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Machete 1, Gringo 0

About a month ago my business partner, his six-year-old daughter and I decided to take an impromptu hike on an incredible piece of property we recently purchased for a future project here in Loja. We arrived equipped with two SuperMaxi bags full of snacks and brand new, freshly sharpened machetes. It was later in the day than we typically go, so in the interest of time I bypassed a trip home to pick up my boots, hat, and sweatshirt.

After spending the afternoon exploring we began our decent back to the car. While walking down a gently sloping but slippery trail I lost my footing and went down. Although I didn’t feel it, the machete I was holding gashed my ring finger to the bone.

Machete 1, gringo 0 :-(

Upon seeing my finger, and letting out a more feminine scream than I’d like to admit, the adrenaline kicked in and we ran back to the car. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had hit an artery, resulting in more blood coming from a finger than I thought possible.

When we I arrived at the hospital, I was met with a full waiting room. It was my (and probably many) worst fear realized – having to get emergency medical care in a foreign country (Hollywood produced images of ‘banana republic’ hospital scenes flooded my mind). Safe to say I was pleasantly surprised by my experience. The hospital was clean and sanitary, the staff professional, and the medical care prompt and high quality. Approximately 45 after arriving I was sitting down with the doctor getting my finger cleaned and stitched up.

They sent me home with some painkillers and instructions to return in 8-10 days to have the stitches removed. A couple of days later I opted to see a homeopathic Doctor a friend recommended as well. When it was time to get the stitches removed I went back to her and saw her another time where she gave me a physical therapy routine to follow to get full flexibility back in the finger. Between the visit to the emergency room and 3 Doctor visits I was set back a whopping $17 dollars.

Six weeks after nearly losing my finger the exercise program is showing some results. Feeling and flexibility is steadily improving and I am confident it will be back to normal in no time.

Overall the ease of my treatment, quality of care, and level of service I received were excellent and went a long way to debunk many of the fears that I had going into the situation.

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