Friday, Mar 4, 2016

I’m still not feeling well and it’s clouding a lot of how I see and feel about things. Today Ecuador isn’t the easy-ocean-breezy, running-stunning-sunset, foot-frolicking-beach place to be. Today…it is simply… a pain in the ass. That’s being honest.

On Monday we are going to Manta, about a 90 min drive from here, to have the growth removed from Keeper’s leg. I called the Vet to get this set up. This is how it went down:

Me: “Hola, hable Ingles”?

Vet: “Uhhh…no”

Me: “Ok, gracias”. Click. I hang up.

Ok, now what? Maybe the Vet is on Whatsapp.

I check it out and he is. So now I can type what I want to say into Google translate, then copy and paste the Spanish translation into Whatsapp and send it to him. When he responds in Spanish, I can copy and paste the response through the translator into English.

This worked well for me to tell him what I needed, to send him a picture of the growth on Keeper’s leg, and to set the appointment. It fell apart at the end though because I wasn’t getting the confirmation I needed on the appointment time.

Not to be stopped, I called my Spanish teacher Tjaard and asked for his help. I met him at his house and we called the Vet back. He confirmed the appointment time, the approximate length of the procedure, and the cost. I think I’m good to go.

The Vet is going to put Keeper under; she will be on oxygen, and her heart will be monitored. I’m stressed. I’m also stressed that Keeper continues getting these dark spots on her skin, and I’m hoping none of those spots turn into what her leg did. When I brought her in from her walk this morning her foot was bleeding. It looks like there might be some kind of abscess between two of her toes.

I called the Vet here locally (and he does speak English), but he is only here locally a couple of times a week and today isn’t that day. He said since the bleeding stopped to have the Vet in Manta look at it, and ask him if he can do the surgery tomorrow instead of Monday.

Oh boy. Not so simple. I already have transportation arranged for Monday, and it’s not an easy feat communicating with the Vet in Manta. Keeper seems ok, so I think I’m sticking with the Monday appointment.

When I stand up I am dizzy. This is the new thing I’m feeling from the bug I’ve been fighting.

You can’t drink the water in Ecuador. It’s a common fact. They haven’t mastered a closed potable water system. Shit gets in…and I really hope that isn’t literal.

About a week ago we started noticing tiny, worm-like things swimming in our bathroom sinks and toilets. At first I dismissed them as something from the air that may have landed in the sinks and toilet bowls. They are the size of an eyelash or smaller.

Easton was the first to notice them in his toilet. He thought they were…well… from him. I laughed because I considered it very unlikely for him to have parasites so early on here. They weren’t from him, they were from the tap water coming into the condo.

Today I put the stopper in the sinks, turned the tap water on for a second, and I can see a few swimming in the water. I went downstairs and brought the building manager back up to show him. We agreed that we need more Clorox in the cistern on the roof that holds the water coming in from the city. I guess I will be able to tell when we get enough Clorox.

This is a recent problem. I actually was delusional enough to think the water issues here were overblown. None of us drank the tap water, but I use it…or rather…used it to brush my teeth. So gross.

Heidi just made a great lunch…I hope my stomach cooperates. Between my dizziness and what I’m writing about right now….

So readers, this post actually does have a point:

Change requires space, time, and proper focus to be successful.

  1. Space is that place you can rest, re-group, and get grounded in the midst of change. You may go to a place in your head, a place in your home, or a place in nature. Wherever it is, the result is greater internal capacity to effectively manage emotions muscled or trapped in the body that are blocking your ability to manage the change at hand.

2. Time, and giving yourself enough time, is critical in successfully managing any change. What you see right now, how you feel right now, and what you think right now will be different at some point further down the time continuum.

Your body and mind need time to adjust to whatever change it is experiencing. My wife says it like this, “Time takes time”. There are no shortcuts.

3. Focus is about looking at the right thing, not everything. The right thing is usually the small task in front of you, the present moment activity. When you are in the midst of change, proper focus allows the body to relax and breathe as it builds muscle memory doing things in a new way.

Present moment focus protects the body and mind from drowning in an onslaught of cascading negative emotions, beginning with overwhelm. The Present Moment is the gatekeeper that manages the speed and intensity in which we have to deal with and process the change we are in.

For me today, I went through those three things to let panic release from my body.

Over the course of the last few days…being sick, Keeper’s skin issues mounting, concerning water issues…I’m feeling panicked that being here is all wrong and I need to get us out. It’s not rational and it’s not real, but right now my body is screaming otherwise. I need a reset.

I went in my room, stretched out on my bed, and just enjoyed the stillness. I let myself breathe restfully and fully. I allowed my muscles to relax and the emotions trapped in them (stress, tension, panic…which are all based in fear) be released. I’m increasing my internal capacity for the change I am in the midst of.

I reminded myself that we haven’t been here much longer than an extended vacation. I acknowledged that we are in the process of a major life change…different culture, different language, different availabilities of products and services. It may take years to feel comfortable in it, and it may not. What I can give myself now, is permission to take whatever time I need to get grounded again.

I don’t feel good. That’s part of my reality in this present moment. Recognizing that, I know everything I am taking in around me is being processed through a congested chest and a dizzy head. In this present moment I am not at my best, but it also means I can choose not to worry about the rest. When I feel better, I deal better.

My dog looks happy right now. I’ve got her set to be looked at and her problem addressed. Nothing else needs to be done for her in this moment. The water is being addressed, and I have good clean water to drink…and brush my teeth.

My wife is having a good day. She got to mediate, spend time with people she enjoys, and even managed to get a refreshing swim in at the ocean. My son is enjoying his day too. He got to work-out with people he enjoys being around, went to Spanish class and is learning this new language like a pro. He also went swimming in the ocean with friends.

Yeah, looking at this present moment, I think we are all successfully managing change.