Arriving here by plane was like a fantasy, descending into a city in the clouds.
I was sick for most of my time here and spent a night in hospital, but loved to place anyway. Beautiful churches, great food (in bolivia in general), non-aggressive people, different cultures.
Ok I guess I’d better tell the story…
Arriving in la paz i was already feeling a bit dizzy, but before I got off the pressurised plane, so I’m not sure if I could blame it on the altitude. After a few days we travelled to copacobana and I got to the point where I thought I should head back to La Paz to see a doctor. I saw the only doctor open on a Sunday in La Paz, and he said I had high blood pressure, and not to drink too much water, and gave me some medication to lower my blood pressure. I took the first tablet but then the next day suspected it wasn’t right, and rang the american embassy to find an english speaking doctor. We got a taxi to the address of the doctor in the phone book (which was different to the address i was told on the phone) and asked for Dr Patino, and they said ‘sorry he’s dead’ in spanish to my friend who could speak reasonable spanish. We walked out confused and eventually tried the address they had told me on the phone. He was there, and told me I was severely dehydrated (good thing I ignored his advice about not drinking water) had LOW blood pressure, and then when he tried to weigh me I fainted on the scales from the low blood pressure.
I spent a night in a German hospital that was very clean with my own room and ensuite and a couch that my friend slept on, with a tv on which we watched ‘The Simpsons’ dubbed in spanish (they made homer sound way too intelligent).
The next day we made our way back to copacobana and on to macchu pichu after that.
A year later I was diagnosed with diabetes – not sure if it was connected to the dehydration but it’s possible. I was definitely affected by the altitude but I don’t think that was the primary cause of it.
over 7 years ago