Skilled Technicians

And I almost added “young” to the headline, but then everyone seems young to me now! 🙂

Every day they help me get on that table and screw this mask over my face to the table. Then they carefully position my body in perfect alignment with the machine’s image of my head, then the computer does the rest of the work in two 30 second scans of the left side of my face and neck targeting certain programmed areas with cancer-killing radiation.

And by the way,

Costa Rica Beats the USA in Soccer (Again!)

🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Not a Mummy – Me in a “Mask”

I promised somebody I would show what my daily process of a few minutes looks like, as pitiful as I look shirtless. One of the young technicians made these three (requested) shots of me screwed to the table for the radiation treatment. I show up each morning by 11:45 and I’m walking back to the hotel by 12 noon usually. Quick and mostly painless (though the mask is really tight on my face). It appears more scientific than human, but believe me, the staff are all so friendly and nice and do their various jobs very proficiently. And they all shift to English when I walk in, though not their native language. Amazing! And I use my elementary Spanish with them as I am able, though not necessary here like at the public clinics and hospitals.

One outside person told me that this clinic is equal to Mayo Clinic in the states for Radiotherapy. I feel like I’m in very good hands. My radio doctor will conference with me every Tuesday until finished and work with me on any side effects, etc. And a nurse is always there plus other doctors always in the building. A very professional place that in fact does remind me a little of being in the Mayo Clinic with my brother Jerry, just not as big! 🙂

Notice the Screws holding me down with the mask.
Feels like being a mummy! 🙂
Everything must be perfectly lined up for radiation in the right places.

Are we having fun yet? Sure!

3 Days Down and 30 More to Go!

🙂

¡Pura Vida!

My Tribal Mask

My Personal Radiotherapy Mask

Well, tribal in one sense, with only certain ones of us in the Radiotherapy Tribe! 🙂

This first day of radiation treatment took longer because I had to meet with the nurse to explain all the side affects and things I can do to make it go smoother. Then they had to readjust the mask made more than a week ago which is a mold of my head and shoulders. They screw it down to the table over my body and I can’t move my head at all. This is necessary to get the radiation in the right places which afterwards Dr. Bonilla showed me computer graphics of my head & neck and where the radiation is scheduled to go. Amazing how targeted they can be when I am in forced stillness! 🙂

Once I’m set up, the machine scans my head and neck from two angles, 33 seconds each time. This will continue for 33 days which now boosts me up to 6.5 weeks. I am now scheduled for 11:45 AM each day, Monday to Friday.

After today’s treatment I walked the 6 blocks back to my hotel which I love and will tell you about later. I looked in the mirror and was surprised that the left side of my face and head was a little pink, even on the first treatment! I have an expensive “Radiocare” lotion I will use on my face to help avoid the “sunburn effect” and sure enough, the pinkness went away with the first usage of the lotion. I also must wear a wide-brimmed hat and avoid all sunshine on my face and neck. I jokingly told the nurse that I would just make a larger “Covid mask” to cover my whole head! 🙂

Another “new normal” being developed here! 🙂 ¡Hasta mañana!

¡Pura Vida!

COVID19 Precautions at Bus Station

Going to Alajuela the other day I snapped a cellphone photo of the mask-requirement sign and the markers on the sidewalk to make sure we stand in line 1.8 meters apart (the same as 6 feet), but failed to snap the hand-washing station you must use before going in bus or in the little coffee shop.



Mask-wearing is required in public by national law now and almost everyone wears a mask. I only occasionally see a man or young person cheating but they usually have a mask in their hand or in their pocket.

¡Pura Vida!

https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=1135006880247553&ref=notif&notif_id=1602615272924463&notif_t=live_video

Thankful for small blessings!

I had to go to the bank this morning for two items of business and they were really busy because it was closed Monday for Mother’s Day (which was really Saturday but banks and government offices celebrate all holidays on Mondays here now.)

My small blessing is that the banks here have a special line for us old people, “adultos mayores.” There was only one lady ahead of me in that line while the regular line would have meant waiting an hour or more. My little blessing of the day! 🙂 Still took 20 minutes+. They are also slow here! 🙂

And oh yeah, they are now taking your temperature before you can go in the bank in addition to requiring a mask. Taking the virus seriously is paying off here! Masks are required everywhere now, country-wide.

¡Pura Vida!

P.S.

I picked up my “Permanent” Residency card today. more than a year after I turned in the paperwork. It lasts 3 years instead of 2 like the pensionado (not 5 like someone told me) and is supposedly easier to renew. We will see! 🙂

From Bandanna to Homemade Mask

A week ago I showed you how I looked like a cowboy bank robber in my bandanna which I’ve been wearing when out in the public for “necessities” like groceries, etc. Well, an enterprising local Tica seamstress, whom I’ve used for other purposes, is now making masks according to an online medically-approved pattern and a bunch of us in Roca Verde got some at only mil quinientos colones each or about $2.60 each in dollars. Washable and with a choice of several colors and fabric designs!   🙂   Those white medical masks are simply not available here.

Costa Ricans are a “can do” people and this local seamstress rose to the occasion! I hope it will help her little local business. And you may ask, “Why are you going to so much trouble when Costa Rica has only 500 cases of COVID19 and only 2 cases in Atenas?” Well, duh? It is because we as a country and a town are taking all the medically recommended precautions and have basically “shut down” everything that we are not ravaged by the pandemic like the U.S and we did it early. The government here is helping the businesses and tourism hurt by this and in another couple of months (hopefully) we just might be back to “normal” without thousands of people dead like in some other countries.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

~Benjamin Franklin

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¡Pura Vida!