Sunday 23rd Feb

Stephen Bassett
Sun 23 Feb 2014 18:21
We cannot believe that we have been here since Tuesday, but we have. The time has been sent accessing the hospital and clinics for Stephen, and checking into Brazil, and little else.
When we arrived on Tuesday, everyone in the marina helped us tie up, and explained what the marina could do. They have WIFI, water and electricity available. There is a laundry here run by un-smiling Lucia but she does a good job. There is a bar which does food on request run by Julio. One of the senior marineras will fill gas bottles and there are two or three taxis drivers who escort you to the immigration, customs, federal police and so on. Not many people speak English as we have found to our cost and great frustration. But all-in-all, a good friendly and safe location to be.
At the moment that is reassuring as we spent all day on Wednesday at the Hospital Samaritimo in Joao Pessoa trying to get to the bottom of Stephen’s Back problem. That was tortuous as the language barrier was difficult. Anyway we managed to get an x-ray done which showed some damage to the discs at the base of Stephen’s spine. We were sent home to Karacool with a prescription for painkillers! Hang on a minute.
Anyway, on Thursday we checked in and got a mobile phone sim card so at least we could call locally and if we were lucky, internationally too. We were not lucky! Well, we could text internationally and folks at home can call us but we cannot call them. So with a combination of texts and Skype we are in communication.
Friday, we decided had to be a rest day which it was apart from numerous calls to our insurance company and also to family in UK. So another administrative day. But, hey-ho, we now have google translate on our mobile phone – OK, we are ready now.
And on Saturday, we went to another hospital which had been checked out first by our Insurance company in the UK. After a long day and visits to clinics and consultants, we are in the system. Stephen was examined by a hospital doctor, a neurologist, had an MRI scan, was given many prescriptions, had a CT scan and another chat with the neurologist before we got back to Karacool at about 9pm. And after all that we have to return on Monday to see what the options are!
It certainly looks as though we will need to be here in Brazil for longer than originally planned. But how long that is will depend on the way forward for Stephen’s treatment and how quickly he mends. In the meantime he has been told to rest, and so we are making no plans for sightseeing or any thing like that. So again, apologies if no blog posts but will add something when we can.