La Ceiba

May 18th, 2015 by Garrett Hooker

Yesterday I had decided I wanted to go to La Ceiba to get some shopping done.  I’ve been running low on groceries for a few days and haven’t had a chance to find any souvenirs to bring home.  I was on call the night before, and admitted a couple people.  One was a 40 day old male with respiratory failure.  I think he has a pneumonia of some kind.  Initially he had subcostal and intercostal retractions and was satting in the mid to low 80s.  For a while I was afraid he was going to need to be intubated.  I gave him a bunch of nebs and antibiotics, and he started doing a bit better.  He improved from about 3 liters of O2 to now 1 liter when I saw him this morning.


The other person I admitted as an obs patient; 4 yo F with abd pain and possibly bloody stools.  We can’t get labs at night and they live about 3 hours away, so I kept her here to watch.  Everything came back normal the next morning and clinically she looked fine, so I sent her home.  One guy came in with bilateral “kidney pain” that had been going on for a year and wasn’t any worse now that it had ever been in the past.  We have a policy around here where if people come in with BS stuff in the middle of the night, they get charged double.  This is unlike the policy we have at RMC and most other institutions in the US, where the ER is the place to get your primary care…and bonus, you can do it at any hour you damn well please.  So basically, I told this guy over the radio that he should probably come back Monday unless he wanted me to walk all the way down to the hospital, evaluate him, and tell him the exact same thing…except charge him double.


The only other person that came in that night was a 35 yo M with an asthma exacerbation.  I actually had to work on him quite a while because I didn’t really want to admit him.  I had already admitted the other two and nursing was short staffed.  I ended up giving him a few back to back rounds of nebs along with a big punch of steroids.  He didn’t look perfect, but I thought he looked good enough to go home.


I went to La Ceiba yesterday with Steve, the local anesthesiolgist, and his family. Along the way, we saw this guy in the middle of the road and ran him over. Initially, he looked like one of the highly venomous and feared coral snakes. In fact, we pointed him out to some passers-by, and they confirmed it was a “serpiente coral”. I did a little more investigating, and I’m pretty sure this is actually a non-venomous milk snake. Either way, I’m glad it’s dead.


Sam, in the background, keeping watch for other “coral” snakes.


This is one of the mercado areas of La Ceiba. Immediately prior to this, we ate lunch at a really tasty sandwich shop called Cafeto, that sort of caters to Americans. It was basically like any coffee shop you’d find in the US. I looked around the market for quite a while for those hammocks that you can sit rather than lay in, but couldn’t find any. Note the electrical wiring here also. Giant cluster.


O mercado aberto


This is La Ceiba’s golf course. After being unimpressed with the hammock selection at the local mercado, I took a taxi up to an area around this bar called Expatriados, where the guy who owned Cafeto told me there was a market that was a little less known among the tourists and sold stuff that was actually good. Anyway, when I got back from that market I stumbled upon this golf course, which appears to be pretty straight, tight, and in need of some work.


While I was out messing around, Steve and his family went to go see “The Avengers” at the movie theater. Turns out the movie was completely in Spanish, and as you might expect not dubbed, so they aborted that mission shortly thereafter. Once I finished up my shopping, I had a little bit of time to waste before we were scheduled to meet back up. I found this handy gas station where I could sit outside and enjoy both the nice day and a couple Honduran beers.


As we were getting ready to leave town, we stopped at the Wendy’s right next to the mall and had some fun watching this birthday party.


Today, I decided to go on a hike up into the jungle. This is a picture I took from atop our water tower. The dark area sort of near where all those white caps are is where I go snorkeling. That really tall palm tree is visible in one of the first pictures I posted of the beach. Anway, that’s where the snorkeling happens. I think it’s at least several hundred yards away from the beach according to google earth.


Here’s another view from atop the water tower. You can see the smaller palm oil trees followed by the huge Ceiba trees leading down to the beach.


Apparently this is where we get our water. Haven’t been sick yet…so, good enough.


Hiking up into the jungle.


I kept on hiking along this sort of worn down trail, and eventually I saw a clearing off to the west. I crossed over a barbed wire fence and walked a little farther to be rewarded with this view of the coast.


A costa bonia!


E vista inspirada!


I decided I needed a picture with this awesome background, and the only solution was to improvise a sort of jungle selfie-stick. I was able set the timer on my phone and jam it into the concave portion of the leaf.


Quem é homen?


On the way back down


After all that work, it was time for some protein.


Buen provecho!