Sorry I had to break the posts up. I’m in England at the moment and if I don’t separate them a bit I won’t ever get it finished. For those who may not have followed this is a continuation of my quick trip to Croatia for a day that definitely did not go as planned. If you want to know how it began check out Part 1.
OK so now there is no good that can come from panicking. I had to be more reasonable here. I have a swollen ankle. I’m across the street from the train station and I have to be in Budapest in 3 days. So I have some time to figure this out. At least at this point I’m no longer secretly hoping to skip my flight home. Right now I really just want to get home. Often times the best thing to do in these cases is to take a breath, think things through. And if you can it helps to at least sound things off of a friendly voice if you can.
I called up on my brother on Skype to figure out the best thing to do. My ankle was hurting a ridiculous amount, the front desk said all the pharmacies were closed, and I needed a better plan. He said to keep icing it up, and if I wasn’t feeling better maybe head to the emergency room to get it checked out. At least maybe they could wrap it up and hopefully give me something for the pain.
I called down to the front desk to ask about some ice.
Me: “Hey I’m in room 405, could I possibly get some ice sent to my room.”
Front Desk Guy: “Oh there is ice in the bar, you can come down.”
Me: “Yes I know. Unfortunately I’m not able to really walk quite well.”
Front Desk Guy: “Oh Yes right I remember you. Sure I will send something up.”
So now I’m finishing up my 2nd bucket, the remainder of the towels and sheets are being soaked from melted ice, and I’m not feeling better at all. I call down a 2nd time to figure out about the medical facilities nearby.
Me: “Hey so is there like a hospital or a medical center nearby? Can I get a taxi there?”
Front Desk: “Sure it is not far, several hundred meters, do not need a taxi.”
Me: “Yeah I can’t quite walk all that well.”
Him: “Oh right, you again, sure sure, call down when you want me to call a taxi.”
Sweet. Ok now it’s time to go get some answers. My ankle is NOT getting any better; I need at least some peace of mind and possibly some pain medication. I call my bro again to let him know what’s going on (Thank goodness for Skype while traveling), and then call down to the front desk to get a taxi.
Me: “Hey I’m ready to go to the medical center, can you call me a taxi.”
(Same) Front Desk guy: “Oh you do not need a taxi, it is close, very close, walking distance.”
Seriously? Didn’t we just have this conversation?
Me: “Yeah I’m the guy who’s been hopping around…I’m not going to be able to walk there.”
Him: “Oh Yes you! Yes I will call a taxi right now.“
I hop my way downstairs (literally) and get into the taxi for my 5 minute ride to the medical clinic.
It was a small clinic in a bit of an older rundown building. The inside, was concrete white walls, and old tiles that have been mopped so many times over that you can’t be sure if they really are clean anymore. There is small room on the side where the reception sits among large stacks of papers, sitting bored at a computer and watching random American movies on a small tube TV. Inside Man was the movie on for anyone who might care to know. I check in, but because I have an American passport, they don’t have a medical sharing agreement, so I pay the 300 Kuna (about 60 USD) for the examination. She instructs me to go over to room one. Which I quickly make my way to hop over, but it’s locked, so I hop back. “No No, just go wait by there, someone will be with you soon”… so I go and hop back. I’m getting some good exercise tonight apparently…
I look around the room. There are several men sitting and wandering around in various states of disrepair. There are a few doors, a couple that look like they lead to examination rooms, one large door which I assume leads further into the clinic, and a few doors at the far end that I can’t be quite sure of where they lead either. They finally open the first room and call me in. The nurse leads me into a room with a doctor, a chair, and an examination table. I sit on the chair take off my shoe and sock. He takes my foot in his hands and started poking and feeling around.
“Ow…Ow…Ow….Ow….ok not so bad there…Ow…Ow… “
Doc: “Hmm…well you need an x-ray”
Me: “Any idea or thought on how it is?”
Doc: “It is very swollen; we need an x-ray to know. Can you walk?”
Me: “Well I can hop around quite a bit”
Doc: “We will get you a chair”
So they stick me in a wheelchair and the nurse rolls me out of the exam room. From my best guess I think the guys in the waiting room are hitting on the nurse as she smirks while replying back to them, but I can’t be sure as my Croatian is a bit…rust…non-existent. She leaves me by the door on the other end of the room which I can only hope is Radiology.
A few minutes past and a surly looking man walks out of the door reeking of cigarette smoke. Was he just smoking in there? He says something to me in Croatian and rolls me in next to the table. He says something again and I assume it means to get on the table so I hop up. Above me is a large old x-ray machine that quite possibly is as old as I am (or at least looks that way). He comes back over with a lead apron which I assume is to possibly allow me to have children one day and returns back behind the glass.
He takes the first x-ray and yells something to be from behind the window.
He comes closer and yells it again louder.
Still no clue.
He walks over and rather forcefully twists me to the side to take a photo again. Oww dammit, that was a bit painful. He takes the 2nd x-ray, and takes the lead apron which signals to me I can hop down. He begins to push me towards the door and as I pass over the threshold he gives me a nice shove and lets me coast out into the hallway.
I slowly tried to move myself back towards to original examination room with my good leg to listen if they call my name, but mostly I ended up pushing myself in circles. I think the nurse finally took pity on me or perhaps they were finally ready for me so she began to push my wheelchair back towards to original exam room. Outside of the room another nurse came out and stood in front of me. She was much older and smelled of cigarettes as well. She seemed friendly but for some odd reason she reminded of the nurse from “The Simpsons”. I had a strange vision in my head that I would have a cast on my leg and she would strike a match off it to light a cigarette.
Sorry for the lack of photos. I really wished I had my camera with me to document this part of the journey, at least for historical purposes. Also sorry to break these posts up, but they ended up getting too long (I had too much to say about the story) so I didn’t want to write them all at once or I would never get done.
Check out Part 3 if you are curious how it all ended.