One more time

Yes, I’m back in the US

Normal people pass kidney stones within a few days. I’ve had mine for seven weeks.

So I’m going to have it removed this Thursday at an excellent hospital near my brother’s house. I had to fly to NY two weeks in advance, since the hospitals won’t do elective procedures on anyone who hasn’t been in the state for less than 14 days.

I flew into Newark Airport, because United recently began non-stop flights to and from the NY area. (And Costa Rica has started accepting US tourists from certain states, such as NY.) The flight was fine, and once again I noticed the difference between CR and the US. In the San Jose airport, everyone was masked and maintained social distance; In Newark, people were masked, but the people in line at Immigration did not maintain any distance.  I guess that, without markers at six feet and monitors, they were confused. 

It was great to see NYC again and remember my younger years- especially on my way to have an old-man (older-person?) procedure. The Northeast is beautiful this time of year, and the weather’s quite temperate. And, per what appears to be the law in my family, my sister-in-law is a great cook.

If all goes as hoped, the stone will be removed on Thursday and a stent installed. Then, a week later, the stent will be removed, and I’ll be ready to return to CR soon after, perhaps with a side-trip to California. Due to my severe allergy, the family cat has been relocated to the basement at night; during the day, he’s outside. I know he’ll be delighted to see me leave so he can reclaim the comfortable furniture.

I’m still teaching, thanks to the wonders of modern technology. It appears that my classes will finish in November, so, barring any surprises, I’ll be doing only my consulting work in the new year.

Living with my brother includes lots of interesting analyses and conversations about the upcoming elections. (He was, after all, a poli-sci major in college.) He, unlike me, believes that there is still hope and some integrity in our country’s systems and practices. I so want to share his optimism.

I finished my almost 100-episode telenovela (Spanish soap opera) El Dragon; and, yes, Miguel and Adela finally did have sex, but the show ended tragically. Que sorpesa! Now I’m working on Vivir sin Permiso (Literally: To live without permission). It ain’t PBS or the BBC, but it is helping my Spanish comprehension.

I’ve actually eaten at two restaurants here, and, while the food was excellent, the experience was odd. I realized that I hadn’t eaten out since January, and I found myself trying to gauge the distance between my table and the next and monitoring if, when, and where people walked by and put on or removed their masks. If this is the new normal, I think I’ll just eat at home. I can’t handle any more stress.

So stay safe and strong and drink lots of water. And whether it’s covid, election insanity or kidney stones, these too shall pass.