Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day 7, Sun.Dec. 21/08 USHUAIA, ARGENTINA

Ushuaia, Argentine, and the "End of Everything". This picture above was taken of the screen on our television monitor in our room. Usually, I would rush up to see where we where as the ship pulled into port, but this morning was very different and the whole day will always be a memory that nearly scared the pants off me!!

As in the past few blogs of our trip, I mentioned how much pain Tom was feeling, but whenever I wanted him to see the doctor, he was the typical man and wanted to wait. So, we get up this morning, he can't stand to shower, has to sit to shave and is in much pain, but again....won't let me call the doctor. We attempt to go for breakfast and two steps down the hallway, Tom has to return as the pain is so bad, he's ready to throw up. That did it!!! I reminded him that we pain BIG dollars for health insurance and why in the heck not use it and I walked straight to the phone and called the on- board doctor. They sent a wheelchair down for him,and away we went. The doctor diagnosed a suspected hernia in the groin area. She was going to have to arrange to see if an sonogram in Ushuaia could be arranged....on a Sunday, just before Christmas! So we we're to return to our room and wait to hear what she could arrange. At 3 pm, we got the call to return to the ships doctors office as they would be taking Tom ashore.
When we got to the office, the Doctor said, that they had arranged for a doctor from Ushuaia to come and take Tom to a private clinic for a sonogram. This was 3:30 before the doctor showed up. The ship was to depart Ushuaia for Antarctica at 6:30....all aboard!! They also said, if the ultrasound showed a large hernia that there was no way we could continue on the cruise. Tom would be moved to a hospital, I would have to come back to the ship and pack all our belongings up, and move to a hotel, until Tom had surgery and well enough to leave and then we would have to somehow in this Spanish speaking country arrange to fly home!

At this point my stomach dropped out!!! I felt bad for Tom of course, but all the other arrangements just felt too much to comprehend, and I began to cry, here at the end of the world!! How could I manage all this before the ship left us stranded there.

Well, this wonderful doctor arrived, who spoke Engish, took us to a private clinic that he had arranged beforehand, and the technician was to meet us there at 3:45. By 4:45, he still hadn't arrived and It's getting closer and closer to when the ship leaves us and how am I going to get everything packed and off the ship if we have to remain in Ushuaia?

Good news....the hernia, was a small one, didn't threaten to cause a problem with strangulation of the bowel and they felt, if Tom stayed in a wheelchair until we got home, it should continue to not be a problem more then it was. Tom felt no pain as long as he was in a sitting position or laying down. Standing was very painful!The doctor stopped in Ushuaia at a pharmacy for pain medication, and we had a small tour of Ushuaia on our return to the ship. We also stopped to see if we could find hearing aid batteries for Tom as he had brought the wrong size with him by mistake, but the stores where closing and we had no luck there.

We are both relieved at the outcome, and to the ship we returned! Where did we go first??? To the Crow's Nest Bar, for a much needed drink to relax our nerves!!!

Before I show you pictures let me tell you that this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. It reminded me of pictures of places in the Alps. The whole town is ringed with beautiful snowcovered mountains and just an incredible sight...what I got to see of it!!! Ushuaia was known as the site of a large penal colony, during the time of Devil's Island era, and like Devil's Island, was considered escape proof! Many ofArgentina's most notorious criminals and many political pisoners were also sent there. Ushuaia today, has grown into a city that caters to the increased trouist trade. If I was asked where I would like to return to, it would be here! Our quick tour of the downtown shops, looked so interesting, and how I would have loved some souveniers from there, but it wasn't to be. It's truly unique and a remote southern city. The last city!! Ushuaia houses are painted in pastel colors to brighten things a bit. winter (July to Sept), temperatures drop well below zero, and the sun rises only briefly during the season. In summer the clmate is pleasant and was warm when we where there.

The wonderful Dr Mario E. Molinari! He was just our absolutely hero!!

In the doctor's car on our return to the ship. Soooo happy to be able to return!!!

Isn't it pretty???

Above: Just another ship in port, but look at those mountains in the distance!

Ushuaia end of the world, beginning of everything!

I'm going to attempt to add a video I took while in Ushuaia, so hopefully it will work! I'm still not use to this camera. Well.....I think it worked and please turn up your sound! I'm not a movie director or producer, that's for sure! NOTE: YOU WILL WANT TO TURN OFF MUSIC BEFORE PLAYING VIDEO

Tomorrow....Rounding the dreaded, very scary CAPE HORN!!

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West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Living life to the fullest and enjoying every moment! In love with a wonderful husband!! A Capreol Girl from 1959-1975, Belleville 1975-1985


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