Tuesday, October 28, 2008

settling in; setback

Settling in; and a setback (from Betty)
I am sorry this journal is all about our settling in here and very little about the country and the people. So please forgive me because I am still not getting out that much. I have spent most days for last month, now in our new apartment and before in the guesthouse, so my contact with the real world has been limited. And when I do go out it is with one of the taxi drivers who we have gotten to know quite well now. I try not to walk too much because for one thing the roads are so narrow and congested with people and cars that I am afraid of falling again and second I get tired really easy. So mostly I go shopping at the supermarket to buy food and or on other errands to buy necessary items for the apartment. Or we go to an internet cafĂ©. So I mostly see the world from my taxi seat. But there are lots of things to observe and I long for the day when I will be able to get out and photograph some of these amazing scenes. I love observing life that is so present and in your face. It makes feel alive. Of course, at the end of the day, I am happy to retire to the privacy of my apartment with “most” of the normal amenities present.

I have divided my stay here into before my fall and after my fall. Also sometimes I go over and over that scene as I felt myself falling. One event can so drastically change your life and you can’t undo it much as you would want to. Now I have been recuperating for 4 weeks and I keep wondering why I don’t really feel well yet. I realize that I have been very unlucky when it comes to medicine. I don’t tolerate it well at all. First the pain medicine didn’t agree with me and so I stopped taking it except for when I was desperate. Then I decided that I was also getting side effects from the malaria medicine I was taking and so I decided to try another one that most people were taking here and seemed to tolerate well.
Before I started taking it I was actually doing much better judging by the outing we made to the village of Charlotte that I described in an earlier entry. Well today I went on the internet and looked for the side effects of doxycycline, and a lot of the ones that I have been having, are listed on the site. So no more doxycyline!! I got really upset with Bob yesterday about nothing and I realize now that I was having an anxiety attack, one of the side effects listed.
But the main serious effect has been pain in my throat so that it is hard to swallow anything. I hoped it would go away quickly but it is persisting. As I don’t really feel comfortable with the doctors here I finally remembered that my niece is married to a doctor. So I emailed him to find out what might be the problem and what to do about it. He explained what I had which made me better just knowing the problem and also some remedies but the unfortunate news is that it could take awhile to heal. So now each day is even more of a struggle. It’s an accomplishment to be able to eat something each meal. The good thing is that I should lose some weight because I am eating very small amounts.

However, to look on the bright side, because I haven’t felt well enough to do much, it has kept me from over straining my back. Also I have used the time to move into the new apartment and really enjoy it. When we have power we watch a movie on my computer. We have a pretty good video store but we can’t be too choosy about we watch. And I have found time to read some of the books, especially the ones on Sierra Leone, that I brought with me. And slowly we have dealt with all the problems that we had the first night. Burning mosquito coils has helped us sleep better, (fortunately I don’t mind the smell), the evenings have been relatively cool even when we haven’t had AC, and the huge generator next door has been on less because we have had more power. Also I think they have soundproofed it more as it is less noisy and there are fewer vibrations in our building. That is a real blessing!

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