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.
Lisa Carman says
O my gosh Suzanne! Ouch! But I am glad you’ve taken the hint from the universe and have slowed down. Hey, I’m trying to do that and like you, I am a workaholic. Sharing your story has given me new motivation to slow down before the universe stops me in some way! Thanks lady!
Thanks, Lisa! These hints are rather painful, but important. Staying grateful!
Hi Suzanne, so very glad you are ok and that your experience with the hospital and doctor’s care was excellent. You are very lucky. It is incredible to see the difference in costs. Infuriating too!
I am really glad your daughters are coming around. You are most courageous for just picking up and moving to a country where you don’t speak the language. How did you meet your new friends? I find that as a middle aged woman, it is hard to make friends. I really have to put myself out there and it is not an easy thing to do.
Feel good and I am glad you found the silver lining in your situation.
Hi Jessica, thanks for your comment! Meeting people in a foreign country is actually pretty easy, because everyone is in/on the same boat. No one has family to tend to or other distractions. Its very different from a normal life in the US!
That’s a very good point.
Gail Storey says
What a wonderful update, Suzanne! So glad the lovely people of Ecuador took care of you and your wrist, and that your daughters are speaking to you again. I love reading about the differences in cost of living too, wow.
Thanks Gail! It’s a journey to be sure, and one I’m glad I made! I hope you are doing well
Marian Thier says
You’re adaptable, just not pliable. Heal well and quickly. Your story reminds me of how much and often people want to help. And you’re a quite the sight–a story worth appreciating.
Thanks Marian and wonderful to hear from you. There are two options as I see it, gratitude or victim. And since I believe I create my reality, there can be only gratitude
Ouch! But, yay that your daughters are speaking to you again! To see your parents as ‘just people like you’ with dreams, hopes and imperfections is initially very difficult to do, but once done it opens the doorway to a new and expanded type of relationship. I’m so glad things are on the mend, in both regards. I love how you look at each situation or challenge as a means to understand what you’re attempting to teach yourself on some non-conscious level. It’s a spiritual principle that I’ve been learning for a while and some situations are harder to apply it than others. For so long you’ve had to be in ‘do’ mode. It’s so wonderful that you are now able to simply receive, and we all get to virtually come along for the ride. I wouldn’t be surprised if the broken wrist heals so well that it functions better than the other wrist. LOL! Again, thank you for being such a great example. You are dearly loved. Looking forward to the next post!
Love you T!