The Cold and My Multiplying Bacteria

And because you’ve all been following my medical drama, I have to report that I finally went to the doctor and got myself an antibiotic. I think I dragged my feet for so long because I didn’t want to spend the money on something that should have gone away with a cup of coffee and an Advil, but didn’t. Of course, I lassoed L. into going with me because “I get nervous at the doctor’s and what if I don’t understand something or they don’t understand me and… it sucks to be me!” So he dutifully followed me there and then didn’t have to say a word! My doctor was friendly. She wasn’t a gringa hating she-devil and she really listened to me which is important. She said it was odd that the first doctor I saw gave me only 5 days of treatment when really for a sinus infection it should be 10 to 15. Well, I know now. She told me that because the first round of treatment was so short, I felt better initially but now the bacteria were multiplying again. That’s such a fun image that. My bacteria staging a coup in sinuses.

I thought it was funny because as she’s telling me how to take the medications, she was at the same time explaining that I should:

1) Never go outside with wet hair.

2) Thoroughly dry offending hair after each time it is washed.

3) Avoid drafty places.

4) Avoid temperature changes.

5) Drink only liquids with no ice.

I remember one time I was commenting to a gringa friend living here about the obsession Chileans have with the cold. It’s like they respect and fear it versus the Minnesotan side of me who was told to embrace it and even brag about it (I would walk a mile to get my mail in -40º!). My friend shook her head and said that was the developed country in me talking and when you live in a country where most people do not have the luxury of adjusting their thermostat if they feel a chill, protecting yourself against the cold becomes that much more important and dressing you baby like a tiny mummy doesn’t seem so amusing (at least to this gringa).

Of course, L. took the doctor’s advice to heart and when we went out to lunch, he ordered his beverage without ice so that I could have a sip if I wanted. Then later, he reminded me on MSN before I signed off to meet him at home that I had to bundle up against the…probably 60º weather. It was very cute and very Chilean of him.

I do agree with one aspect. Winter is really miserable here. Remember that I am from Minnesota where is usually below zero, so I know cold. It’s a different cold–that you can’t shake. The only solution I have found is drinking lots of hot drinks and going as long between showers as possible. If you see me in the same outfit twice in the winter it’s because I was too cold to get undressed and then re-dressed. And if I could find someone who wanted to bring me a steady supply of food, I wouldn’t be against hibernation either.

Now, I need to pack for my über short weekend trip to Concepción. I do still consider it one of the coldest places…perhaps on earth after being introduced to Chilean winter there in 2006. I remember I shivered so hard that my abs hurt. I like to think I’m tougher now. So, let’s see how me and my head full of rebel bacteria do in avoiding drafty places. I shall report back.

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16 responses to “The Cold and My Multiplying Bacteria

  1. Al menos esta vez el médico no te persiguió por facebook intentando cosas extrañas, como la otra vez.
    No pude olvidar mencionar eso

  2. I look forward to Winter here in Chile- mainly because I work from home and can have the fire burning day and night :) A Santiaguino Winter, on the other hand, is truly miserable. Even the wealthy refuse to turn the frigging heating on. It’s like they’re desperate to show just how damn stoic they can be. Brrrrr.

    • Word. I totally agree. It’s just cold, wet and miserable everywhere in this city during the winter.

    • I for one, am waiting for an invitation to Matt’s house to “work from home” someday. And thinking about cutting holes in the bottom of my sleeping bag so I can wear it every day. Also, Sara, glad you’re better!

  3. Glad you went to the Dr. I’m totally with you on the thought that the cold here is different! I wake up at night here with my nose almost frozen off and if the blankets fall off any part of my body I wake up. I am constantly searching for the draft I feel coming into our bedroom. Now that I have found it… I mean them, there are 2 at leas that I have found I realize there is nothing we can do about it. Ugh. I can’t wait to be in Minnesota summer!! Have you decided if you are heading north for the winter??

  4. I’m glad you went to the doctor, and I hope your bacteria stop multiplying! Have fun in Conce and don’t forget: abrígate!!

  5. “And if I could find someone who wanted to bring me a steady supply of food, I wouldn’t be against hibernation either.”
    I remember been thinking just that thought some winters ago here in Temuco (colder than Concepción, brr) and the next day, bam! I´m a groundhog.

  6. I am not looking forward to jumping straight into winter in Chile. But that probably won’t stop me from drinking coke with ice, as it was meant to be drunk.

  7. Would love to hear what other things you bump up against when you encounter situations that you respond to with the *developed country in you.* You know, if you feel like exploring that one of these days…

  8. I agree with what Matt says. It’s like Chileans in some ways, enjoy suffering.

  9. Though I find all these Chilean ¨Old Wives Tales¨ with regards to health hilarious, It´s nothing new for me. My dad is from a small village in Slovakia where people blindly follow Old Wives Tales as much as they would a doctor so I have been hearing these things my whole life. My dad is constantly begging us to dry our hair before we go outside, even if it´s summer, and is always chasing after us to put on our ¨papuchki¨ (slippers) because it´s too cold to walk around in the house bare foot lol!

    Another one of his beliefs: you can only sit on the ground outside and not get sick in months that don´t have an ¨r¨ in it. So for example, this would mean that it´s only safe to sit outside on the ground in May, June, July, and August ha ha! This one just kills me ha ha ha! Gotta love growing up in a small town in Easter Europe ha ha! Oh dad…

  10. hi there
    i’m so glad that i saw this article. that comment was so helpful. thanks again i bookmarked this article.
    are you going to write similar articles?

  11. Great post. Hope to see more good posts in the future.

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