Thursday, December 17, 2015


so where were we last time? 

somewhere between valparaiso and a handrail i think. btw there is no caps key on my keyboard anymore so excuse the i's. 

long story short, we managed to move and we have the dog there in valpo, and plenty of pigeons squatting our ceiling and a small trash problem. julia also has cutaneous leishmaniasis, produced by a parasite she got in bolivia from a sandfly and has been creating wounds in her legs that later get infected and make life annoying. the treatment in chile involves a kind of chemo drug, and hospitalization while they apply it. in brazil seems that they use an oral drug with fewer side effects and it's free. so we may have to travel there sometime soon. i may get some brazilian rosewood or pernambuco for bows. 

the problem with these infectious diseases is that they happen mostly in poor countries so a) western doctors have no idea about them and b) there is no real treatment or vaccine since only poor people get them (not like heart attacks which happen to old white males all around the world). that meant that we needed to show the wounds to ca. 15 doctors in chile and europe to find one who knew what it was. ie. a gigantic waste of time, money and hope (we were quite hopeless a 2 weeks ago before the diagnose). oh, and all this without health insurance since we haven't had time to hire one in chile. 

so that's the update.  in case you were wondering where i've been all this time. mostly at the doctor. they mostly don't use wood, so no picture today. 


  1. That second week must have been frightening! It seems the treatment has possibilities for success though, so we can all hope for relief! I hope Bolivia was worthwhile otherwise. Sounds like an interesting place, though I imagine US citizens are a bit suspect.

    Here too, in New England we have a problem not getting much attention, Lyme disease. Difficult to diagnose, treatment with penicillin uncertain. The rich don't get it though, so not much research.

    Still no snow,making some progress on a deck, will send some pics, which may be good for a laugh - the best medicine.

    1. thanks Mark, laugh is mostly needed at times like this. now we are both in bed with some kind of viral gastritis, puking our guts out, having fun in bed. I know about lyme disease, found a tick in my head 3 days after last time I went hunting mushrooms in netherlands... still afraid can have it. looking forward to the pics.

  2. Geeze...hope it heals. I always like the idea of tropics until I remember how many parasites and diseases like the tropics.

    That reallt wounds immensely painful. Hope you two get better.

    Oddly enough, here in NY Lyme disease is known well, every park and trail has signs warning of ticks and cautioning of the lyme disease.

    Life's been extremely busy with homework and stress. This will get a laugh out of you, hopefully- I am hoping of making a wood stove sauna! Ha, can't see anything going wrong there. No snow here, it is really nice.

  3. And here I though we were all young and invincible...illness is one of those constants in life that remind us about the true temporal nature of our time on earth. Learning to live well with the nature of suffering, I'm still working on that one. I hope you both heal quickly, you'll be in my thoughts.

  4. Sorry to hear about your health problems,maybe it would have been cheaper to have a treatment in Europe. France still has good specialists of tropical deseases due to it's colonial history. Leish was pretty well spread in North Africa. I've heard homeopathy can be a good help. Hope 2016 will see you through the problem.

    1. Thanks François, we've been looking at the tropic institute in Hamburg, but it seems that the same treatment is available in Brazil, and also has better weather. Some forced vacations in a beach of Brazil would not be that bad. Once the secondary infection are gone, calendula seems to help. She's fine at the moment, hopefully stays like that till we treat it.