I woke up with Quinn on my shoulder to Albertina frantically yelling my name through the window. Quinn didn’t hear a thing, she was out. I went outside to see Albertina with the test results. She said that Quinn was positive for Dengue and that we had to go immediately. We ran down to the lake to get cell signal so that we could call for a taxi. I was freaking out because Albertina said this was very serious and extremely dangerous for Quinn. I took a deep breath and headed back to the room.
Jon slowly came into the room, sat down next to me on the bed and kissed my forehead. It was a great way to wake up but I could tell he was very nervous. My stomach dropped and I knew what he knew before he said anything: I had dengue. He calmly told me and then helped me up to put my clothes on. Hundreds of thoughts raced through my mind, but I was just eager to get treatment at the hospital and hopefully recover as soon as I could. I had never been to a Nicaraguan hospital before though, so there were a lot of unknowns. I had no idea what to expect.
I knew Quinn was scared but we were both really happy that I could come with her to the hospital. Albertina, Quinn and I got in the taxi and Albertina instructed the driver to drive as fast as possible. We were speeding through the hills honking at children and bikers to move to the side as we sped past them. Quinn had her eyes closed on my shoulder the whole journey.
Jon woke me up as we pulled up to Hospital Japonés. The cab dropped us off inside the gated property up at the front near the emergency room. Albertine motioned for Jon to sit me down on the nearest bench as she went up to the front desk to explain the situation. Within just a couple of minutes, Albertina came over and grabbed my hand to take me into the ER. There were several others that had been waiting longer than me, but apparently saying you have dengue will get you to the front of the line anywhere around here.
The girls went straight into the Emergency Room. The doctor shut the door and I started to look around the property. It looked just like an elementary school except there were sick people everywhere. There was not a single tourist in sight. All locals sitting on benches waiting to show the doctors their bloody arm or explain that they just threw up on the bench. This was a lot to take in.
As we walked into the ER, I saw a handful of people from old to young laying on wooden plank tables with IV tubes in their arms. It was distinctly quiet, which was the opposite from what I was expecting. I felt as though every set of eyes in the room was staring right at me. It’s not every day you see a very tall 5’11” white freckled blue eyed girl roaming the Nicaraguan ER rooms. I was also very skinny, had almost no color in my face and looked very ill–quite the sight as you can imagine. A woman doctor weighed me, measured my height and then sat me down in a chair. Once again, Albertina explained that I had been tested positive for dengue and had been very sick for about 5 days. The doctor said that she needed to make sure my blood pressure wasn’t too low, so she tightly wrapped the a velcro band around my arm and pumped it until my arm turned purple. She nodded her head and told me that I needed to get my blood drawn again here for more tests. I was not looking forward to this again.
After sitting on the bench for 30 minutes I became very antsy to see how Quinn was doing. I attempted to move from bench to bench in hopes to get a glimpse of what was going on inside. For just a moment I could see Quinn getting her blood drawn. I saw her feet squirming as she was fighting the pain while Albertina held her head up to make sure she wouldn’t pass out. Then the door shut.