I am here recovering. I am in the Florida home of my parents sitting in a knee high cast. For those of you who follow this blog, I am frequently in Cuba. My last visit I got the chance to see the Cuban medical system up close and personal. After a mosquito bite and a run in with contaminated water an infection decided to take up residence in my ankle. This my friends was a long and painful ordeal. However, I learned a very valuable lesson. I learned what real friends are and what they do. I learned that nothing is inconvenient for those who truly love us. I witnessed how so many live and endure without basic necessities and comforts of life.
Many home remedies showed up at my door from well meaning neighbors. I rubbed animal fat, drank green water, sliced tomatoes laid on my ankle for 2 hours at a time, neighbors and friends sought black market medications in hopes of alleviating my pain. When all else failed my dear friend and companion carried me on the back of a bicycle to the local hospital carrying me as a baby in his arms thru the halls. These people with very little themselves gave me food and cared for me as if I were their very own. When it got to the point I could no longer walk, an elderly woman sent me her crutches since she was now home bound. I marvel at this care and this love. I have seen the outpouring of love from family and friends here in the states as well. However there have been the ones who have let me know in uncertain terms they were too busy to be a part of my “drama.” Sadly, many of us have a few of those in our lives.
I sit here as I watch the iv antibiotic infuse into my arm and feel incredibly blessed that I was able to come home for proper medical treatment. I think of my friends in Cuba who cannot leave to get the care they need and have to navigate and deal with medical issues on a daily basis. I feel saddened for the lack of medicine and food and give thanks in my heart for such kind souls that were there in my time of need. This island nation holds a special place in my heart and I also hold for them the wish for a better future.