Thursday, June 9, 2011


We moved to Ecuador on July 1st, 2010.  Since that time we have tried to enjoy all of cultural food that we can (Cuy excluded), while at the same time maintaining some semblance of care about where and what we ate. We avoid fresh prepared fruit from carts along the streets, we wash all of our veggies and fruit in a natural grapefruit vegetable wash before using, and just generally use common sense. That being said, we have been repeatedly told, "no matter how careful you are you will get an amoeba or parasite, do the deed, and get that medicine that kills the bugs".  The timeline for this "deed" is every 6 months, or at the very least every year. The clock has run out.. it was time for us to "man-up" and go find the medicine.
This is from the last time Randy, "man'd -up" in '08, emergency room of Santa Ines Hospital

 We have a favorite farmacia near by. It is called Farmacia Salvador and is located on Remigio Crespo, near the Feria Libre Market. The owner is a very nice gentleman who speaks some English, and one of his employees also speaks a hint better English. Another bonus with this farmacia is that the owner's son is a Dr. and he works upstairs, and his English is perfect!

We girded our loins and with our best spanglish, we explained to the farmacéutico what we needed. In his best spanglish he tried to explain that since we did not know what kind of bug we had or even if we had one we would need to talk with his son to make sure he gave us the correct medicine. 

Darn, once again, we have not been able to slide by a doctor ( Randy's words). The farmacéutico called upstairs for the Dr., he came a few minutes later and with a  few quick words said, well you really need to bring us a stool sample and then we can prescribe the proper medication or none if you do not have any issues. He then had his father give us two cute little stool sample kits and said to bring it back anytime the following day. He would  walk us through the lab and get it taken care of.

The folowing day we returned and to our surprise the Dr. was standing in the door way of the farmacia, he smiled and said we arrived just in time as he was just about to leave for a few minutes. He walked us up to his office, filled out the lab papers, and then took our samples to the lab next door. The lab work would only take 20 min. he said, so while we waited he would do a basic check up on us.

Our check up consisted of taking our blood pressure, pulse, checking our throat and eyes, stomach palpitations, listened to heart and lungs, all the while asking health related questions. Because Randy has high blood pressure he checked his legs, and asked some additional questions about "man stuff". Thank goodness he didn't ask me about "lady stuff" he was way to young, I would have blushed myself silly.

When the checkup was complete he said, well the lab should be done.. and to our amazement it was! We both had amoebas, no parasites. We both were prescribed the same medication but because during the palpitation of my stomach he felt some issues, I was prescribed an additional medication to "quiet it down". 

We then asked what the total would be for our bill.. so lets see, Dr's visit, lab cost, for two..
$20. As we pulled our chins off the floor, Randy asked , each? No, no just $20... and that includes the lab? Yep..  

So then we walk down to the farmacia and get our meds.. $8 for each pack of 6 pills, $2 for the additional medication for me. so that's $18. total medical cost $38. ( Note: our friends had the same Dr. and medication, they asked for something not so expensive and was given something a bit cheaper, so it pays to ask)

We are on our last day of the medication. We have had no side effects, or strange stomach issues, so we are assuming that the little guys cohabiting with us are are their way "out"
Just in case you want to visit Dr. Guillen, tell him Karen & Randy sent you..


  1. Hi karen and Randy,

    We met once last year September at the Kukaburra (sp?.

    I love your story! Unfortunately we will not make use of this info for the next few years. My man got cold feet about retirement and is now happy as a clam working on another development project in Moldova. Which is a small country in Eastern Europe.

    You will still be in Ecuador in a few years I expect, so we may catch up with you then ;)

    May you have no further intestinal infestations of alien critters.

    Wendela Kilmer

  2. Hey, sorry to hear your plans for EC are put on hold, but it is a wonderful opportunity to explore another country, so I won't be too sad for you. Hope to hear about your experiences in Moldova! We will hold the fort here until you arrive. Take care, they may have alien critters there too!

  3. Di and I have found the health care here and the medicine to be just great! Our medicine here is so much less than the states and the doctor visit costs are so low. We love it as we know you guys do. Looking forward to seeing you both again soon. Bob and Di

  4. Oh dear - sounds like maybe Todd and I should consider doing the same thing....
    Not looking forward to it, but at least you made it sound fairly painless

  5. Karen (and Randy) I just finished my 2 day binge of all your posts and was thoroughly entertained. Tons of great information with some classic friendly spouse abuse that could have been posted by my wife about me. We are making our first visit to Cuenca via Quito (prep for a permanent move in the future) in July-Aug and hope we can meet.

    Michael and Sandy

    Feel free to contact us at

  6. Hey Michael & Sandy,
    Glad you enjoyed the trip through the blog. We would enjoy visiting with you when you come, and find out how you are liking our town. Until then.. I will try to keep you posted on our lives here!