April 16th dawned with a severe case of gout in the last joint in each of my right ring and left index fingers. Very swollen, very red, very sensitive, and very painful and it did not calm down in the usual few days.
Gout pain affects my whole body and just slows everything down, inflicting a bodily tension that just never goes away. For instance, I had to cancel several Spanish classes, not having the energy or the wit to accomplish anything. After a month of very slow progress with increased medication, abstention from the uric acid producers of alcohol and red meat, and probably most importantly, time and mother nature, I am pretty much recovered.
As for why the severity and long healing time my doctor’s comment when he sent me an email with the blood test results explains: “You get an A+… perfect blood work, so unfortunately may be the “birth certificate”
A more dramatic event happened this past Friday morning, the 13th. I was walking on Calle Larga facing oncoming one-way traffic and before crossing Hermano Miguel, I stopped to make sure none of the traffic was turning left and through the crosswalk. I noticed that a taxi was stopped in the far lane of Calle Larga with his left turn signal flashing but having to wait for traffic to clear from the near lane. The traffic cleared enough for me to cross, so I started. As I neared the far curb I remembered the taxi and looked and there he was, nearly on top of me, and not stopping. I think I tried to jump ahead but was not quick enough and the cab brushed my left side and down I went with a clunk, my head hitting the curb.
Conscious but dazed, I looked up into a sea of faces and then was lifted to my feet. Three or four police arrived but asked me no questions. With the biggest injury being a loose flap of skin on my right wrist I turned down an offer from the cab driver to take me to a doctor or to take me home, which was only about three blocks away. I did make eye contact with him and shook my finger at him, albeit with a smile and a shake of the head.
I walked, with assistance, a few doors to the lavanderia for my clean clothes (I was out of clean underwear); then, an assisted walk across the street to the bookstore where I sat for awhile and Maria fixed my glasses which had a twisted frame and loose lens. Then a walk home where my neighbor, Piedad, bandaged the wrist. I was a bit out of it the next day, probably from a small concussion.
In retrospect I should never have taken my eye off that taxi. Although he might have been signaling only to join the oncoming lane and not make the left turn onto my street, my senses told me something different. He, of course, should have paid more attention to pedestrians in the crosswalk. I hope I am a bit wiser.
Sunday the 15th I awoke feeling great. The gout tensions were gone and by the end of the day that internal sense of quiet joy was in place.
Monday night, I learned that Maria, the little girl who lives upstairs, is having her fourth birthday party Saturday and wants me to come. For me, a wondrous joyful jolt.
Cuidense. And with my love, Dave