Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Hopes for Haiti

Although I have not yet departed for Haiti, I'm already being confronted with a situation well outside my comfort zone, so I guess my life is beginning since "life begins just outside your comfort zone," at least according to a popular greeting card. Six weeks ago I was given a prescription for an anti-malaria drug which I began taking yesterday. Just one pill and I was sick: overcome with exhaustion, I all but passed out for several hours. I woke up to dizziness, chills, dry mouth, blurry vision and a headache. Who knows, maybe malaria is better.

Determined to avoid another bout of those onerous side effects, I tossed the pills, which was annoying since the 14 of them cost $90 bucks and insurance wouldn't pay. Anyway, this morning I called the doctor who prescribed them. And the doc who sent me to the doc who prescribed them. Each time I spent about 20 minutes on hold listening to elevator music, interrupted every so often by a recorded voice telling me how important my call was to them. Finally a receptionist answered, who passed me along to a nurse who said she would find a doctor who would call me back very soon. That was two hours ago. So far, nothing.

So off I go, armed not with anti-malaria pills but with hope: I hope the DEET I slather on won't poison me. I hope my plane doesn't crash, I hope I don't fall under a voodoo spell. I hope I don't get sick, I hope I don't get robbed, I hope I don't get lost, I hope my bus doesn't slide down a muddy hillside, I hope I make it back home so that I can tell my doctor he sucks and find a new one. I hope leaving this country for a week will improve my mood. I hope all the people I know who are currently unhappy will get happier in my absence. I hope it's not too hot there, I hope there's no earthquake, I hope it doesn't rain all the time. I hope I lose ten pounds. In fact, I am counting on it.

 Okay, now I'm really gone.

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