Friday, February 6

Unseen Dangers

"DANGER, Will Robinson, Danger." - from Lost in Space (1960's). Google it if you're too young to know these things.

I was raised to see the "danger" in just about everything. My mom was a fanatic about keeping us safe (God bless her). She was quick to spot the potential danger and point the peril out to us girls. Her fears kept us from participating in many activities but I have never had a broken bone or serious injury (nor my sisters). My mom would have approved of me following my dream to live in a foreign country but she would have been crazy with worry over the "what ifs". My sisters handed out a dose of the what ifs before I moved to Costa Rica, like "what if you get sick" or "what if you die over there". I thought through the whole scenerio and long ago decided, I do plan to die here or there, one day but the burial part I've already specified.
(my past post:
I love Costa Rica and consider it my home now, it's where I live now. All of their worries didn't come close to the real fears I live with here, living in the tropics. (...and I'm from South Florida (Everglades area) which is considered "tropical" - read hot, humid, wetlands...)

For instance, the other night there was no rain - just twirls of strong wind now and then. Spooky like. I was immediately on alert. It prompted me to close some of my windows but not all of them like I would if it were raining. Then all of a sudden, a tremendous wind force whipped through my house. It was frightening. I wondered if the old tall palm tree (past posts - "the nesting tree")
would hold or fall to the house. If my tiles on my roof would be scattered all over the neighborhood but mainly, I wondered what was coming next. A few years ago, we had a tornado come through crossing on both sides of my house. There was damage all around but I was untouched. Raging Mother Nature is alive and well here. We have it all, from earthquakes to tornados, floods, even hurricanes and possible erupting volcanoes (112 volcanoes in CR - google Pacific Rim of Fire and you'll find Miss Costa Rica). My mom would have been worried sick the whole time I lived here. Both my parents have been layed to rest or I would have never been able to live here in peace. The strong winds the other night reminded me of "The Three Little Pigs" fairytale, I was proud to be living in a strong brick (concrete) house like I was raised in.

For me, the real dangers living here are unseen. It is not crime, drunk drivers, bad roads, or even the deadly snakes, it's the diseases! Tropical diseases, from the dirt, bugs, water... I enjoy watching Dr. House and last night this sick guy takes everyone hostage at gunpoint to diagnosis what is wrong with him. No one had been able to detect his disease in past years and he just had to know what was wrong with him at the fate of going to jail. Of course, Dr. House did diagnosis his disease within the hour (with much drama) and he had MELIADOSIS! Ever hear of it? Me neither, so I googled it. Check out what it is at this link: You'll be surprised. On Dr. House, I learned about the Chagas disease, too. I blogged about it (search - "Chagas", upper left corner of Yo-Yo). I've blogged about the MANY parasites that are found here (search "parasites", warning-this one is really scarey) but I really didn't research the tropical diseases. Here is Wiki's list: It's a real eye opener and it makes me wonder if the writers of Dr. House draw from these lists for their "tropical diseases".

If you check out these links, it will put things into perspective as far as where your real fears should be. Most people coming to Costa Rica are so focused on the crime and the extreme weather, they don't put much thought into those things that are present but unseen.
I do, I was raised that way.
Pura Vida.

So you know, I do go barefoot on the beach and walk my dogs through the river
and I sometimes drink the water (can't help but to).
I feel my fears are in check,
"the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" message
and truly, my biggest fear has been resolved.
I feared dying without realizing my dream to live in Costa Rica
...and do as I damned well please.
Remember HGTV's show, The Good Life?
That inspired me, to "sale out and sail away" to Costa Rica.

For those that don't know about the three little pigs, here it is:

"Three Little Pigs
Three young pigs leave home to make their way in life. They have to construct their own homes. Two of the youngsters play around all day and simply put up a house of straw and the other of sticks. The third little pig is industrious and works hard to build a sturdy house of bricks. A hungry wolf happens by and huffs and puffs and easily blows down the flimsy dwellings of straw and sticks and eats the first two little pigs. But the wolf cannot blow down the tough house of bricks and thus this pig is saved. A tragic ending for the wolf in a version of this fairy tail is that when he climbs down the chimney of the third pig he falls into the boiling cauldron, is cooked and eaten.

Moral: hard work and enterprise triumphs over evil forces and misfortune (the wolf)."
- quoted from Wikipedia.


Peggy said...

You are so awesome Teri! I admire you for living your dream. And now that I've been there - what a cool life, not easy, but really different and exciting, yet peaceful too!

TICA MACHA said...

Yes, I'm happy if I have water, electric and Internet all on the same day but it does put things into perspective as to what's important and what's not. I love waking to the sound of birds. It's not for everyone.

La Gringa said...

Hi Teri, thanks for giving me something new to worry about!

I'm the world's biggest worrier, but for whatever reason, I haven't worried that much about tropical diseases -- they always happen to someone else, right? ;-)

I've had dengue and while I would say that while I had it I thought I was going to die, it didn't last long and there were no after effects. Shingles, on the other hand, was like a long, slow torture! And of course, anyone can get shingles anywhere.

I'm off now to search your blog for the pickup photo!

TICA MACHA said... That's the link. I blogged about "Hauling" back in 2006. Yes, I know all about dengue but I didn't know what I had when I had it. Don't get it again, they say the second round kills you. At the risk of sounding negative, I had to share what I learned on Dr. House's episodes.

TICA MACHA said...

My blog search is in the upper left corner if you want to search stuff. It's a fun way to get around a blog's past post. Teri

La Gringa said...

Hi Teri, I don't think you sounded negative at all. We've gotten in to Dr. House, even though his meanness at times makes me want to slap him! I have to laugh when he mentions some tropical disease and I actually know what it is.

I did use the search for pickup truck, pickup, loaded, and I thought "truck" but apparently I missed that important one! The search function works great. I have to use it all the time on my blog now. I used to be able to remember when I posted something (at least by month) but that time has passed long ago. It's too bad that more people don't use it.

To add to your knowledge base about tropical diseases: what I've read is that there are 4 varieties of dengue (Honduras has all four). The first time of any of these results in common dengue. A repeat of any of these can (or will?) result in dengue hemorragico, which is often deadly but not necessarily so if you get hospital treatment immediately. The CDC has a lot of information online.

So both of us now need to be sure to get medical treatment at the first signs of dengue in the future.

Thanks for looking up the link for me.

TICA MACHA said...

FOUR KINDS of dengue?!?!
Wow, I know I was sick with it but I sure don't remember what the first signs were. I'd better get to researching. I avoid mosquitos like the plague now. Kinda hard living in the tropics....
What kills me about House (People's Choice Winner) is his accent. He talks so "American" on his series. I bet many doctors absolutely hate him but I love him. I like that he is not "approval seeking", he just "doctors" like I wish other real M.D. doctors would. They could take a queue from Dr. House.