Street food vendors are always suspect
For the next several days I dutifully followed the diet and took my samples to the laboratory. The diet was extremely dull and I didn't even lose any weight, but in the next few days I began to feel better. Then yesterday, Monday, I went to the lab with my last specimen and told them I had a doctor’s appointment at 11:30, since they normally don’t have results until 1 pm. I didn’t know how they would handle that. They said, come back at 11:00 and we will have your results to take to the doctor. Sure enough at appointed hour I showed up and they folded up a little piece of white paper and stuck it in an envelope for me to take to the doctor. Unlike the U.S. I was to carry the report to the doctor, and unlike the U.S. the envelope was not sealed. When I got outside the clinic I opened the envelope. It said:
2– giardia lamblia
3– giardia lamblia
Giardia lamblia-If the organism is split and stained, it
has a very characteristic pattern that resembles a
familiar "smiley face" symbol. Is that a peculiar or what?
Today I went back. The waiting room was even more crowded. It appeared all these people had been waiting a long time as one woman got up and left and told the receptionist she would call to make an appointment. The doctor arrived and the whole group raced into his office. The receptionist called out to them, "no wait the Señora here has an appointment." Ah, all these people were waiting without an appointment but me. It didn’t much seem to matter because they went in and I was left out in the cold. After about 20 minutes they all came out (it seems it was one large family) and I finally got to see the doctor. He said you have a protozoa, not worms. He gave me a precription and said I would have to be retested in 15 days. He told me it was a hard parasite to get rid. Great, but I’d still rather have that than worms.
I hestitated to write this blog about such an indelicate subject, but Esperando said I should. He said this is part of life down here and you should tell people. If you don’t live here and just visit as a tourist you are far less likely to contract these weird things. It’s the daily grind that gets you.