As usual, I donned my running shoes and headed for the nearby park in Cuenca, Ecuador where I now live. It’s absolutely a gorgeous park, with people, animals, vendors selling yummy goods, and all sorts of wonderfulness. About a minute into my run, I tripped and fell headlong forward on my right hand. Hearing my right wrist go snap, I rolled around on the ground in pain and wondered why in the heck would I decide to fall and break my wrist only two and a half weeks into living in this amazing place? By the way, it’s very noticeable when a 5-foot-10 middle-aged white lady is rolling around on the ground in pain in Ecuador.
Ecuadorians are incredibly nice people. They kept bending over me talking to me in Spanish looking very concerned. I don’t speak Spanish. And I did not bring my phone, which has a wonderful translate function on it, because I love to get away from my phone whenever I can. Needless to say, this was a bad day to make that decision. In any case after about 30 minutes, I was able to stand up and walk home. Once home I called my two friends that I have recently met here and they directed me to a hospital where there was a doctor who spoke English and was able to get an x-ray and assess that my wrist was indeed broken and put a cast on it. I didn’t need surgery or resetting of the bone, which was a huge sigh of relief for me.
Now many of you in reading this are thinking, oh my gosh that must’ve cost a fortune! In the United States if I had done the exact same thing the bill would have come into the thousands of dollars! The United States, in case you don’t know it, is the most expensive country in the world for health insurance and healthcare. In quality, the United States ranks number 30. With that in mind, I would say the help I received at the hospital here was extraordinary! Everything from the x-ray, to the cast, to the doctors’ assessment was top-notch. As is the case in every country, you need to find a good doctor as there are both good and bad doctors in every country.
It might shock you to know that the total with everything came to about $200. Yes, you read that correctly! My rent, for context, is $450 a month for a two bedroom with an office in a wonderful location. In Boulder, where I moved from, this same apartment would’ve cost over $3000 a month. The United States and the high cost of living has been a subject of frustration and difficulty for many of us, and to come here and spend on average about $40 a week on food is mind blowing. Having said that, cost is greatly determined in this country as in most countries on the store you go to and the products that you buy. I stick with a very simple way of eating and living in that I buy mostly from the outdoor markets. As a self-employed remote worker, the cost of living here has been a huge plus. Along with the general ease of life, the peaceful city, and the lovely people.
But back to the broken wrist. One of the huge challenges of my life, is to not work so much. I tend to be a bit obsessive about what I’m doing, and have a difficult time relaxing. One of my besties, Judy, points out that, girl can’t chill. I think falling and getting the cast on my right wrist, has forced me into taking life much more slowly. I’ve had to rest more, and have more time for reflection. As much as I would not have consciously chosen this path in order to relax, it is absolutely been the best thing for me. Plus, I found this great dictation function on Word! I’m not sure if I will go back to typing things when speaking into a microphone is so much more fun.
If you’ve been following along with my other blogs about my move, I’d like to update you with the status of my relationship with my two daughters. They are both now speaking to me, and we are starting to move forward. I think sometimes it just takes a little time for our family members to accept our weird and wild choices. I like to think that we women are wild creatures, and that we do best when we are unharnessed and trusted with our own fate. Including breaking a wrist in order to force a slowdown.