Friday, May 3, 2019


I have been sick for over a week, so other than stay at home and sleep a lot, I haven’t done much.

At times like this, it has me thinking about the situation I am in should I need good medical care. What would I do? I have lived here for 3 and 1/2 years now and although I have a good idea of what I would need to do, I still haven’t nailed down the specifics should I need them. I wonder if I ever will?

The human psyche is interesting that way. We tend to live like we will always be healthy and will never die. Most of the time that serves us to get things done, but when there is a tear in the fabric of this illusion it requires another way of being.


In the coaching world this is called a breakdown. It means there is now a break…what was previously unnoticed is noticed. By analogy, it is akin to when we are driving and we suddenly have an adrenaline surge because we are aware we didn’t notice any of the previous 10 minutes behind the wheel. Basically we were driving on autopilot in a state of unawareness of the road as we moved through time. Breakdowns are good for us. They wake us up. It is a time we can take stock of what we are doing and be present with what is around us.

Being sick created a breakdown of my reality living here. After eight days of being sick, the lymph nodes in my neck swelled up and could be seen on my shadow on the ground. I decided I probably needed to go to a doctor. My breakdown was, “Huh, I could actually be very sick and potentially not be able to get the healthcare services I need to get better”. It is time to act.


I phoned friends for a recommendation of doctors they use, contacted one of them, and while I was waiting for a call back, I decided to start antibiotics…partly because I was feeling some panic, and partly because I thought I knew what I had.

I was a pharmacist for 20+ years and I am not a believer in starting antibiotics until a bacteria can prove itself not a virus. Since lab work is difficult to get done here, I have to rely on my body informing me. Usually I’m pretty good figuring out what I have, but this time it was weird.

Not until day eight, when my lymph nodes swelled, did I have a sore throat. I shone a light at the back of my throat and saw grossly swollen tonsils covered in white lesions…looks like strep throat to me I thought. I never had a high fever that would support that diagnosis, but what the hell. I started the antibiotic and within 24 hours the nodes started to shrink and not hurt as much. By 48 hours I was feeling much better.


So I saved myself a trip to the doctors office, and it appears I will live another day to enjoy this wonderful life on the beautiful coast of Ecuador. I guess this week has served as a reminder…appreciate everything I am able to do, stay vigilant to maintain the good health I normally enjoy, and notice each day I have been given..

As I watched the surfers at dusk the other day, I wondered if they noticed the water they were in. That is the challenge for all of us isn’t it? Notice what we are so used to experiencing.