Thursday, June 01, 2006

Trippin'—Potholes in Paradise

I went for a long walk last Wednesday morning on the tip of a fellow US expat who had told me of a traditional panadería in an outlying neighborhood beyond the railroad tracks . That is a story in itself, which I hope to tell after I return and take more and better photos of the unpreposessing, well-hidden bakery, La Espiga.

After locating the bakery and visiting for 20 minutes, I went back to the market area on the old Pátzcuaro-Uruapan highway, well known as being the location of Don Chucho's store.
For a block or so, a row of small stores has food stands in front, offering shoppers and passersby various desayunos y comidas caseras. I was looking for the one that cooked Carne de Cerdo en Salsa Negra. I found what I was looking for at the last stand of the row of stalls, Taquería CIA. The dish was very tasty, and I enjoyed the simple meal, in spite of not getting any utensils until two-thirds finished. As I got up, I wished the other diners "Buen provecho" —good appetite.

I got up and paid, and walked a few steps along the street, stepping off the sidewalk to avoid some construction. Suddenly, I was falling forward. I cursed aloud in English as I twisted to the right, (to avoid hitting my head on a parked truck) impacting my right hand, knee and shoulder and the right side of my head. I moaned curses and was on the verge of passing out.

As I lay there, assessing the damage to my body, a passerby asked me if I was all right. I told him no, I didn't know my condition, but that I was very dizzy. When I was ready, he helped me to my feet and we walked over to a wall where I could sit. Two of my right fingernails were torn down to the quick, and I had a small wound on my right hand. The right side of my head also hurt somewhat. (Amazingly, my digital camera and my open shopping bag of breads were intact.)
As I leaned back against a pillar, a metal sign clattered to the ground. The shop owner came and replaced it to a safer position.
I quickly dismissed the idea of walking home or taking the colectivo, so I called Susan on the cell phone. I could hardly hear her, but she got the message, and arrived 5 minutes later.

At home, I changed out of my messed up clothes, took a shower—sitting down— and called our Doctor's office.
She instructed me to go to the lab for x-rays. We got to the lab quickly, but I had to wait an hour or so before the authorization for the x-rays came from the Doctor. She had had unavoidable family matters to attend to.

X-rays in hand, we walked the 4 or 5 blocks, across the Plaza Grande to the consultorio of our doctor. As she checked my shoulder's mobility and reviewed the x-rays, the good news was that there were no fractures. She prescribed a steroid tablet for a sort time to alleviate any brain inflammation, should there be any. For the shoulder, warm applications of a strong solution of sea salt in hot water. For pain, ibuprofen. She also offered the possibility of going to a chiropractor friend of hers, and/or having neural therapy of the shoulder (this involves needles, but apparently is different from acupuncture. I wasn't keen on either of the last two, but would consider them if the need arose.

By the time we were finishing up the exam in her office, I was feeling a lot better; that is, the shock had passed although I still had considerable pain.

Back home again, I was going to take a nap, but certain cooking tasks needed attention, so I applied myself to them, greatly aggravating Susan. I told her that it was a form of therapy for me, and I think she understood. Then I rested.

As the days progressed, I felt energetic the next day, Thursday, and walked from the Lavandería Las Américas
to centro. There were other days, and especially sleep-interupted nights of gradually diminishing pain.

Yesterday, Tuesday, almost a week after my fall, I awoke and felt almost pain free. When I was at the bathroom mirror, I saw that my shoulder had a very large, very discolored bruise. That was a new development. I called the doctor and we discussed this. She reassured me that it was normal, although it was strange thet the bruise had not been seen until then. I also got her enthusiastic appoval to have a therapeutic massage from a wonderful masajista, Sra. G— S— I made an appointment for early afternoon. I will describe Sra. G— S— in another blog post.

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