Eliott had a bunch of sticks in his pockets, in his hands - pretend pistols - as boys that are three and a half years old do. He followed too close to his father and got smacked with the swinging screen door the other day, the door hitting his hand, gripping onto one of those sticks, right into his little eye. He cried, and what we thought was an end of the day dramatic moment of tantrum that we tried to hush with half sympathetic "oh Eliott your tough, come one," ended up being quite an injury. After inspection the following day and discovering a huge red spot on the eyeball, we realized that a call to the local doctor would be the best idea, even if he did seem completely fine.
We use the local doctor that practices in the office set up within the Simi pharmacy next door to the actual pharmacy that throughout Mexico has awarded plenty of doctors with patients with as many illnesses as it takes to fill the ten or so seats in the waiting area every evening. Of course our family is no different, always coming down with something with all of our children, not to mention my fragile American stomach that rebels against the Mexican lifestyle at least four or five times a year. We go for colds, coughs, skin rashes, fevers, infections, stomach animals, you name it. We have all had giardia, the water born parasite, and have been "dewormed" with medicine for the entirety of the family at the same time.
Once Eliott had the "gripa" I took him over to the doc, had a script filled for amoxicillian and set it on the counter when we got home. Lets see, I think that I was still pregnant with Catherine, so yes, it was before he turned two... Yes he got ahold of the bottle and drank down the entire thing. Upon discovery I was afraid, but almost in a shock of what to do about it. In America I would call poison control or the pediatrician. Of course I run into a problem with not being fluent in Mexico with my Spanish tongue, so off we race to the Simi doc. The bottle of medicine was if I remember like 80 times his own doseage, so yes, it came back out all over the waiting room, along with what foods he had. The pharmacist was not too happy but in the end, his gripa was completely wiped out at that moment. So not that I recommend overdosing your kid, but wow, such results are unheard of.
So we make a family fun time of our trips to the doc. We whip out the unbrella stroller for the baby, and lock the door behind us as we walk down the end of our condo complex, letting Eliott balance along the yellow painted curb to the drainage ditch below, and turn towards the pharmacy when we hit the road. It is only down about three or four stores. The seats to wait in are sometimes empty which is an empowering feeling. Occasionally there are so many people it is difficult to see where we fit in line to be seen. No matter how long the wait though we are entertained by the people walking by, or just by our own family entertaining the other people.
The Simi pharmacy gives out lolly pops, or in Spanish they are called paletas, to each of the "kid patients" and my kids are well aware of this, expecting to have one in hand on the moment of landing. When Eliott hurt his eye, we went to the doc. Eliott said, "Papa I want un paleta." Ricardo said "You go Eliott. Dice (tell) the lady 'un paleta por favor'... no dos paletas por favor'" remembering Catherine was with us. Eliott went around the corner, we heard a slight echo of his voice, and he returned with the lolly pops smiling. He bounced around with his sister sharing licks of each others lolly pop flavors and then he dropped his on the floor. Ricardo made him throw it away immediately because lord knows what germs are lingering there. He told Eliott to go ask for another one and he came back and had a shy look on his face. I dont know whether he had not asked or if she said no to him, but he pulled my arm for me to stand up. I said "no Eliott you go ask her...." He said " no mom you do it" "But Eliott I do not know Spanish, you know that." Eliott looked at me with his little hand up to his mouth as if he were telling me a secret and said, " you just tell her un paleta por favor." I just love his funny three year old moments.
To have my husband, his father sitting with me, both of us laughing at our son's silly sweet and sincere moment was absolutely priceless.
Only the friends that I have made that share the same separations of their spouses due to lack of concern of immigration reform reprocussions and consequences to American citizens would understand my emotion in that.
We finished up with the doc, giving Eliott some eyedrops and giving him the ok that he was fine. Outside, across the street there was a man, obviously homeless. He bent down and with his outstretched hand, scooped up a palm full of water from a puddle that remains in an uneven area along the sidewalk on the other side of the street. This puddle is the puddle that everyone tries to avoid having to park in because it is wider than the parked car, causing the uncomfortable slide through to the passenger side to have to get out. The puddle is always there, even in the middle of the 90 degree heat day. It has sludge in it, green stuff, paper and plastic floating, not to mention the multitudes of stray dogs in the area that walk through it. The bus route and the cars fly through it and release their toxic uninspection law pollution into it. There he was, scooping up the water with his outstretched arm and bringing it up to his lips, without worry or embarrassment to the crowded street.
Was this lack of respect on his part for his own body which surely experienced a great deal of cramping and disease... or was this enough respect for his own life to preserve it by saving himself from dehydration by drinking filth?
One thing for sure, in my country that would never happen, because they care about people who are down on their luck in ability to make it by providing assistance to their citizens. No one would ever go without in America, not like what I was witnessing with this man having to drink from the most horrible water ever in existance.... my America would never let that happen to one of its own citizens...
Or would they?
This was a reflection on my family being disregarded by my own country into health risking neglect and outright basic infringement on our rights to be protected by our citizenship.
I am glad Eliott's eye is ok.