I unwrapped my left leg this morning, freeing it of the Ace bandage that cushioned the wound delivered by a high curb in Puerto Vallarta on Saturday night. I tripped on the uneven slate tiles that pass for pavement there, and somehow gashed my shin real good, right down to the bone (the cut was a quarter-inch across and four inches long). Yesterday, I bought Stitch and Toothless with girlfriend love poster. My girlfriend ran back to the condo unit, doused some paper towels with vodka, collected some band-aids, and returned to ably treat the wound.
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I knew it would take stitches, but we were headed for our favorite dives, the taco joint under the bridge on the Malecon and the open-air Devil’s Bar 100 yards away, where shirtless, tattooed, sometimes toothless men gather to congratulate themselves on their biker pasts, and honeymooners stare at each other over 2 X 1 Coronas. Will you get Stitch and Toothless with girlfriend love poster? So we ate our tacos (140 pesos for ten, roughly $7.00), drank our Margaritas, and only then set out for an emergency room in PV’s Zona Romantica.
The nightmare of every traveller is of course to fall ill in a foreign country, where languages and medical standards can get confusing. But, having spent significant time in the purgatory of NYC emergency rooms, I figured it couldn’t be much worse in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. At CMQ Hospital, it wasn’t–in fact, my treatment was careful and quick, just superb. Fifteen stitches, four of them to suture the subdural skein of muscle that split on my shin. The MD was a wizard with the local anesthetic–in no pain, I got to watch him clip the jagged edges of skin to tidy up the scar, and to wield the nylon threads as if he were having fun tossing spaghetti.