Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Big Sick

There is a particularly nasty bacterial thing (or things) going around here in Cuenca.  It's affecting Ecuadorians and expats both.  It got us, too.

Symptoms range from simple colds/'allergies' (some seem to last forever!), to sinus infections, to sore throats and tummy problems, to convulsive coughing and more. Some symptoms go right into more serious illnesses.  One of our friends had a very high fever and was hositalized for IV antibiotics.  Whatever this thing/s is, it lays you low real fast.

We're slowly on the mend, but healing is slow.  We finally got into the doctor's a few nights ago.   We figured that these 'bugs' were not going away on their own.  Rich was diagnosed with bronchitis, going into pneumonia.  His barking cough was totally out of control.  Now he's on some powerful medicines and starting to feel better.

(To give you an idea on costs:  Office visit $26, Chest x-ray $25, meds $134 -- the special antibiotic was $104.  The remaining costs were for 3 other meds from the doctor.  The first course of antibiotics Rich started with, from the pharmacist, was $ did no good, in his case, and neither did the cough meds.)

As we took time out and thought we were healing from the 'colds/allergies', we were laying pretty low, taking it slow and easy. Always a disappointment to miss fun activities around town.  But, we'll be getting back on calendars for business meetings and fun stuff, hopefully next week.  Laying low, we napped alot and then when cabin fever was BORING, we cooked and tried some new recipes...lots of chicken soup and curries.  Nice to have extra food in the freezer (including chicken feet for broth!) and cupboards. 
We read some and watched old Liz Taylor movies, too.

We ventured  out a little yesterday... had a very short lunch and then headed back to home for a nap!  Happy we beat the afternoon rain. Our quick outing wore us out though.  We're certainly hoping we're up to at least a mini-walk to town with our Sunday walking partners, Chuck and Nancy.  Last week we missed our Sunday Walk, so you know we were really under the weather.  Missing Sunday Walks almost never happens. Our minds are willing for the Walk, but not sure yet if our bodies will be ok to do it. We're resting up today to give ourselves at least the option.


One other thing we want to mention, for those traveling here... 

We're meeting more folks who are flying in sick from the US, against their doctor's orders. We  heard a story from a US visitor that he decided to come on into Cuenca with a bad infection and just decided to repair here at a hotel and take a few taxi rides himself, while his wife checked out the City in more depth.  We've heard other stories like his, too.  Arriving sick doesn't earn you a badge of courage, in our opinion. 

Apparently, there are lots of reasons why folks are feeling compelled to travel into Cuenca sick, but it seems more folks are feeling more and more 'urgency' to get here...  Remember, Cuenca will still be here when you're feeling better!  So, best to get over your cold/flu/whatever and get well and then travel when you're healed.  No fun for anyone if you're arriving sick.
And, remember, those meds your US doctor gave you for your illness might not work the same at this altitude, especially if you're coming from sea-level...  If you feel crappy here despite taking your US meds, be sure to see an Ecuadorian doctor to get checked out.

We want to thank friends and family for checking on us and wishing us well!
Your good wishes are working!  We'll be back in the pink soon. 

Love and Light to all,

PS -- I'm still calling my symptoms 'allergies'.  Annoying to keep blowing my nose, but I'm getting better, too.  I think it depends on the construction activities at nearly Edificio Terrazza...lots of dust in the air today.


  1. This sounds really nasty. I hope you two feel better soon. Mary

  2. Thanks, Mary.
    Sad to report that we're not joining Chuck and Nancy for the Sunday Walk today. We thought at first we'd taxi to town for breakfast with them, but that's not going to happen.
    We see the doc again tomorrow.
    Feels like the usual dance to recovery...2 steps forward, 1 step back, so we're hopeful we can kick this thing real soon.

  3. Good luck with mending your body.. we have dodged it all so far. Saw Barb and Howard at Kooks, and they both warned us they were still puny so we just said hi and went on quickly.. :>) They said everyone is getting it.. I said, well we don't go to many crowded functions so maybe thats why we have avoided it so far... now watch, we will come down with it too... where is that wood to knock on! Hugs to you both.

  4. Thanks, Karen,
    Hope you and Randy stay healthy! Our doc told us it's 'everywhere' so not sure you can escape the buggies even if you stay away from crowded areas.
    It's really nasty.
    Wash your hands alot! (We did/do, and even then...)

  5. So sorry to hear you've been sick. Hope you both are feeling better very soon.

  6. Yes, by all means take good care of yourselves. I use to have terrible bouts with bronchitis on a yearly basis after I had a bout of walking pneumonia. It wasn't until I began taking pneumonia vaccinations that I no longer was getting bronchitis. Now that we are all older, it's more important than ever to avoid pneumonia.