A run-in with an insect (it may have been a mosquito) gave me a mild case of cellulitis at my left elbow. This bite was unlike any other bite and caused my elbow to swell up. It soon became difficult to bend or straighten the limb or for blood to flow easily. And guys, it hurt so much! Every time I moved it, the pain was like the buzzer going off in a game of Operation.
Frankly, I'm glad I didn't see what bit me (even if it was a dirty mosquito). The only bug I like is the ladybug, and biting or stinging insects terrify me.
I had no intention of going to any medical facility while on vacation unless it was to get vaccinated from Covid-19. I endured the pain and discomfort for two days before bringing it to my sister's attention; at which point, she diagnosed it as cellulitis and told me that I needed to go to the clinic to get antibiotics. Me and my big mouth!
I'm not anti-medicine in any way. In fact, a couple years ago I was a walking pharmacy and could tell people by name what medicine they could take for various ailments. However, I've tried to limit my use of antibiotics over the last three years.
I tried to get out of going and told my sister that I was going to get advice from my Doctor in Jamaica... who promptly and decisively told me to go to the clinic and get the antibiotics.
Healthcare in Brazil is available to all citizens and visitors and usually at no cost to the patient.
When we left to go to the clinic I was prepared for a long line before getting anywhere. When we got there, there weren’t many people waiting but the team took some time to confirm that I could be seen as a non-resident. After they verified that, I was seen by a doctor who gave the same diagnosis and prescribed the same antibiotics as my sister (so I guess that means she can really be certified as a doctor come November).
We then joined the line to get the antibiotics and I asked my sister how much it would cost. When I said healthcare is available, I mean totally available. So I didn't have to pay for the medication either. Regardless of my concerns about this type of system, I was extremely grateful to not have to pay for the visit or the meds and that it also took less than two hours to get through.
The cellulitis is practically cleared up now so I shouldn't have to go back (but my almost-doctor sister will decide tomorrow).