Potty Mouth

Life abroad, even in these posh circumstances, has some ups and downs. One of them is the reminder of your vulnerability. Water is unpotable* and “things” (foods, glassware, toothbrushes, whatever comes in contact with water) may not be the safest. Our recent example was Gwen, but yesterday, it hit the rest of us a little as well.

Me a little harder, but I actually think pregnancy may have had an influence. Paul brought me garlic treatment** the minute it hit (unfortunately during shower time with Will, who waited patiently playing the water until I, dripping water all over the bathroom, was able to get back in… talk about your glamour moments.) I laid down directly after showering, drank some gatorade, and went to sleep. The bummer is that it is now 4am and I can’t sleep. But at least I feel good. Because we weren’t sure which way the night would go, Paul cancelled my morning spanish class. I have a super-important meeting scheduled for tomorrow with a reproductive health researcher who focuses on violence-related research at Cayetano University (Nancy Palomino; I figure I should getting into the habit of using names on this blog since the Lima-world is literally crashing in with links to folks popping up all over the place).

As we continue to plan what our lives will be like living here long-term, we talk a decent amount about planning our health care. (Note: one thing that the clinic experience with Gwen showed was that, without question, the health care here is way beyond the quality of that in New Orleans, so we do not feel we’re compromising and feel pretty good about getting care here.) The issue is more cost and paying for sudden illness. We now know that getting an IV for a couple of hours for dehydration is going to run us about $100 a visit (if we go to that clinic; I know there are others that are cheaper, but I feel good about sticking with the high-class entities around town.) This conversation lead to the following question:

“How many times a year will each of us need (or want) an IV for dehydration?”

I’m at a bit of a loss on this one, but we know the odds are high enough that it would be silly not to consider. The epidemiologist in me is plotting a not-so-random sample of friends and colleagues. How often would you plan on having an unfortunate bacteria in your tummy?

* We do plan on installing a water purification system in the kitchen when we return. Just to shield us a little more. After all, we’ll have two small kids to worry about.
**Garlic remedy. Chop up garlic, down it with a liquid. Cure for traveler’s tummy. Take it when symptoms hit, before vomitting starts or after it settles down. Don’t knock it ’til you try it; it works.