Pain, recovery and a reckoning, then new Covid rules

Apr 28, 2021 | 3 comments

Surprise!!  Perhaps it is a stretch to say, after a five month hiatus, that I am still writing my Cuenca Notes but here I am and that is what it feels like to me. For those who are interested, here are some notes about my life in the interim.

In December my doctor added Somazina to my minimal medications. I had lunch with my friend and teacher Maria Elena the next  week and suddenly realized that I was really enjoying sitting on the deck overlooking the river and eating and conversing with her — and that it had been at least two years since I had really enjoyed anything. I participated and interacted, yes, but took little pleasure in it.

In a discussion with my youngest son at Christmas he said, “Dad, you were depressed.”  The light came on. The label cleared many things up for me. What struck me was that, as a lawyer representing injured workers I was very adept at diagnosing depression in my clients but could not diagnose it in myself. I got more serious about doing my exercises, especially walking, telling the woman next to me at Christmas dinner that I wanted to be able to hike in the Cajas mountains, which begin just outside the city.

The view outside Dave Nelson’s window. Things are much quieter on weekends.

On January 2, near the end of my walking exercises on the deck that goes around the courtyard of my building, I fell hard, injuring my right knee and straining my right shoulder as I grabbed a railing on the way down. There was, as we say in Spanish, mucho dolor, but by the end of March I was pretty comfortable although not entirely pain free. When you are old — and I am close enough to my birthday to think of myself as being 92 — recovery from muscle strains takes much longer.

About a month ago I rolled over in bed, felt a sharp pain in my right hip, and have been pretty much incapacitated with pain and feeling weak ever since. I did manage to get out for my two vaccinations and to see my eye doctor who said okay to oil removal but not right now because Cuenca is under Covid restrictions and my pain problems – but they have improved considerably in the few days since I saw him last week. Physical therapy and massage therapy weekly have helped and the massage therapist comes to the apartment where I now have a portable massage table.

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Cuenca began a month of new restrictions on Friday with a curfew for people and automobiles from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday through Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday, with appropriate exceptions. On the weekend, my usually busy street, which I can see from my bedroom window, was mostly silent and empty of cars.

Lastly, the Oakland A’s lost on Sunday after a 13-game winning streak but, at 3:30 in the afternoon, the sun was shining on my deck and it was good to spend the day writing while listening to Arvo Pärt. I went out to get some sunshine and my vitamin D and, more importantly, to enjoy it.

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