<Photos of the Podocarpus national park:
I suppose it could be considered a good thing that one can’t be at one’s best all the time. As much as I resist the apparent condition of duality; I also recognize that if it were not for black, white would have no significance.
Still, it irks me when I feel down and out of sorts, even if there are evident ’causes’.
It has been overcast much of the time the past week and it often rained at night. The temperatures even dipped into the low 60’s F. near early morning… the time of the roosters. (I can hear all my Northern friends wailing in pity for me)
Because the tropical latitude Andes is home to an incredible variety species of plants; shrubs, trees, flowers… over three thousand thus identified in the area where I am. Hence, there are three thousand different kinds of pollen. Mountain rain knocks the pollen off of these plants and it is carried on the wind and is distributed in the air.
<Biodiversity in the Podocarpus:
Human travelers (and many Humans who are local) are often not adapted to these pollens. Anyone who has a history of any kind of allergic reaction(s) to new pollen is going to be affected. That would include me.
‘…There are many prevalent diseases in Ecuador, mainly due to environmental conditions, geographical location, and lack of health care. Specific health problems that are common in Ecuador: infant mortality, acute respiratory infection, diarrhetic diseases, dengue fever, malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, health problems due to smoking, malnutrition. In Ecuador, there are approximately 14000 cases of TB per year…’>
I have suffered occasional breathing/respiratory issues since my arrival in Ecuador. I used to get severe asthma ‘attacks’ when I was a child. The symptoms gradually diminished to the point that I lived for twenty years or more with zero symptoms. When I first came to South America in 2011, I was bothered by a return of symptoms again. The only thing I can guess (and that’s all most doctors are doing) is that my body is not ‘adapted’ to the new pollens.
The medication, Benadryl, or it’s generic equivalent, which is available everywhere in South America, does reduce the symptoms to the point that breathing is tolerably restored for me.
When the sun is shining and the humidity low, things are OK. I get asthmatic symptoms most often at night or after a few days of rain. Then, I don’t sleep well. When I have difficulty breathing I change my sleep positions trying to attain some degree of comfort. In the morning I find that certain back muscles are in near spasm… adding to the discomfort of not breathing well. So… Naturally, one may well say, I don’t feel at my best.
Two days ago I was not breathing well and I had very aggravating back pain. I do not like it… and I refuse to give it to it. I walked to La Ruinas de Quinara, a hostel located uphill from town. The ‘Quinara’ has three hand tiled hot tubs with jets simulating a jacuzzi/whirlpool effect. I sat in one of those for two hours, aiming the most powerful jets directly on the areas in my back that felt close to spasm. It helped. I walked back to my hostel, where Maria, a friend and the hostel manager got me some pain medications from a pharmacy specifically for muscle pain. I slept well for the first night in many.
My morning routine is to have a shower, shave, get dressed, go downstairs, make breakfast, (I am in a hostel and have access to rudimentary shared kitchen facilities) and then go for a walk. I often walk three or four miles a day. I find that if I just lay in bed longer, even if I am exhausted from lack of proper sleep it only make things worse. So, I walk slowly. I take a small ventilator device with me on my walks. It emits Salbutimol in small does when my bronchial tubes become too restricted to breathe easily.
Today was the first day that the sun shone brightly in the morning. That alone, is cheering. It also means that the pollen is no longer being knocked off the plants. The asthmatic symptoms go away.
Yesterday I made an appointment with a local dentist for a cleaning. Had my teeth cleaned this morning. He did a very thorough and professional job. I always feel great after getting my teeth cleaned. The cost here is modest when compared with similar care in the US.
During the cleaning the dentist noticed that a tooth in the left upper quadrant had a ‘crack’ in it, all the way to the root. I have had this issue with this tooth before. I knew that the artificial crown had broken off several months ago. Bacteria can enter the crack and make a home, which usually leads to infection. There is not much that can be done in this case other than a thorough cleaning of the area and an attempt made to ‘seal’ the crack (again) with dental materials.
A new artificial crown, made of inexpensive dental materials (it does not make sense in this case to attempt fixing it with more expensive materials) will then be placed over the cleaned out and freshly sealed area. This will last until the pressure from chewing breaks the new crown. The ultimate fix is to pull the tooth, root and all, which is a last resort. Better to leave a somewhat healthy root than to remove it, even if, as in this case, the root itself is cracked all the way to the bone.
Once a tooth is completely removed, to fill the gap, the options are an artificial ‘bridge’… or a much more complicated, time consuming, and expensive ‘implant’.
I have an appointment with the dentist to fix the tooth next week… and I have an appointment with a professional osteopathic trained massage therapist on Friday.
Now you know why it has taken so long to make this new entry.
Health problems/issues suck. They leave me feeling just what the title of this post indicates: An attitude of lassitude… and now you have waded through my platitude.
I shall endeavor to Live such that a happier and a more positive blog entry shall follow this one.