I had a UTI in Sinaloa.
While this is certainly true, I’m pretty sure the only thing a UTI and the state of Sinaloa have in common is that they are both scary.
At first, I wasn’t quite sure about the UTI part.
I think the last time I felt the majorly unpleasant sensation was over to 30 years ago - interestingly enough, also on a long road trip - so I had to go back in my memory before assessing that yup, that was it - and it wasn’t going to get better on its own.
Being me, I immediately wanted to take a hot bath but because I have only seen one bath tub since moving to Mexico, I knew that wasn’t a likely option. A hot shower would be my next best hope and having just checked out of the motel, we were told that we would have to pay for another night if we wanted our room key back.
I didn’t like that idea, especially since I knew that while the hot water would relax me, it would not heal what ailed me - and was ailing me more by the second.
Pharmacy. We must find a pharmacy.
Which we did.
I walked in and asked for medicine, learning a whole new batch of Spanish vocabulary in the process. Something to cure this and something to take away the pain while I waited for the relief to arrive. I was handed two small boxes of pills and popped a dose before getting to the car.
It was getting bad.
Stopping to get a juice, I searched on my phone and learned that while the meds I had been given would help, they would not cure the infection.
I needed antibiotics.
This time I asked for antibiotics using my fancy new vocabulary about what-was-wrong-with-me. I also did a little dance to emphasize how uncomfortable I was and the nice señora behind the counter graced me with a sisterly wince. Then she told me that she could only give me antibiotics with a prescription, which needed to be written by a doctor.
My mood sank.
We were about 20 hours from home with a big chunk of desert to cross. I didn’t know anyone in this whole darn state, nor the next, who could write me a prescription. How would I find a doctor? And if I did, how long would it take for me to get an appointment?
I suddenly saw a bunch of hurdles in front of me just as the burning need-to-pee-but-can’t-pee madness was getting worse.
Next door, said the nice señora, pointing to the wall. There’s a doctor next door.
A doctor that could see me? I asked. Me being not Mexican, not from anywhere near here, and just passing through.
Sure, she said. Go knock on the door and he’ll see you. He’s there right now.
I walked out of the pharmacy and opened the door… next door. I stepped into a tiny waiting room, and a man wearing a white coat and a nice smile came out to greet me and invite me into the examination room.
Once there he asked me what was going on. I used my new words again and he asked me a series of questions.
Then he had me lay on the exam table and palpated my belly and back, asking me more questions.
Having assessed that my bladder and kidneys were fine, he wrote me a prescription to take next door, advising me to drink lots of water and take the prescription for five full days, even though I would feel better in a few hours.
I wanted to hug him and instead asked him how much I owed him. You see, I don’t have Mexican health insurance and I knew that my travel insurance would not cover this.
45 pesos was his answer. Well, plus the pills, which you will pick up next door.
45 pesos. You are freaking kidding me? Two Dollars And Forty Five Cents??
For a doctor’s visit? A real doctor, in case you are wondering. Diplomas on the wall and all. With no appointment. No paperwork, no nothing.
The antibiotics came to about 60 pesos, I think.
As I walked out, the pharmacy señora seemed happy for me.
On the road again we went, out of Sinaloa. And by sun down, I barely hurt anymore.
I am still shaking my head at how the whole thing was so smooth and so inexpensive. So easy. So… right.
This is Mexico as I am learning it: Some things are maddening, take forever, baffle me. And others have me in awe of how so very well they work.
Things like taking care of someone who is in pain without a bunch of red tape, wasted time and money.
In Happiness School, I share with you ALL the tools from my very own toolbox. in 90 days, you will learn to adapt with less pain, more excitement - and more magic.