Sunday, February 24, 2013

February is a cruel month!

Just as we were starting to adjust to life in our house without Bogart, more calamities to upset our cart! The week started peacefully enough, and on Thursday, we took a run into Pedasi to see Bob, the internet whiz kid, have an ice cream, and then I told Chris I wanted to stop by the vet's just a few doors away to thank him for his kindness to Bogey and to let him know the outcome. Dr Diaz was most gracious, and although he had just finished spaying a lovely cat (still on the table), he took time with me. I spoke to him about Cagney's pining, and he told me his young assistant of the day may have a 3 month kitten to give away. As I left, he agreed to phone me the coming week about this. All this was conducted in half English, half Spanish and several gestures!

I walked across the street to where Chris had moved the car, stepped into a hole in the road, lost my balance and did a magnificent one point landing beside the car - nose first. The smack as I hit the pavement jarred my whole upper body and I knew I had done damage! I tried to get up, blood pouring from my nose and mouth and couldn't move. Chris said something about getting the vet - wait a minute here, I'm not a cat! -  and a moment later I was being lifted up by Dr Diaz, with help from a passer-by and a man who stopped his car to help. I was unaware of most of this as I had nearly passed out by now, and was limp.

We drove the few blocks to the local clinic where several pairs of hands immediately started to clean  my face and hands, my arms, and anywhere they could see blood. After a while and a doctor or two looking at me, they said I needed to go to Las Tablas hospital for xrays. Oh, joy - the place where Chris nearly froze! Off I go with a nurse beside me on the 40 minute ambulance ride, and am immediately attended to by a paramedic at that hospital. He finished the clean up, and after another doctor peeked at me, said I need stitches inside my mouth. Yikes. Local spray anaesthetic, then injectable, and he place three sutures in my lower lip. Xrays of my right knee (hurting like stink!) and my face, and we waited for a decision. This time I need to go by ambulance to Chitre (another 30 minute ride) to see a specialist as my nose is broken. Ah, me!  

Another driver, another nurse, and the Chitre hospital is about as far removed from the one in Las Tablas as can be. Newer, better equipment, cleaner, and they even have toilet paper in the bathrooms! It takes some time, but we eventually meet a small, neat little doctor who says she will operate next Monday! I am given a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and a non-narcotic pain killer plus some dressing supplies and told to go home to rest, and return for 7 am  on the 25th. Other than the long waits between, I was cared for extremely well, and competently! The total bill so far is $15.00 for the xrays. Despite my many jokes about having facial rejuvenation in Panama, this was definitely not what I had in mind!

So, I get through the next two days with some pain, and watch happily as our garden starts to take shape at the front with Matt's administrations, and later on as we watch TV, we become aware that we haven't seen Cagney for a few hours. A thorough search of the house, and he is nowhere! Chris finds a loosened screen in our bedroom, and we figure he has taken off to explore. Darn cat! More to worry about. Chris wanders outside for over an hour calling him, and searching with a strong flashlight. I fret and worry, and search inside once more. After a sleepless night, a small figure appears on the window ledge of the bedroom at 5:30, and Cagney has returned after 11 hours of wandering. He is dirty, smelly, hungry, thirsty and eventually we find he may have been hurt.

Sunday morning is spent trying to find a vet who is available. Dr Diaz is off on a call until 6 pm, the vet in Las Tablas does not answer, so we bundle our little limp buddy in the car, and head for the animal hospital in Chitre. On arrival, I call the emergency phone number posted on the door, and Dr de Leon tells me he will be there at 1 pm. We wait the two hours, while Cagney seems more lethargic by the minute, and his panting increases. Dr de Leon arrives a little early and declares Cagney to be dehydrated, have a fever, but no broken limbs and likely no bad cuts. He says he has an infection. We left him with the dr for treatment and agreed to stop by the clinic after my appointment at the local hospital on Monday.

Too much drama for me! I typed this in a bit of a daze - what happened to luck?

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