Ellia has definitely been our more “problematic” daughter of the two. She has been the only one to break (fracture) a bone and she is the one that gets sick more often. She is the more fragile daughter. After the ciguatera, which was definitely not her fault or her just being fragile, she has now come down with an ear infection. We brushed off her complaints of a sore ear for a little while, hoping it would just go away. But after a few days, and the sight of discolored secretions, we got her on amoxicillin to help speed up the healing process.

   I feel like it has been forever since I have had a full nights sleep. With two sicknesses back to back and overlapping, she has been up at all hours complaining of either ciguatera pains, or now ear pains. That combined with night time potty runs, I have been awoken almost every two hours for pipi time, muscle rubs, or Tylenol and medicine dosing. I thought the sleepless nights were supposed to end in infancy. I have been been functioning like a zombie in the daytime and have been feeling completely energy-less and defeated when it comes to any sort of daytime parenting. Or anything for that matter, getting the boat clean, cooking, or even getting motivated to go to town seems like a small feat. 

   With four days of amoxicillin, and way too much baby Tylenol, we have decided that a doctor’s intervention is needed, before our baby gets addicted to acetaminophen, if she isn’t already. Which is where I sit now. An hour and a half after the opening of the clinic we are still sitting in the waiting room to see a pediatrician to get Ellia properly diagnosed and treated. We have no idea how much this appointment is going to cost us, since this is the US and we are medically uninsured, by choice.

   I say by choice because we have quickly come to realize that most places we have travelled to, minus the States, costs less to travel uninsured and simply pay the cheap doctor/hospital fees if sickness does happen rather than pay health insurance fees. However Puerto Rico has been a bit of a puzzle for us as it is part of the states but still an island, so figuring our where their medical price brackets fall can be a bit scary. And no parent likes to weigh out the options of “how sick is my baby? Is she sick enough to have to pay ridiculous medical fees or will it heal on its own?” Those are questions no one should face, health vs money. When one doctor’s visit could seriously hurt our cruising budget, if it costs the same as in the USA, then you wonder if an earache is worth it. But seeing her obvious discomfort and that it was not going away on its own, a visit to a medical professional would definitely reduce my “mommy stresses”. In this instance, no matter the cost, if it gets her feeling better then she will be less of a wanker in the daytime and I will get to sleep more at night. It will be worth the money.

   Being here, at this clinic, comes out of the graciousness of a friend of ours. We met Henri, and his family, our first time through Boqueron. He is the owner of Sea Side Bar and Grill and has been more than kind and helpful to us. He is there to answer our every question about the area, has been our personal tour guide to the Cabo Rojo lighthouse and playa Sucia, he’s organized getting us whatever we need, and even to drive us to the clinic early in the morning and wait around with us until our baby gets checked out. I definitely recommend that anyone who sails into Boqueron go and check out his bar and meet him in person. They have great food, cheap chicken wings, cold beer, great service, and the answers to almost any question you may have.

***Update*** At the doctors we found out Ellia has swimmer’s ear. The doctor was super kind, and slightly envious of our lifestyle, and gave us $300 worth of meds for her ear, one bottle for now and another to hold on to in case it returns. Which in the case of swimmer’s ear it is likely to recur. We have prescriptions for two other meds, one for the pain, and other drops to put in her ear after her every contact with water. Given that we live on the water we may need a gallon of that stuff. And to our great relief the doctor’s visit only cost $35.  

the discoloured secretions that prompted us to go to the docs

$300 worth of meds right there, and notice each bottle is only 1.5ml each. wow.