As we entered Azerbaijan things turned for the worse at the border. Chris was in severe pain and sweating profusely and then things got rapidly worse during the day. After cycling through temperatures in excess of 40 degrees we finally made it to a hospital in a small town. I (Gabs) had to wait outside anxiously with the bikes.
Chris explained, “I was instantly rushed into a private room and they ran a series of tests. An ultrasound followed by a VERY large injection of something into my right bum cheek! I was soon surrounded by 12 doctors, nurses and consultants, not a single word of English was spoken. It was like a very amusing game of charades. They got there in the end and along came the results – a Kidney Infection which explained the excruciating pain!
The doctor prescribed some strong tablets, no idea what they were, and we were told to go to the pharmacy the other side of town. We cycled to the pharmacy, whilst struggling to sit on my saddle after the huge syringe in my bum cheek, only to find out that they didn’t have any in stock!
We went on to the second pharmacy (20 miles further) and again… none in stock!! Then onto the third (which was another 15 miles away) and again… none in stock!!!
Gab’s was getting really concerned as I was getting worse and we had to keep stopping every few miles for me to lie down. By this time, whatever the injection was, it had kicked in and i had no energy and felt very tired. We managed to make it another 15 miles to the 4th pharmacy just before passing out… and guess what… none in stock. That was it, I was done in so led at the side of the road and Gabs cycled ahead determined to get this medication. She went to another 3 places before finding some!!
Finally, I was fully loaded on some sort of medication, and all I needed to do was cycle a few more miles to find somewhere to camp for the night and rest for a couple of days.”
What amazing service by the hospital here in Azerbaijan. We do have medical insurance, but Chris never needed to use it. We don’t even know the name of the place, where we were or anything. Chris felt great when he came out of the hospital (as you can see from the photo) but that all changed within the hour. Another not so pleasant experience of bicycle touring, Chris said “That has got to be one of the worst days of my life”. Thankfully he is getting much better now.