Costa Rica Health Care – Injections

From the first time I visited Costa Rica until 2 weeks ago, I wondered and marveled (with no small amount of skepticism) at the use of injections as routine treatment for so many different kinds of ailments.  A friend’s knee hurt, so he got an injection.  Another friend had a stomach ache, so she got an injection.  I couldn’t imagine what was in these injections – anti-biotics, steroids, anti-inflammatory agents or just plain glucose solutions (since so much illness is attributed to psychosomatic causes).  Maybe the mere act of having an injection has a placebo effect.  Somehow, I never saw myself as falling for this new form of “cure.”  That was BBB – before bad back.  Some years ago I herniated a C-7 (back of the neck), which resulted in a shoulder that can best be described as frozen and overly sensitive to cold.  A few weeks ago, my shoulder started getting tighter and aching more than usual (sitting at the computer hours on end couldn’t have been a contributing factor, could it?).  I figured it would be better the next day, but it wasn’t.  Gradually, the tightness went down my back and settled around the back of my waist.  It got a firm grasp on the muscles there and started jerking them, more frequently all the time.  A friend suggested I walk up to the pharmacy and get a shot and I laughed.  The mere mention of a needle and my stomach starts rolling around.  A few more days passed and things got worse.  My back was in constant spasm and it was difficult to walk, talk, sleep, eat, etc. – walking to the pharmacy was out of the question.  A friend offered to take me to her doctor, which I accepted and was grateful for her offer.  Unfortunately, the doctor wasn’t available, but there was a pharmacy next door.  When my friend suggested going for a shot, I was game.  I would have accepted leeches at this point.  Well, maybe not leeches, but an injection sounded worth a shot (pun not intended).  The pharmacist had me lie down on an examining table in a little room and she gave me an injection of Voltaren.  Within 20 minutes – I KID YOU NOT!!! – I could walk, talk, sit and even smile.  Call it a wonder drug.  Call it a miracle.  Hallelujah!  I couldn’t believe it then and I still don’t now, but if my back starts spasming again, I won’t wait until a hammer over the head is preferable to the pain.  Here’s some medical advice without a doctor’s license: VOLTAREN is good for what ails you.

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