In my travels and time in Latvia, I was hoping to avoid a visit to the hospital...but alas, that did not happen. Just so everyone knows, I'm all right. When you hear that they may have to put you under anesthesia you worry a little, at least I did because of all that I've heard about Latvian medicine practices. I was sick all weekend long, so first thing this morning, I went in to see the embassy nurse. After taking a look and hearing my symptoms, she recommended that we go see a specialist. Without going TOO much into detail, I had an abscess that got infected in an area that made it difficult to walk.
The way that they do their medical here is definitely different than in the States. You have to pay first, then go here, go there, get the medicine from the pharmacy then go to the nurse...it's just bizarre! Anyway, I had to get an ultrasound and man, did it HURT! Ouch! Any way, after getting the ultrasound, the specialist said that I'd have to go to the hospital and get it taken care of right away. That's when they thought they were going to have to put me under...so I was a little nervous so the nurse came with me which was really nice. I went to the University Hospital where they have a whole bunch of buildings but everything is in Latvian which didn't help us. We finally found where we needed to go and they got me registered in and then they took me back. They wouldn't let the nurse come with me but one of the doctors spoke English so it was ok.
It was interesting inside, you could tell it was an old building and instead of private or semi-private rooms like one would get in the States, patients lined the hallways on gurneys. I felt so bad for the people, they were just laying there all by themselves (families could not come back). It just made me thankful and appreciate the medical care in the States.
They numbed me and then drained the area, band-aided me up, I paid and then we took a taxi back to my apartment. Anna, the embassy nurse was great! She went the whole way with me and went and got my antibiotics. Wendy offered to bring me dinner and my bosses were great.
I didn't get out of Latvia without seeing the inside of a hospital but I am grateful that it was a simple and easy thing.