So. Yeah pretty gross pictures. After a two week bout with stubborness, I gave into my discomfort and went into the hospital to have surgery on a really bad in-grown toenail. It is a very different experience getting health care in a foreign country. My initial visit to the ¨hospital¨ across the street from the hostel turned out just to be a place where a doctor looks at your symptoms. It was a little frustration, because I obivious knew that I needed to have surgery on it (having already had the procedure done on my other toe). So you see the first guy and he charges you 70 pesos to confirm what you already know.
I have an unfortunate bad habit of saving things till the last minute and this was no exception. At 4 pm I walked in hoping to have this surgery when I had a flight out of town the following morning. Luckily for me the guy makes some phone calls to a specialist and he precedes to inform me that the main hospital can get me in if I get to them within 15 minutes. It turns out that this hospital is 40 blocks away on the other side of the city. Ready GO!!!
Rush mode kicks in. I have to hail a cab but I have no cash on me and there is no bank in sight. With no other choice I took to jogging in the direction of the hospital. Long story short, I found a bank, was able to hail a cab, and convince the driver to drive like the wind. Argentina drivers regularly drive like a bat out of hell (completely ignoring lanes markers, other cars, people and even speed limits) and when I showed him the doctor´s note, he took it upon himself to push the limits of his small Volkswagon engine.
After almost getting clipped by a bus and dangerously coming close to nicking a couple pedestrians, we skidded to a halt outside the main hospital emergency room with just minutes until my appointment.
This is where the slight differences in patient privacy between the States and Argentina differ. I am on the cutting board and the young doctor is injecting my toe with novacaine. Then the next thing I know, my one on one patient doctor visit becomes a cafeteria and observatory room for all the rest of the doctors pointing, laughing and staring in disbelief at my infected toe. Don´t mind me. So with the peanut gallery taking a snack break around me my doctor regains his composure, forgoes waiting on the drugs to take full effect, grabs a pair of pliers and rips free a quarter of my nail out from my skin down to the root. Once that is done and to my uncomfortable belief he then cuts it right off. I suppose that is one way of doing it.
In all it was a relief to have it over and done with and I can rest assure that I woun´t have further problems with my feet. The best part is that I was able to have it done for the fraction of the cost of what it would cost in the states. Bandaged and feeling better. -M