Saturday night was horrible. I was really sick, but so was Little Monkey. He developed a horrible cough and was vomiting. JZ stayed up all night checking on him. By morning he had a cough that sounded like croup (except at the time, we didn’t know it sounded like croup and were just horrified by the sound!). I had never heard a more horrible sound in all my life.
Sunday morning, Jake went and got breakfast for us and brought it back to the room while I stayed with the babe. The plan was for the family to attend mass together but I went alone so that JZ and Little Monkey could rest. I stood in the back of the cathedral during mass. After mass I visited the different stations and prayed, in a very real way, for the health and life of my child. I had never been so scared before. I know for certain that the unfamiliarity of a foreign country had a lot to do with that. We ended up walking to a 24-hour travel clinic, only to discover that they actually do home visits. I’m actually glad we ended up at the clinic though because the doctor was very worried and needed certain equipment he wouldn’t have had on hand. When a doctor that doesn’t speak your language very well, and you don’t speak his, has fear in his eyes after examining your child, shit gets real. He gave our little one a steroid injection to help him breath, and oxygen. Also, letting a foreign doctor give your baby any medications is fucking terrifying. Excuse the profanities, but that is how it felt! We had to make a decision and fast, and ultimately we decided to trust the doctor. The doctor was adamant that we needed a pediatrician immediately or to go to the hospital. He was so kind and was able to find a pediatrician willing to come to the clinic on a Sunday evening and examine our sick baby. Eventually, the conclusion was that Little Monkey had an ear infection that spread and was causing his cough. The good news was that it was not a respiratory issue. We were told to cancel our plans to Puno and stay in Cusco until the doctor cleared him for travel back to Lima. We were given several medications and scheduled a follow up for Tuesday evening. The pediatrician predicted that if he had in fact diagnosed correctly, the medication should work almost immediately. If anything got worse we were to call the doctor and they would both meet up with us again or meet us at the hospital.
Canceling our plans to Puno wasn’t difficult. We were originally going to take a night bus Monday night into Puno, so no need to cancel any flights or trains going that way. We lost a deposit on our hostel but that was $10 or less. The hassle was changing our flight to Lima. Instead of taking a flight from Puno to Lima, with a layover in Cusco, we needed to just take a flight from Cusco. Sounds easy enough, but it was absolutely horrific. I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty details, but if you can possibly ever avoid flying LAN airlines you should run away in the other direction as fast as possible. Every single detail about their customer service during this stressful incident was nightmarish. Enough…
The good news is that he did improve within 24 hours, as the pediatrician had predicted. We kept him wrapped up warm and nursed him back to health, but still experienced, explored and enjoyed our time in Cusco. Instead of a few nights in Cusco we stayed there a week. By the time we checked out of the hostel Little Monkey had pretty much been adopted into the family!