Brunswick Maine, back safe from Guatemala
Well we made it out of Guatemala in one piece….. Well sort of!!!! On the last day Bonnie gave us a real scare. Seems her appendix decided to go on strike. Just stopped working… Something about the pay or work hours. I'm not sure what happened. But when I returned from publishing the last journal entry I found that Bonnie and Joe and I quote 'have gone to the emergency room at the hospital.' Perhaps I should back up…

Bonnie, Joe and I were having dinner on the eve of our 2nd to last night in Antigua. Actually, it was Bonnie and Joe's 2nd to last night. (I had planned to stay an additional week and was hoping to go to Cuba.) The next morning was Bonnie's 22nd Birthday. Bonnie and I were planning on climbing the volcano 'Pacaya' which is an arduous 7 hour hike. At dinner everyone was the picture of health. Bonnie and I were joking about how much fun it would be to make it to the top of the volcano. Anyway we all went to bed early. Apparently Bonnie started to get a stomach ache at around 3:00 am. She didn't say anything until we all awoke in the morning. Then she calmly said. I have a stomach ache. Well Joe and I thought no big deal. Everyone gets a stomach ache traveling in Central America. So Joe went to the pharmacy and asked the pharmacist for some medicine for a stomach ache. He gave the medicine to Bonnie. Joe and I went downstairs at the hotel to have breakfast. We thought we would give Bonnie some privacy in the hotel room. We came back about 1 hour later and Bonnie was really in pain. You could see it on her face. This didn't appear to be a mild case of gastrointestinal distress. The strange thing was that Bonnie wasn't vomiting and didn't have diarrhea and her stomach hurt when you pressed on it. Joe went right downstairs and asked if there was a doctor available should we need one. There was. So he went upstairs and told Bonnie that whenever she thought she needed to see a doctor to let him know and he would call one.

I felt a bit helpless. It was really scary seeing Bonnie in so much pain. At this point Bonnie and Joe where planning on catching a flight back to the states less than 24 hours later. We weren't sure if we should wait until going back to the states to see a doctor. My sister is a doctor. She specializes in internal medicine, which is just the kind of doctor we needed. So I thought I would run down the street and call my sister to find out what she thought. It took me a little while to get her on the phone. She was very concerned about Bonnie's symptoms. She suspected it could be an appendicitis and she thought we should see someone ASAP. Not to wait until we got home. Well this concerned me greatly. I didn't realize that an appendicitis could come on so suddenly and without any warning at all. I didn't know there was any illness that a young person could get out of the blue that could kill them within 24 hours. I knew the risks associated with an appendicitis I just thought you had more warning.
Anyway, I rushed back to the hotel and was stopped by the concierge. He told me that Bonnie and Joe had gone to the emergency room. A doctor had been summoned soon after I had left. The doctor took about three minutes to look at Bonnie and suspected it was an appendicitis. He was very concerned that it had already burst and that Bonnie might be in real danger of losing her life. (For those who don't know, your appendix is a small part of your intestinal track that can sometimes get irritated. The problem is that if the appendix burst, your feces leak out into your abdominal cavity. This causes all sorts of infection and is very difficult to cure. If you don't get immediate medical attention you die! End of story.
My Blog
Thursday, August 23, 2001
The guy at the desk tells me Bonnie and Joe went to the hospital called, 'Medico Centro' which to me sounds a little generic but I asked him to repeat it just to make sure. I flag down the first taxi I can and tell him I need to go to the Medico Centro. The taxi driver is a
little confused but takes me to the hospital. I jump out of the taxi and run into the waiting room. Whoa! I thought I was scared before but when I saw this hospital I was really scarred. I sure didn't want Bonnie to have surgery here. But what could we do? I tried to find where Bonnie and Joe were but couldn't. After a few minutes I discovered I was at the wrong hospital. Whew! I was glad. This was the public hospital and apparently Bonnie had gone to a private hospital. I flagged down another taxi and made my way over to the private hospital. I found Joe in the waiting room. Bonnie was already in the operating room having surgery. Joe told me how the doctor came to the hotel room. Pressed on Bonnie's stomach and within approx. 3 minutes was carrying her down the stairs to his car. Seems he knew it was a race to get her appendix out.

The doctor was awesome. He did EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!
He came to the hotel, diagnosed the problem, carried Bonnie to his car, drove her to the hospital (all the while shouting on his cell phone to get everything ready) he performed the preliminary tests to verify it was indeed an appendicitis, did the surgery and followed up with Bonnie, Joe and me. He actually burst out of the operating room covered in blood, proudly holding up a small vial eagerly exclaiming, 'in time! in time'. He had done it. He had removed Bonnie's appendix before they had burst.
Joe and I were both in shock. We had already spent enough time in the hospital. Molly's death had given us all the hospital experience we wanted. I was relieved that Bonnie was getting treatment. If this had happened just 2 days earlier there wouldn't have been any doctor available. So from that perspective we were lucky. Joe and I then tried to change the plane tickets. We couldn't change Joe's return flight without waiting an additional 5 days. So with much hesitation Joe went back to the States and I took care of Bonnie. Actually, I didn't do much other than be there. So over the course of the next 4 days Bonnie grew stronger in the hospital and on the 5th day after the surgery we both flew back to Austin.
It's a good thing we left when we did. Because the government had risen taxes all sorts of riots where taking place. There was actually a picture on the front page of the paper taken from the hotel we had stayed at 3 days earlier, which showed a burning car and rioting people. Then in protest all the business in the country decided to close down. To be honest I was ready to get back to the States. I needed a tex-mex fix and some clean drinking water. Not to mention a big hug from all of my closest friends!

I also had to come back to the States to attend a family reunion in Maine. So I stayed in Austin for about a week and then headed north. Which puts me here.
I will be in Maine for a month. My aunt and uncle's house is by far my favorite place in the universe. Maine in the summer time is as pretty as it gets. No doubt about that! Their house was at one time an old salt-water farm. It sits up on a hill overlooking the ocean.  I haven’t left the house for a week.  I just can’t seem to drag myself away from here.  My aunt is an artist and my grandfather was an antique dealer so their house is filled with art and antiques.
My Aunt Arlene has an opening in a gallery in New York on the 7th of September so I will accompany her there for that. I built her a website.
Check out her artwork at the following:
I plan on publishing some pictures of the family. There will be some 80 folks attending. We are going to have a huge lobster bake. My Uncle has a beautiful barn (which I have been helping to clean out).  We are going to try and open up the doors on both sides and seat 80 people in the Barn. It should be lots of fun. I can't wait to touch base with all the family. Seems we are all spread out and there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to keep up with everyone.
I plan on returning to Austin on the 15th of September. I'll be back in town for just over a month before heading off on the big trip around the world!
I hope everyone is doing well…
Take care, Dave ;-)