doctor, even if I had NOT been puking and smelly. But at that point I just wanted her to be happy about something, and his hot youthful self was all I had going for me at that point. That is, "Honey, you only got to see that doctor because I was sick. Are you happy? Honey?" Pitiful? Perhaps.

Angus said...

I understand. You gotta do what you gotta do.