Monday, November 16, 2009

La Gripe Porcina

Morning Sunshine, Blue Skies

I was called to pick Maya up from school today. She was very ill, with a high fever, lots of aches and pains, and exhaustion. She slept all afternoon and started her Tamiflu this evening ( I had written a prescription for her before we left Baltimore, but I discovered today that it is not the right dose, so I am planning to give her my dose along with hers). Ibuprofen is a wonder drug, it brought her fever down and later she was practicing violin and performing for a friend on skype.

There has been recurrent hysteria in Ecuador about the swine flu, but the numbers have been limited. When one or two alleged cases were suggested at the Catolica University, all seminars and talks were canceled for a few days. If one child in a classroom has a suggestion of swine flu, the whole class is sent home for several days until it is confirmed that they do not have the flu. Whenever there is a media report about the swine flu, we are introduced to dance class with antiseptic hand spray, which continues for a few days, and then resurfaces when the next report comes along. In truth, far more people have been ill with swine flu in the United States. Half of Maya's class at school in Baltimore have been home ill with H1N1, and have recovered without incident. I worry about the medical care here and would rather not try it out if I can manage things myself. I am hoping that with symptomatic treatment and the Tamiflu, we will all get through it with minimal suffering.

I was so pleased with myself when I remarked to a friend that I have not been ill since I arrived in Ecuador. Eric has had several bouts of gastrointestinal distress (and has lost over 20 pounds since his arrival, which he is very pleased with; I on the other hand have put on some weight, perhaps because I have been enjoying daily overdoses of carbohydrates; I bought a scale because I was worried that my clothes were all too tight; I did not need the scale to know what had happened). I have been able to eat everything and anything without negative consequences. Maya has been healthy as well, until now.

It has been raining in Paute and our power outages have lessened, so that we are out for four hours daily instead of five or six. I was anxious when we woke up to another perfect, warm, and sunny day today, but later the mountains were shrouded in clouds, and although I was paying little attention when I was focusing on Maya this afternoon, I had the impression that it rained later in the day. A good omen; if it is true that rain will fill the dam and get the hydroelectric plant going, we will be facing fewer electricity shutoffs, which makes our lives just a little less complicated.

Pichincha Sunset

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