First of all- no matter what you are thinking, it's not what you think. This is actually about a visit to the doctor.
For the past month I have been sick. At first just a simple cold, but for the last 6 or 7 days it has traveled lower, toward my lungs. Having had pneumonia once, I am more susceptible a second time, so I got a little concerned. In addition, I woke up early Saturday morning with sharp pains on my right side in the chest muscles. They lasted for about a half hour and in the morning were gone. I took an aspirin, just in case. So I decided to use our health insurance and go to the local clinic of Medico Uruguya in Salinas, to see what was going on. Pneumonia? Mild heart attack?
Saturday mornings the woman doctor who speaks perfect English is on duty. After close to a year, I would normally be comfortable trying to explain in Spanish, but I was feeling too sick and didn't have the energy for language. I was glad she was there.
After talking with her about the symptoms, she assured me that I hadn't had a heart attack. As everyone (except me, apparently) knows, a heart attack starts on the left side and can travel down the left arm. It was no doubt a sore muscle caused by the coughing I was experiencing. And after a brief examination, she said my lungs were clear and the infection had settled into the bronchial tubes. Bronchitis! Much better than pneumonia. So she prescribed a simple 3 pill, 3 day antibiotic, spent time telling me to keep warm, drink liquids and encouraged me to (wait for it.......) take my vows. Of course, when she explained it and wrote it down, it was much difference than I thought. The Spanish word is "vahos" and since "v" is pronounced as a very soft "b" (kind a cross between "v" and soft "b"), it sounds quite close to "vows".
It is the old water vapor treatment, that she said was quite common here and my grandfather had probably used in the States. Simply boiling water and breathing in the vapors. After doing a little research, I found that it is a very effective treatment. And she told be to buy some herbs that are common here and boil them with the water.
So.... Pneumonia- no! Heart attack-no! But I am taking my vows.