Adventures in Health care

It truly is never a dull moment here. Nick and I were out with friends on Friday night when I received a phone call from Joe asking when we were coming home. He hurt his shoulder walking home from babysitting. He was walking along a short wall he said, jumped off and fell when his ankle rolled. He landed on his right shoulder. He said he could move his arm fine. So I advised him to ice it and take some advil. It was still bothering him when we arrived home shortly after. And when he woke in the morning unable to lift his arm we went off to the ER.

We went to Teknon, ,a private supposedly American run hospital. Spanish health care is really very good. But we go to Teknon in the hopes of finding an English speaking doctor. And we actually never have. When we checked in I asked for a doctor who speaks English if possible. (in my bad spanish which was further marred by the Laryngitis that I woke up) No pasa nada, she said, Tranquila. Translation...Don't worry about it.

The nurse who welcomed Joe spoke some English and we were able to get our story across in English, in which we realize that Joe's small wall was actually higher than 3 feet. I started to lose hope that he'd just bruised something.Then the doctor came in and she didn't speak any English. But the good thing about it is when forced to use Spanish it turns out that we do ok. Not completely fluent but overall communication is achieved. A few x-rays later we found out that he indeed fractured his arm, high up right below the shoulder joint. No cast...just a fancy looking shoulder immobilizer. And advil...the wonder drug.

He's looking at 4-6 weeks of healing time. We've got a follow up appointment on Friday. I'm taking bets on whether or not he speaks English.


Going my way

Hi All,
I owe you about a twenty posts from our trips this summer. And I promise to get to them as soon as I can. The kids start school next week so we're currently preparing for that. New families and faces to welcome. New supplies to acquire.But I had to post today because, truthfully, I've been a bit down lately. I suppose it's normal after such a fabulous summer of travel. And returning to a different landscape of friends as many left again this summer. Nick is away picking up the dogs so it's just me and a house full of teens. But I pulled myself together for some errands and I'm so glad I did.
My biggest pet peeve about driving to my house is not that I have to drive four blocks past it to drive four blocks back due to the one ways in the neighborhood. My biggest pet peeve is the one street closest to the house that I can turn up to go to my street is a two way street with cars parked on the side that is NOT wide enough for both lanes AND cars parked, not to mention trees that line said road. So often I'd want to turn into the street and would not be able to enter because a car was parked near the entrance and another was going down...so there I was blocking traffic until I could actually turn in. And it's not like these cars didn't have three other options to turn down that I didn't have to use as an up. It was a legitimate gripe.  To make matters worse they recently repaved the intersection and repainted the road line where I make my left up the street. Imagine my confusion when we returned from our trips to see a solid white line at the intersection seemingly indicating that I could NOT make the left there. As there was no other sign there...and I absolutely refused to drive another three blocks to the next left, I hoped that it was an oversight of the recent re-paving and kept my fingers crossed that a cop didn't see. Imagine my delight when I noticed this morning that the white line had black lines painted over it, creating the dotted line which indicated that indeed I could make my turn at that intersection. But there was also confusion as the also recently repainted stop marks on the ground for traffic coming down had also been repainted black. That simply didn't make sense. You can't read black paint even if the road is sort of tan. I started to hope against hope...and there it was at the top of the hill, a beautiful new "do not enter" sign. My pet peeve resolved. I gave a shout of triumph as I turned the corner.
Ah, it's the little things. I change a little and Spain changes a little and we meet in the comfortable middle. But, boy oh boy do I like days when things go my way. And it looks like that will be happening more and more often.


things gone by...

We're gearing up for a great summer full of exciting travel and there are a few things I've neglected to blog about during this time. So here are some things you might have missed...

1. Three hour tour...Nick and I took the kids (and Joe's friend) out on the boat...It started by accidentally paddling onto a protected area (who knew birds needed a beach sanctuary so close to the airport). And ended with a three hour wait for the Guardia Civil (think Spanish Coast Guard) to tow our "oops it looks like we've drifted onto the beach"ed boat. Fun was had by all until the motion sickness set in. (being towed backwards does NOT feel good)...and the boat was not damaged at all.

2. So long and thanks for all the fish...after 7 fabulous years, Nick finished his time at Vistaprint at the end of June. They had a very touching going away party for him, which they invited the whole family to. It was such a treat to have the kids hear the fabulous things others' had to say to about their Dad. We're all looking forward to spending time together. Nick is now officially a full-time slacker. 

3. College tours....I think this one may deserve a post of it's own. Lots to talk about on the college front. Andrea, Alexa and I went to look at 5 colleges, Chapman University, UCLA, Loyola Marymount, Ithaca College and Syracuse. Interestingly enough the favorite fell off the list, the last minute add on ended up at the top...and we're still not sure we found the "it" school.

4. Home is where the puppies are... and they're on the Jersey Shore. Actually, that might be an awesome reality show. With all the travel we have planned it didn't seem right to leave them behind with a sitter looking in on them. So they are staying with Grandma and Grandpa. We all miss them terribly and the house feels empty. I'm counting down the days until they are back with us.

Soon we're off for the northern cruise...and then to Thailand where we're hoping to meet up with friends while touring exotic locales. It will be a summer to remember. I found a t-shirt for Nick at the airport in LA..."these are the good old days." I think that about sums it up.