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July 19, 2017 Cosanga, Ecuador
Well, I had planned to go home and sleep in my own bed tonight but something happened. I got off the bus and entered Roxi’s restaurant where I had a bowl of soup. I asked around and nobody was available to give me a ride up Las Caucheras Road till later so I asked Zoila if the dentist was visiting Cosanga today (last time I checked Cosanga had no dentist at all). Yes, I was told, so I put my things out of sight at Roxi’s and walked down to the health center. As usual the assisting nurse there took my blood pressure only this time it wasn’t low as usual but rather high, 130/90, so she asked the doctor to see me. He recommended I get some blood tests done as well as a normal fecal exam to check for intestinal bleeding and parasites. I decided to get them done without delay so am staying at Enmita’s Hostel tonight for early departure to the health center and hospital in Baeza in the morning. Per usual I’m to arrive in fasting mode. large size wedding outfits for plus figures with discount price

In retrospect it’s not a huge surprise that my blood pressure is high after spending most of two weeks inactive in my hotel room in Tena and eating more salt than normal. Just like astronauts’ problems of bone and muscle loss in zero gravity, my little-used blood vessels must have lost diameter. Basically I repeated the experience of being sick in bed all over again, only this time without the rhinovirus. This is not my first experience with the ill effects of spending all day online for an extended period. It’s simply the first time I have had my blood pressure checked shortly afterward. I hope it serves to convince me I need daily exercise, whether in town or at home.

Tomorrow they will draw blood in the morning and possibly have results by the afternoon, so I’ll be spending much of the day in Baeza. A good walk and time online is in the offing. I might return to Cosanga empty-handed and have to return in the morning for my test results. When I have them, I will see the doctor in Cosanga again before going home. I have a battery-operated blood pressure meter at my camp that I don’t think I’ve used once since moving to Ecuador. I’ll use it now, at least till I get my pressure back down in the normal range.

During my time away I have worried about my potato plants, which must be pretty thirsty by now. The cloud forest humidity and cool nights tend to retard transpiration loss but several bright sunny days in a row could dry them out beyond recovery. I hope they hang in there for a couple more days. I’m also concerned about the full laundry buckets I left. I added extra bleach to retard bacterial growth and thought they’d be OK for a week, not two weeks.

Of course parched potato plants and rotting laundry could fade to insignificance if I come home to find a tree has fallen and smashed my camp to smithereens, a possibility I think of from time to time. If I seem like a worrywart, I’m not but neither am I carefree (translates to care-less!). By nature, a survivalist devotes some time to imagining bad things happening and takes action to avert them. Survivalists run the gamut from delusionally paranoid to realistic and I regard myself as the latter. One reason I want to build a tree house is to reduce the likelihood of being crushed by a falling tree or large branch and several do fall every year within earshot of my camp. A tree with a tree house in it could also fall so I plan to guy my tree with strong cables.

July 20, 2017 Baeza, Ecuador
I was out of the hospital phlebotomy clinic by 7:30 this morning, hiked up to get some breakfast, then walked around town taking a few photos that I'm unable to crop or tweak at the Internet cafe where I presently am. Results of the blood test will be ready by 3 PM. With luck I'll arrive in Cosanga in time to see the doctor today.