Update – 近況 (3)

This is the continuation of my previous post – Update (2).

I was again confined in San Salvador until further notice. At that point, my knee was actually doing fine. I didn’t have any problem walking around thought it hurt when I took stairs up and down. So I was somewhat doubtful about the seriousness of my knee injury. Because I was planning to take a vacation and go back to Japan in 3 weeks, I thought of postponing my surgery to later, maybe after my vacation. This idea, of course, was denied by my PCMO. I was strongly discouraged to postpone my surgery.

I was really bored, confused and lost. I questioned myself, “what the hell am I doing here” countless times. I would say it was the most difficult time since I came to El Salvador. It seems as thought it’s nice to have a month of vacation in the capital but it was not fun at all.

To my surprise, the Peace Corps headquarter in Washington DC was quick in responding. I was told that I was going to leave El Salvador on April 19th, Monday. And they decided to have my surgery in Washington DC not in Panama.

Of course, things didn’t go that smooth with the Peace Corps. I waited almost 7 months to be invited and assigned. Same thing. On the morning of April 19th, I was all packed and ready to leave. I went to the office to pick my medical record up. Then, I was told to wait for a minute. 30 minutes later, I was told that there was no space in a hotel that the Peace Corps used in DC and on top of that, the surgeon was out of office. Therefore, they postponed my trip and made me stay in San Salvador for another 3 days. I was really tired of waiting and doing nothing in San Salvador.

To be continued….

 

またまた前回からの続きになります。

というわけで、手術の詳細待ちということで、再びサンサルバドルでの軟禁生活となりました。実を言うと、その時点で膝の調子は大分回復しており、階段の登り降り以外はほとんど日常生活には支障がないという状態でした。なので、正直この膝が手術を受けなければいけないほど深刻なのか、かなり慰問があり、3週間後から休暇をとって日本に帰る予定だったので、その休暇後まで手術を延期できないか、などと考えていました。まぁもちろんPCMOは反対したので、その案は廃案となりましたが。

そんなわけで、この時期は相当暇で退屈してました。しかも自分はこんなところで何しているのか、と自問自答する日々。何のためにピースコーしに来たのか、かなり自分を見失ってました。温かいシャワーがあって、水洗トイレがあって、ワイヤレスインターネットがあって、うまいものが食べれて、そのためのお金までもらえるなんて、うらやましい、と何人かに言われましたが、実際はそんな良いものではなく(もちろん温水シャワーと水洗トイレはかなりありがたかったが)、この時点でこの生活にほとほと飽き飽きしてました。

ところがどっこい、驚いたことに、その2日後ぐらいに早くも連絡がありました。4月19日(月)にエルサルバドルを出て、ワシントンDCで手術をするということに決まったようです。ちょっといろいろ滑らかに進みすぎて、逆にちょっと不安・・・。

と思ったら、案の定、落とし穴が待ち受けてました。月曜日の朝、荷造りを終えて、すべて準備を済ませてから、自分の今までの医療記録を取りにピースコーのオフィスに行ったら、今ワシントンDCでピースコーが使ってるホテルに空室がないのと、手術をしてくれる医者が休暇でいないという理由で、出発を延期せざるを得なくなりました。マジで有り得ない~。出発の日の朝に延期なんて。結局木曜日出発ということになり、再びサンサルバドルに軟禁状態となったのです。

続く。

Update – 近況 (2)

This is the continuation of my previous post – What I’ve been up to.

It was the first time ever that I’ve done MRI. The machine looks very expensive and it was continuously making some noises. With the MRI film, I went to see the orthopedist again the next day.

His prediction was right. It became apparent that my ACL was torn as well as my meniscus was ruptured. He told me that he was sorry but I needed to get a surgery to fix this problem; and he was right. I did some research on torn ACL and found that I could choose not to have a surgery but that means I wouldn’t be able to play any sports for the rest of my life.

On careful thought, I had been having this knee problem quite a while. I fell while I was playing Frisbee with kids in August last year and I heard a pop. Since then, I felt like my knee became extremely unstable that I dislocated it for several times. I didn’t really dislocate it but I felt like it. I hoped to be able to run and jog, to do some exercise and to do some sports again so I decided to undergo a surgery.

The PCMO who saw me the other day told me that he would consult with Washington DC about surgery. I knew it was going to take a long time to communicate with DC and to decide the details of my surgery.

To be continued…

 

前回からの続きです。

人生初めてのMRIだったのですが、何事もなく無事に終わりました。MRIの機械は非常に高価そうで、けたたましい音をずっと立てていました。翌日、MRIの結果を持って再び整形外科医のもとへ。

案の定、前十字靱帯がつながってるべきところがつながっておらず、何らかの形の断裂は決定的でした。その上半月板にも損傷がみられるということでした。お医者さんは、「残念ながら、手術以外に直す方法はない」と。後でわかったのですが、手術しないという手もあるけど、手術しなかったらこれから一生激しいスポーツはできなくなるとのこと。実際去年の8月に子供たちとフリスビーして遊んでいる時に初めて膝を痛めた時以来、いろんな場面で何度も右膝を痛めました。普通にバス降りただけなのに痛くなったり、重いバックパック背負って歩いたら痛くなったりと。これからもスポーツを楽しみたいし、走りたいし、と思い、手術に踏み切ることにしました。

ピースコーのお医者さんは、ワシントンDCにあるピースコー本部と連絡をとって、手術の詳細について決めるとのこと。ピースコーも政府の組織なので、これは時間かかるだろうな~と思いつつ、首都での生活が続くのです。

続く。

A street dog and rabies

I was walking my neighborhood on last Sunday, looking for tarjetas de saldo (telephone cards) for my prepaid cell phone.

A street dog came up to me (or more like started following me) barking at me so hard. I ignored and kept walking. It happened before too and I didn’t take it seriously. I mean, who can imagine getting bit by a street dog when you have done absolutely nothing wrong (I was just walking). But it did happen to me. The dog decided to attack me and bit my left leg!! I was surprised and couldn’t understand what just happened. Then, I got upset because this dog potentially had rabies.

I went back home and washed out my wound to remove saliva of the dog. Then, I started reading a Peace Corps medical handbook and apparently, rabies is almost invariably fatal if post-exposure prophylexis is not provided. Being even more upset after reading this, I called a medical officer. She told me to come to the office the next morning so I went and got an injection of vaccine. I should be fine now but it was a scary experience. This was the first time that I got bitten by a dog too! Now I’m little scared of street dogs although I really want to have a puppy as my pet…

Peace Corps is full of new experiences and this is just one of them…

Beach, wrenched knee, fever etc…

Yay, my actual first post!

So I went to Playa El Espino yesterday with my friends. This is the second time I went to beach in El Salvador (first time being Playa El Tunco).

On our way to beach, we took a bus and when I got off, I wrenched my right knee. It’s my bad knee. I first sprained it when I was senior in college, playing basketball for intramural tournament. I did it for the second time after I got here when I was playing frisbee with kids in my training community. This time was not too bad as I was at least able to walk back home. Then, the third time was when I tried to get off the bus while bus was still moving. That was a stupid idea. Yes I admit. Then, next one is when I was playing soccer with kids in my community. But they play soccer on ground made of concrete. I knew I shouldn’t have played but I could not refuse to play because it was such a good way to get to know people in my community. Then this is what? fifth time? Damn, now I’m worried that it would never get better.

Anyways, the beach was really nice and tranquira. It’s less developed than Playa El Tunco and therefore it’s less crowded. Most people I saw yesterday were local. I would go this beach every weekend only if the access is a little better. There is not much bus going to the beach. And the last bus for Usulutan leaves around 4pm, meaning that if I take this bus, I would miss the last bus for my site from Usulutan. So it’s best if I stay there for a night and come back next morning.

After I got home last night, I felt really sick and I checked my temperature. It was 37.6℃ (sorry I grew up in Japan so I’m not familiar with °F but it’s like almost 100°F). Then, I realized a rather weird correlation between my bad knee and my temperature. As I thought about it, whenever I wrenched my right knee, I got sick afterward. And sometimes it’s not just fever but comes with stomachache and vomiting and all sorts of ugly symptoms. Fortunately, this time was just a fever. I took a medicine and took a good sleep and I already felt better this morning.

But now I should be really careful not to wrench my right knee because it would come with other sickness. I’ve been here in El Salvador for almost 4 months and I already got sick 3 times (or 4 times if this fever last night counts). I hope I won’t get sick anymore. I’m sick of being sick!

Playa_Espino

Playa El Espino in Usulutan