Posted by: vlbyers | May 28, 2011

Challenges in El Salvador

It has been a while since my last post. One reason is that we have done some inland travel, the other is that I have also been challenged with some illnesses which required extensive follow-up.
The story begins the week before we are considering leaving on a trip that will include Tical, Guatemala as one of the major stopping points. As we are considering making this trip, Larry asks me if we should commit since I am not feeling well, the typical no energy, slight fever, achy, painy type of sickness that hasn’t really grabbed me so I feel pretty good every other day or so, so my reaction is ‘of course we should go’. This decision was made also because 8 of our very good cruising buddys were going too, we couldn’t not go with them.
We left on our trip, which I will entail in the next post, and the first few days were OK. In Antigua, the night before we were to hop a plane to Guatemala and Tical, I became very ill, I was not able to get out of bed, very, very sick. One of my friends is a nurse- midwife and she and Larry made the decision that this had gone on too long and a DR. needed to be called. I didn’t put up a fight, I wanted an answer and a cure by this time.
The doctor arrived within the hour, to our hotel room. Besides being very cute and having a great bedside manner and fluent in english, he gave me a thorough physical exam, you know the kind you are taught in school but never ever repeat in real practice. Well the lump under my arm alarmed him more than anything else and he was on the verge of sending me back to San Salvador to have follow-up when he found some whitish spots in my throat. I hadn’t had or complained of a sore throat but his diagnosis was strep and he ordered antibiotics, which were delivered to my room within the hour! Yeah! On to Tical!!
I did feel better for a few days on the antibiotics and was able to mostly enjoy our travels, but I knew that there was still something that needed to be addressed.
When I returned to San Salvador the lump under my arm was still large and painful so being the prudent nurse that I am I made an appointment to have follow-up.
I am happy to report that I am current on my mammogram, I had an Ultrasound of the lump, an MRI was scheduled from that, blood work to try to diagnose the original problem, and then a biopsy of the lump was also done. Thankfully all the tests came back negative but I don’t know what the original problem may have been. We have speculated that our cat had such an infection before she died that I may have contracted what she had. I may have also had ‘cat scratch fever’ and with my lowered immunity I wasn’t able to fight it.
Of course after I finished 2 courses of antibiotics, no I did not get a yeast infection, but I did get a major cold that laid me up for 2 days. The medical treatment that I received while here was top quality. My physician spent an hour with me at each visit, problem solving with me and my husband. The tests ordered were all valid and expected, The lab technicians and the MRI techs were all competent and friendly. I got a mammogram within a week of the order, and MRI the day it was ordered, and the DR. went to the lab to get the results personally when it was needed. The DR. office, Lab, US, mammogram and MRI were all located in the same building eliminating the need for me to run around the city getting all this done.
All in all a wonderful, although at times stressful, and I felt like a pincushion at times, experience in a strange country.


  1. I am so glad to know that you are feeling better. Monty has been fighting something off since we got back as well. Too much fun will do you in everytime. 🙂

  2. thank goodness you are fine. feel good always! last of internet for a few weeks. Missing you all.

  3. Miss you already, send us your email address so we can stay in touch while you are back in the states.

    Shannon and Tony- SV Sweetie

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