A birthday in Spain: Infections, injections, and breathing on the beach

At 3 AM on my birthday, I woke to a splitting, mind numbing feel like someone punched me in the cranium headache behind my right ear.

Hoy shit what it THAT?

After a few days of trying learn to surf, humility in hand, I woke to go the bathroom and jam some ibuprofen down my throat.

Wow. This is painful. Google swimmers ear. Text my buddy back in CO and he says vinegar and alcohol. None in sight.

I’m staying at a yoga/surf retreat that teaches you how to surf and does yoga in between to help your body.

Nice. The first two days of weather were rain and 50s. Made me feel at home.

The instructor did her best to help me get up on the board but I was failing. I’m mean it is hard at first.

My bday I was gonna sneak out at sunrise and try on my own without the watchful gaze of Carolina.

But instead I stumbled down the street, past the bars still raging from Friday night and luckily found a cab to the pharmacy.

As stuck my face into the tiny darkened hole that was more like a prison window, the woman there listened to my plight. She gave me antibiotic ear drops.

The taxi driver had waited, drove me back and wished me luck. I dropped back into bed but the pain was bad so I popped a few painkillers to solve the problem the Ibuprofen didn’t.

I sent a WhatsApp message to Carolina as she lives upstairs to check in when she wakes and yoga won’t be happening.

As i woke at 9 the searing pain in my ear began to get worse. Oh man. She says let’s go to the doctor.

They let me right in, look at my ear, give me more antibiotics and something for inflammation. 180 bucks.

Good right? I go home to sleep. Pop two MORE painkillers and more drops and try to sleep. It’s now 3 PM. I am starting to get concerned. My head feels as though it is being inflated by a bicycle pump when I move. The pain is now a 7.

One of Carolina’s friend shows up, Berta, and she’s a nurse. Her English isn’t great but she says if you’re in that much pain you can get a shot for it. Really?

As I pace around the backyard the girls prepare to go and we go back to the private doctor. Now the pain is 8.5 and I am close to tears. I pace around the waiting room as I can’t sit.

THIS IS BRUTAL. Happy. Birthday. To. Me.

The doc grabs me, jams this huge needle in my ass and I laugh as I can’t really walk now. The girls help me to the car, after 10 min the pain goes to 7, 6, 5, and 4. Wow.

We walk to beach, do a yoga breathing practice, watch the sunset, come home, have dinner, and play some music.

Then I passed out. Birthdays are never dull.

By the way, the doctor didn’t charge me for the shot. The visit was expensive.

Don’t take healthcare for granted. If you vote for people that say they want to cut Social Security and Medicare etc., you only have yourself to blame. The people trying to come to our country won’t take it from you.

That adventure would have cost me a grand in the US without insurance.

Even on my birthday.

Thanks for all the great birthday wishes! More to come!

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