Jamaica Vacation Gone Awry Part II
While riding to the hospital I was thinking, God, my eye is throbbing, I hope I don’t lose my eyesight. Upon driving up to, what appeared to me as an abandoned building, “the hospital,” Tony said, “Here you are, I’ll wait out here.” “Are you kidding me?” I said totally appalled. “No, this is the nearest hospital. It’s ok, the doctor is really good,” Tony said with confidence. We got out of the car and upon walking into the building we noticed holes in the flooring, where you can see the dirt foundation. In the doctors office there was one medical book on the bookshelf that dated back to early 1900’s covered in dust. At that time is when the doctor appeared around the corner and said, “What can I do for you?” I told her what happened as she opened the front desk drawer of her desk. At first I thought she was looking for a pen until she pulled out a thermometer and started trying to probe it into my mouth.
“What the hell!” I said, “Did you just dig that out of your pencil drawer?” “It’s ok, it’s ok, just relax,” the “doctor” said, while giving a quick nod to someone, somewhere behind me. My husband and I turned to see who it was, but nobody was there. “Thank you doctor, for attempting to look at my wife, but I think she needs to go to a larger facility that may be able to help her. Where is your nearest hospital?” But, as my husband’s concentration was fixed on the doctor, someone came from the back room approached me, before my husband or I could look up to see who it was or do anything, and injected something into my right forearm. I immediately went crazy, “What was that you just gave me? Was that a sterile needle? Oh my God, what is going on?” The doctor said, “It’s only something that will take the pain away, relax.” My husband although furious, tried to gain control of the situation, before it got too out of hand. “I think we better leave, what do I owe you doctor?” he said, while being on guard for what might happen next. “Twenty dollars,” the doctor stated. He pulled the twenty out, threw it on the desk, pulled me out of the chair, as I was ranting and raving, and immediately directed me out to the taxi. “Take us back to the hotel!” my husband insisted. Tony did as was asked.
Meanwhile, everything was going fuzzy, this euphoric atmosphere engulfed me, yet the pain in my left eye was more intense than ever. When we got to the hotel my husband went to the front desk and insisted on getting directions to the nearest hospital. “Well, that would be in Kingston, several hours away,” the front desk clerk stated. “I’m not going to any other hospital out here! I want to go back home,” I slurred out as everything started to elongate and turn blurry. “When is the next flight to Miami?” my husband inquired. “Oh, there is no next flight, the planes only land and depart once a week on a Tuesday.” At that time, I was drawing lines with my finger in the air watching the silhouette remain even after my finger dropped. “Wow, look hon” I said with one eye shut. “I want to charter a plane!” my husband insisted. “There are no planes to charter, sir. I would suggest getting your wife into bed she looks like she is going to drop,” the clerk said while watching me sway. My husband picked me up and carried me to our room as I drifted off to sleep.
By mid-night I awoken, my eye was swollen shut and the pain was searing. “Oh my God, I’m going to lose my eyesight!” I started balling my eyes out. “It’s ok, Sly, just hang in there. I went through several avenues to get help for you. I finally got in touch with the World Health Organization and they’re sending someone out here from Miami. He will be here by morning. I wish you would have gone to Kingston for help,” he said as I turned and yelled, “I am not going to another one of their hospitals!”
By 9 a.m. I started having delusions from the shooting pain. “There’s a voodoo lady sticking pins in my eye, help me, help me…” as my husband was trying to apply warm soaks to my eye to prevent it from sealing off. At that time the phone rang, “Hello, thank God, yes doctor we are located at….” was all I heard. Within 30 minutes from that call there was a knock on the door. A short but cheerful oriental man was standing at the door, “Hello, I’m doctor Mong.” My husband escorted him in and as he looked at my eye he said, “Oh my, nobody should have to bear this kind of pain!” He immediately dropped eye solution into my eye and, poof, the pain ceased immediately. “We have to go to my office. I have a car. I’ll drive.” My husband didn’t say another word except, “Let’s go!” While sitting in the front seat of the car now without pain, yet still feeling some of the after effects from the injection given several hours earlier, I started to sing and what did I sing? Jackson Browne’s “Running on Empty.”
Dr. Mong was looking at my husband through the rear view mirror as both of them started giving each other sideways glances with smirks on their faces, but neither said a word. When we got to his office, which was behind a shack with a sign “Pharmacy” on it, I noted Dr. Mong had all the optical instruments needed to examine my eye. “She has three tears on her cornea,” he stated. “Ok, I’m going to give you an antibiotic to apply to your eye and I want you to wear an eye patch for a few days, as well.” “Thanks doc,” my husband said, “I don’t know what I would have done if you didn’t come.” “You know I feel sorry for your wife, she shouldn’t have to spend her vacation like this. I’ll tell you what, why don’t the two of you have dinner with me, I cook a mean lobster. I have a condo out here that I use through the World Health Organization and I can’t see going back home right away. I’ll call my wife and tell her I’m going to spend a few days out here, that way I can watch your wife’s eye. Maybe I can show your wife how beautiful Jamaica really is, what do you think?” My husband didn’t even get a chance to answer as I said, “Yes!”
As we drove towards the doctor’s condo, Dr. Mong stopped his car next to this Jamaican man walking down the street with several large lobsters hanging from a line. He purchased the lobsters and said, “I’m from Burma, and you my dear patient will see how we fix Lobster.” Dr. Mong turned out to be the most charming man. Teaching me all about the Burmese, how they live, cook, and dress. Later that night, I challenged the doc to a game of tennis, for I noticed courts behind his condo as well as rackets resting against the wall of his living room.
“You cheat!” I scram as I hurled the tennis bracket it at him, for he kept hitting the ball toward the left knowing I was wearing an eye patch. “I may be a cheat, but at least I’m not walking around with my a$$ hanging out!” We stopped, looked at my husband, and started laughing. “Hey, I didn’t have time to change, ok?” my husband said while looking at the two of us.
That week turned out to be the best week of my life, for I made a friend, a very good friend, one my husband and I still remain in contact with, and every Christmas what does my husband get from our doctor friend, a new pair of shorts.