Emergency Room, Community Clinic, Teustepe, Nicaragua (1990)
I’ve been sick for the past few days so decided to dig deep into the ‘Illness on the Road’ files for today’s Pic Du Jour.
This is the Emergency room in the community clinic in Teustepe, Nicaragua, in February 1990. A little more than two years after taking this, I was laying on that hard wooden slab desperately waiting for a pain reliever.
The day before, a hammock I was dozing in collapsed, dropping me about five feet onto a concrete floor, and by the next morning everything hurt. Really really bad. As I waited, a little boy, maybe 7 or 8 years old, was brought in. He fell off of a pick-up truck, and had dirt and gravel embedded in his head. He was put on a wooden slab next to mine, face down, with his head over a little garbage can. A doctor came, and proceeded to scrape the stuff out of his head with a scalpel. No anesthetic. Every scream from that little boy reverberated through my body. Eventually I got my pain killer, administered through the biggest needle I’ve ever seen.