Thursday, June 18, 2009
my first three days...
I am sitting in a room, content in that I have my computer, a loaf of chocolate marbled sweet bread. I just finished taking a shower, sitting in a chair, with a plastic bag on my foot, scrubbing my leg with a loofah, and a bar of soap. I have moment to pause, and think how this evening is perfect, and I am thrilled to be where I am.
I had my girlfriend assist me by going to the nearby ACE Hardware on her motorcycle, and retrieve for me a transformer that makes it possible to plug in electrical devices designed to operate off 110 volt sockets, when the room I am in has nothing but 220 volt sockets. She also retrieved for me a surge protector that has sockets designed to accept either 220 or 110 volt electrical devices.
Until now, I have been unable to use my computer or recharge my camera battery. When I was with my sister three days ago, I did not think today was going to be how it is. My sister offered to take me to the airport, and now I am on the island of Java, sipping coffee in a beautiful room, back in my technology once again, enjoying my camera, and my computer. Three days ago my neurologist confirmed my MS diagnosis, and that did nothing to stop my travel.
So, after two full days here on Java, I have finally retrieved the gear I need to make my computer ready to use here. It is wild that with all this time I had to wait until now to get my techno gear intact. Of course,it is obvious that I was probably preoccupied with juice drunk by a straw from a cut coconut, endless beaches, and meals of rice and fish served wrapped in banana leaves.
While still in San Jose, my family in all their frivolity, bought me not one, but two walkers. They argued with me as to my need to take them (instead of my handy, high-utility cane), and then equipped one with two brand new Wilson tennis balls on the back posts. It is quite a leap for me to accept my health has come to this. But, before I left San Jose, my mother helped dress a wound where one of my toenails was ripped off, and I did not notice it.
So, now I will discuss why I was bathing with a bag on my foot. With the nerve problems I have experienced so far, I do accept that things can happen, like a toenail ripping off my foot with no pain. Still, that was cleaned up, and secured days ago. Yesterday, walking along with my girlfriend in Jakarta, I as aware of pain in my foot, and my big toe swelling up. I remember my mother talking to me foreboding of Indonesian doctors cutting off my foot in the event of a rampant infectiuon.
I decided to go to the doctor. So, my first full day on the road, and I am acutely aware of an ingrown toenail, and enormous pain from it. So, with little cash, and no insurance, I went to the hospital. The doctor confirmed my analysis, and told me he wanted to operate. Operate? No! I am thousands of miles away from home, and I asked him what such a procedure would cost. He looked at me, and told me it would be two million rupiah. Two million rupiah? (approximately two hundred United States dollars). In five minutes I was wheeled into a procedure room, and my foot was being swabbed down with iodine.
I did take issue with the doctor telling me that "some pain was acceptable. This was, of course after he pinched my big toe, and asked me if this was the right one. I let out a piercing yell, and he cheerily set about shooting my toe with Novocaine. The man raised an enormous chunk of toenail up, and showed me h fruits of his labour, and then quickly sewed my toe back together. All fear mongering aside, I am grateful no one needed to chop off my toe. I was given drugs, and sent happily on my way home.
So, my tropical vacation begins a bit rocky, but with all that is going on in my life, I am pleased that so far, this is not that bad. I love the smell of the humid, island air. I love the time I am spending here. I am very happy I have the Internet to share all this with you. More on my trip forthcoming.
Thank you for reading.