I just recently returned from making a trip to San Pedro Sula with my friend, Bonnie. It was intended to be a shopping trip with a short visit to the doctor for a consultation concerning bone spurs in both her heels! For more details, see: http://bonnbob.blogspot.com/2010_11_01_archive.html for a full report by Bonnie on the result of the visit to the doctor.
I have been to San Pedro to either be a patient or a nurse to someone else and I learn something new every time. Unfortunately, most of what I learn is not useful on subsequent trips because things never stay current in Honduras and what one discovered, did or accomplished on one trip will be completely eradicated on the next visit because, well, things are constantly changing here. And, it is not that they are changing to be improved upon. No, things change because they no longer either order them because of a lack of interest or price, stores close and move and leave no forwarding information, methods of doing things are changed because people do not have on-the-job-training and, therefore, every new person does things in a different manner! All this just makes life an adventure when going to the Mainland.
Needless to say, Bonnie had the surgery on one foot, recovered and is well and functioning back on Guanaja. What she failed to say in her Blog was the strain involved on the return to the island was; i.e., the flight back! What does this have to do with "medical techniques" you say? Well, since she was in a wheel chair and/or crutches, I wanted to make sure that we took a larger plane making it easier for her to fly home. I booked a flight on Sosa from SPS to Guanaja with a stop, naturally, in La Ceiba. Little did I know that Sosa planed a side trip to Roatan from La Ceiba before going on to Guanaja. The Sosa plane was picked because 1) it was larger and more accommodating for a person with crutches, 2) there would only be two changes of plane (SPS to La Ceiba and La Ceiba to Guanaja) and 3) the plane would be roomy enough to accommodate her getting on and off with easier access to stairs for boarding!
Sosa had something else in mind entirely. They knew we had a woman who needed wheel chair assistance so it was no big secret. When to got to La Ceiba, we made the change and after a very short wait the plane boarded for Guanaja. I should have known something was up when we left BEFORE the regular schedule from La Ceiba. It was announced, on the plane, that we were making a stop in Roatan.....nothing was said about changing planes. We arrived and lo and behold we were told we had to get off and continue the trip (with 9 people) on a smaller 10-seater plane! I was not a happy camper. Bonnie had to disembark and hobble over to the other plane (of course they had no wheel chair ready for her). Then to our horror, and just what I wanted to avoid, there were no steps up to the plane plus it had very cramped seating and would provide her with no comfort whatsoever once she was on board. They attempted to bring the stairs from the larger plane but they would not fit the door to the smaller plane. The seats were bench seats and so it was a real scramble to get everyone on board before they attempted to get Bonnie in. After several tries and failures, Bonnie said if they could help her up, she would sit on the edge of the door and then, somehow, boost herself up into the seat! I was so angry. First, the men stood around like they had no idea how to assist her and we had to force them to give her some help. Bonnie is a trooper - she got herself into the plane and sat, very uncomfortably and crammed into her place on the plane.
Then the real fun began. they had to get luggage into the plane for 8 people including two large ice chests that we had brought with us! They loaded and unloaded the plane 3 times trying to make the items fit! They just have no sense of how to pack a plane and were throwing in all the small items first and trying to cram in the large ice chests last. At one point they mentioned leaving some of the luggage and/or ice chests behind and everyone loudly protested. We said that the real solution would have been to simply take the same plane we came into Roatan on to Guanaja. Of course, once they had made up their minds, they were not admitting they had made a mistake. So, finally, everything was crammed/pushed/packed/loaded/jammed into the plane and we took off. My biggest fear was that we were overweight and would not be able to take off! But, we did. We did manage to fly a lot lower than normal over the sea, but made it to Guanaja.
As to advanced "medical techniques", ten days later, my husband and I went out to Clark Cay to remove Bonnie's two stitches. Mike has removed stitches from me, our dogs, our friend's dogs and now another human! So, he is qualified - right?!! He has all the tools to complete the task. Maybe not the fancy tools of a doctor, but sufficient enough to get the task done and painlessly. Of course he had to joke with Bonnie and tell her he was bringing his garden shears to get the job done!
Above, you will see the "wound", the procedure and one of the stitches finally removed.
Bonnie felt a lot better after the "procedure" and we celebrated by eating the lunch I prepared and brought along with an added bonus of Rice Krispie Squares for desert! Yummm. We then played Mexican Train Dominoes (Bob won of course) and had a couple of drinks to relax!
Mike is getting more confident about his medical abilities and has tried to convince people to let him perform a lobotomy or, if they are not agreeable he will do vasectomy or a castration if one wants to go that way. With the little practice he has had doing this procedure, one could start as one thing and end up as the other. So far, no takers!
Meanwhile, he proudly wears a T-Shirt with this logo: