5.11.16. Chiquimula, Guatemala
These last few days have been very difficult for us.
Paul’s illness was getting worse, and his temperature had risen to 40 c/104 f so we went for more blood tests, another medical examination an x-Ray and MRI scan which showed that Paul is suffering from bronchial pneumonia in his right lung.
It seems likely that Paul picked up bacteria from somebody on our travels, and then the combination of changing climates and altitudes has taxed his already fatigued body, and made him ill.
It has been extremely painful for him, and he had lost his appetite, and could barely walk to the bathroom.
He has been tended to by a wonderful doctor, and is being cared for in one of the many local hospitals, here in Chiquimula. They have been treating him with antibiotics, oxygen and pulmonary therapy.
When I visited the hospital yesterday, Paul's fever seems to have gone and if all looks well he should be allowed out of hospital today
I'm feeling very relieved that he seems more like Paul now, poor thing. Even back to being cheeky "when is it they're coming to harvest my kidney?”
In Chiquimula, we are staying in a small Hostal with just 12 rooms. This Hostal (Casa Vieja) is owned by Carmen, and run by her and her three staff, Clarita, Christian and the gardener, whose name is too difficult for me to catch!
Since day one of Paul being ill, Carmen has gone out of her way to be helpful to us, arranging for special foods to be bought and cooked (these include, fresh wonderful fruit, homemade chicken soup, jellies, Gatorade drinks), and then arranging and taking us to many Doctor’s appointments, before running me to and fro to the hospital. Not only that, Carmen also arranged for Paul to see her own nephew, Dr Medina, a very busy local Doctor. I think Carmen knows everyone in this town!
Carmen told me that she is happy to do this for us, but especially because her daughter lives in France, so she knows what it’s like to be alone in a strange country. This support has been truly amazing, and has made us feel reassured in this tricky situation.
My Spanish is very basic, and Paul’s is much better, but I’m finding that I’m getting a lot of practice, and hope that means I’m improving. That was the idea, but I’m not sure we were thinking of practicing quite like this.
The messages of support we have received from home have also been wonderful, and mean a lot.
Once Paul returns to the Hostal, there will be a period of recovery, and the weather is pretty perfect here, about 25 degrees Celsius, not much rain. Dr Medina will be coming to visit Paul regularly at the Hostal to check on his progress.
Luckily, we have a lot of films and tv downloaded on to our laptop, so we shall no doubt, be doing a lot of viewing, in between little walks, and fresh air.
Guatemala has proved itself to be a friendly country, so completely at odds with everything we were told. The general feel to it in this town is as one big family, caring for each other, and being Latin in descent, the peoples here are happy to embrace and welcome you into their lives.