Tuesday, July 25, 2017

somewhere over the aorta

Remember how you felt when were a child at Christmas?

You had spent weeks hunting for the perfect present for your brother. And now you had to spend tortuous days waiting for the moment on Christmas Eve when he would open a gaudily-wrapped package -- and beam with pleasure.

OK. That is how it is suppose to happen. Even though, nine out of ten times that scenario ends with the recipient thinking: "Why did you think I would like something like this?" But I always hope for the better ending.

I have been waiting to share a photograph with you for almost two weeks now. But I could not conjure up an appropriate essay to accompany it. Being stuck in bed for almost two weeks is not conducive to generating creativity. Positive creativity, that is. You cannot imagine the number of political pieces I drafted and destroyed. And we are all better for me relieving you of the burden of even seeing them.

The Thursday before my infection set in, I was sitting with my friends Gary and Joyce at their restaurant (Papa Gallo's) on the San Patricio beach. It was one of our pleasant summer evenings. The temperature was high. The humidity was blissfully low. And the tourists were flocking the beach during the first week of summer vacation.

Every photographer knows the best lighting is the hour after the sun rises and the hour before it sets. The angle of the sunlight turns everything golden.

Because the sun was highlighting the colors on the beach, I pulled out my telephone to grab a few shots. And then it happened.

The rains arrived. "Rain" is not the correct word. When it rains here, the streets fill as if Venetian gondolas were to be a primary means of transportation.

This was more of a sprinkle. A mist. Nothing bothersome enough to the beach revelers to chase them from the water or sand.

But there was enough water in the air to refract the light. That is what a scientist would say. People with a poetic streak call it a rainbow. A Claudine Longet rainbow. The type of beauty that is almost ethereal. But it did not make me smile.

And that smile is why the photograph leads today's essay. I have good news. Of sorts.

Yesterday I saw my doctor. The visible portion of my infection is gone. But, yesterday my foot was still swollen enough to pass for a balloon.

I asked the doctor if I could fly to Oregon this Saturday. He told me I could do as I chose.

That is one thing I like about Mexican doctors. They treat their patients as if they were adults perfectly capable of making their own life decisions. Unlike their bossy northern brethren.

He did suggest I see a vein specialist. He thought I might have some sort of obstruction in my capillaries that is causing my foot to swell. But he had no suggestions on a name. Because I will need a specific test result to take with me, he ordered the test and I donated blood this morning. I should have the results tomorrow afternoon.

Here is my dilemma. I would prefer to see a doctor here. After all, I live here, and I will be getting my treatment here. But I do not have a suggested name. And I have only three days left in Mexico before I fly.

I will then be in Oregon. I thought of seeing a specialist there. But the northern health system is far more complicated than it is here. Tri-care (my military medical insurance) requires my primary physician to make all specialist referrals. I don't have a primary care physician. And I am outside the open enrollment period. I have the same issues with Medicare.

I believe someone suggested the name of a circulatory system specialist in the Manzanillo-Colima-Guadalajara area when I had my first bout of cellulitis. If anyone has any suggestions on a specialist in these parts, please let me know. A telephone number would be appreciated.

So, there is your gift. A photograph that makes me smile -- and I hope it does the same for you. As for the rest of this stuff, life will sort it out.


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