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Posts Tagged ‘healthcare’

Ahhh, it feels good to be back in the warm and wonderful Oaxaca.  There are the sounds…  I awake to church bells, followed by the loudspeaker cry of “Gas de Oaxaca” from the propane vendor.  Last night, as I was heading to bed, rockets exploded and, just now, the camote man’s steam whistle sounded, announcing tooth-achingly sweetened hot sweet potatoes and bananas.  Then there are the sights…

The walls continue to talk…  On Thursday, I saw this on Calle Morelos as I walked to the Alcalá and comida with friends.  It remembers Leonel Castro Abarca, one of the 43 still-missing students from Escuela Normal Rural Raúl Isidro Burgos teachers’ college in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero.

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On the way home from comida, I detoured to see what was to be seen on the zócalo.  Teacher tents remain pitched around the bandstand, but the walkways were free of ambulantes, and, as always, the Cathedral presided over the scene.

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Thursday, the familiar sounds of protest were irresistible.  I grabbed my camera and headed out the front gate to see a massive march by healthcare workers on their way to the Plaza de la Danza.  To be honest, tubas and cohetes would have had me out the door, too!  It was way too quiet in el norte.

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And, what can I say about last night’s sunset from the terrace?

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Naturally, a marmota and pair of monos were waiting on the plaza in front of Santo Domingo this afternoon, awaiting a bride and groom to emerge.  After all, it is Saturday — wedding day in Oaxaca!

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I wonder what my ears will hear and my eyes will see, mañana…

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Reader alert:  If you are squeamish, you might want to skip this post.

Yesterday, minding my own business, I was attacked by a killer cactus!  Well, the cactus isn’t really a killer (at least, I don’t think it is) and I wasn’t really minding my own business — I was weeding in the vicinity of said cactus, which I think is an Austrocylindropuntia subulata ssp. exaltata.  Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time this particular cactus and I had had a run in.

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Four years ago, concentrating on weeding around another plant, I momentarily forgot about the danger lurking in the neighboring pot and got stabbed in the upper arm.  After more than momentary disbelief, I gathered my wits and called on my friend, neighbor, and fellow gardener G for help.  He managed to pull the spine out with only a moderate amount of pain, cleansed the puncture site with alcohol (the rubbing kind), gave me alcohol (the drinking kind), and I was good to go.

After that encounter, I showed the Austrocylindropuntia the respect it so rightly deserves.  I also admit to having had thoughts of abandoning it on my old apartment’s terrace when I moved last year.  However, I was convinced by my moving crew that it should join the rest of my garden on the new big terraza.  Though why they wanted to risk its espinas peligrosas, I don’t know.  However, I do know, I would have much preferred bringing my beautiful Agave Americana to my new home, but they said it was too big and had to stay put.

That brings me to yesterday’s unfortunate incident.  I remember thinking, as I reached in to pull a couple of weeds in the Austrocylindropuntia’s pot, “Go get the long garden tweezers.”  But I didn’t, and got stabbed on the back of my right hand (between the knuckles of my index and middle finger) for the trouble.  How stupid could I be???  Stunned, I again turned to neighbors — this time, David and Marilyn from Alaska.  It was decided I needed professional help, so off to Hospital Molina we walked, me with a four-inch cactus spine sticking out of the top of my hand.

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The doctor took me into an exam room immediately.  He asked the important questions:   “Name?  Age?  Address?  Allergies?  Where is the offending cactus located?  Do you use pesticides in your garden?”    I asked the question that was foremost on my mind, “Aren’t you going to use lidocaine?”   “No,” he calmly replied.  He then directed me to relax and look toward the window.  He had such reassuring manner,  I actually did as I was told.  He gently felt around the protruding spine and then it was out — and, miracle of miracles, I didn’t feel a thing!  He, too, cleansed the wound with alcohol, wrote prescriptions for an antibiotic and a mild pain reliever, told me to apply hot compresses twice a day, and collected 300 pesos ($23.00 US) for the visit.  I collected my ever-so-kind neighbors and we went on our way.  The phrase, “Do you have insurance?” was never uttered and I was not required to fill out ANY forms!

It’s thirty hours later and I am alive and well.  Antibiotic is being taken every six hours, my hand is only slightly swollen, and there is only a little pain.  I’m good to go.  And I’m thinking, it’s time for the Austrocylindropuntia subulata ssp. exaltata to go.  No use tempting fate a third time!

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