Friday, Jul 5, 2019
I have not had the greatest of weeks. My recovery post-hernia surgery has been a bit brutal. The swelling of “personal parts” has been intense and came with associated pain. My problem was I didn’t really know if everything was just part of the normal process of healing or if something was wrong. I was in contact with my doctor in Cuenca, but without running tests, he is only guessing too.
Location Means Something
Welcome to one of the realities of living on the coast of Ecuador, being far from informed and skilled medical care. It creates a mind fuck when your body is on the blitz. It is a three hour drive to Guayaquil, the closest place with a large hospital, and an 8 hour drive to Cuenca, where I had my surgery and where my doctor is. Neither option seemed great to me this week.
My plan was to wait until Friday and if things didn’t begin to normalize by then, head back to Cuenca. Unfortunately, by Wednesday I freaked myself out that something must be really wrong. I hurt more on Wednesday than any day prior and was still extremely swollen. I was 9 days post surgery.
I got myself on a bus and headed for Cuenca. Thursday morning I was at the hospital getting an ultrasound, CT scan, and exam from my doctor, as well as a urologist. Everything checked out as normal. I am extremely grateful for that. Ultimately it came down to having some serious inflammation of a testicle and spermatic cord. The doctor prescribed a heavy duty anti inflammatory, and I was on my way home the next day.
So what did I learn? Living here requires making choices, and whatever choice you make it is important to be at peace with it. Perfect conditions rarely exist here, and all anyone can do is their best in the moment. I guess that is what I did.
My first reaction is to get upset with myself for not waiting until Friday to see where I would have been at. If I had, maybe I would have saved myself a 16 hour round trip hassle, and saved some money on tests. What is also true though, I didn’t have information I needed about what was up with me. Now I do. If I had waited and something was seriously wrong, it is a minimum three hour drive to an adequate emergency room. Shit can happen in three hours.
So there you go. Welcome to the exotic and carefree life living on a beautiful beach in Ecuador. It’s not all sunshine and cervezas. It comes with a cost, at least how I have chosen to do it. Still, I wouldn’t choose differently. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the best gig out there.
Now, I need to go ice some stuff. 😉