Of Doctors and Computers

Of Doctors and Computers

Scottish Wife and I have been in Guayabitos for three weeks now. Rincon, as it’s also known, lies about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta and considerably further south of the fog bound Comox Valley. Please don’t think I’m being smug here: smug is a term more properly applied to our fellow hotel guests who hail from Winnipeg and all points east and who have swapped -40 degree wind chill temperatures for +28. Those guys are positively brimming with smugness.

Leaving the balmy weather aside (along with the white sandy beaches, the palm trees swaying in the breeze and the 12 peso beers), I don’t want to give the impression that life is a bed of roses here. There’s always something to complain about. In my case it’s the internet access, or lack of, here at the otherwise impeccable Hotel Loma Linda. I don’t want to say I’m an obsessive, but it’s very hard for me to go through an entire day without an update from the world of sport. Whether it’s the latest news from the hockey pool (encouraging), Southampton FC (mixed) or the England cricket team’s tour of Australia (disappointing verging on humiliating) I need to know how things stand so I can enjoy the rest of my day. To put it kindly, however, our internet access thus far has been somewhat patchy.

And talking of patchy, yesterday I woke up with what seemed like a bunch of mosquito bites on my back. All part of the rich tapestry of life in Mexico, I thought, and headed off to the beach. There we bumped into our friend Kathy, who immediately said ” I don’t think those are mosquito bites, Dave. I think you’ve got shingles.” Like many males I have blind faith that medical ailments will tend to sort themselves out if just left well alone, but as soon as we got back to the hotel Scottish Wife went to look up the symptoms of shingles on the computer.

Sure enough, the internet was down again. By now, however, SW was in full Dr Julie mode and sent me off down the street in search of a doctor. I quickly found a shingle (a sign! a sign!) above an alleyway next to a restaurant saying “Dr Vladimir Muñoz Valles, Médico”. I looked high and low, but for the life of me I could not see any sign of a doctor’s office. After a few minutes, a waiter from the restaurant came out to ask if I needed help. He said the doctor was away in Guadalajara but would be back later tonight. I was somewhat surprised that he knew so much about the doctor’s comings and goings, but wrote a note on a piece of paper he gave me, asking the doctor to phone our hotel and, if possible, give me an appointment on Monday.

Back at the Loma Linda, there was still no luck with the internet, but we were assured that it would be sorted out soon and that a technician would come round to each room if necessary to enter the new hotel code. And so, at 8.00 this morning (Sunday) I wasn’t totally surprised when there was a knock at the door and a young man in a green tee shirt presented himself. “Ah, gracias, gracias,” I said, and pointed to the computer on the table. He seemed a little confused, so I said helpfully ” Computadora?” “Ah, no,” came the reply. “Soy doctor”.

Five minutes later the diagnosis was confirmed – shingles (or ‘herpes’, as it is somewhat embarrassingly called in Spanish) – his call out charge (400 pesos, about $35) had been paid and  I had a prescription for the necessary meds. That’s not quite the end of the story, however. An hour later, having picked up the meds from the nearest pharmacy, I found myself walking past the restaurant by the doctor’s sign again. And who should I see behind the restaurant counter? Dr Muñoz himself, still in the same green tee shirt, and smiling at me as if it was the most natural thing in the world for a doctor to be making a home call to a patient one minute and then serving breakfast in the family restaurant the next.

When I got back to the hotel the receptionist wanted to know how I was (it’s apparently an unwritten rule at the Loma Linda that everybody who works there knows absolutely everything about your personal life). “Bien, bien”, I said, and told her how impressed I was that a doctor would make a house call to a stranger at 8.00 on a Sunday morning, charge only $35 and then go back to his other job, serving omelettes and huevos rancheros. “I can’t imagine that happening in Canada,” I said. “Ah, señor David,” said Maira with a smile. “En Méjico, todo es posible! In Mexico, everything is possible!”

Que les vaya bien, amigos!

Dave Brooker

NOTE:   “Dave loves his visits to Mexico, but he usually blogs about golf – as a rules official, former caddie or member of Glacier Greens Golf Club in the Comox Valley.”

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2 Reviews on “Of Doctors and Computers”

  1. :

    A lovely story, you painted an accurate picture of 'our' little piece of paradise. Missing it on this overcast day in Canada.

  2. :

    What a great story Dave!!! I hope you recovered and stopped in for an omelette. 😁 Sharon de Goede

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