From what the paramedic said in Rio Tranquilo, we thought we’d be on the road again by now. Well, we’re not.
On Saturday, we went for our first gentle bike ride since arriving in BA. This involved an errand to a bike shop in search of suitable new chains, followed by a gentle swing around an artificial lake along with many Porteños on bikes, skateboards, and roller-blades. All went well, and we were on our way “home” when Chris had to brake suddenly. This caused him searing arm pain, and he obviously redid whatever the original injury was.
Our main task since then has been to find our way through the local medical system to find out a. what the injury is and b. how to speed his recovery process. Steered by local advice, went to the Hospital Brittanico – British Hospital- outpatient clinic on Monday, and made an appointment with a traumatología specialist for Wednesday. Returning for the appointment, we saw the youthful doctor, who diagnosed Chris’s arm as a muscle with possible tendon tear/rupture — not quite sure which due to language limitations, but it would get better more quickly with physiotherapy and with luck we would be on the road again in a week or two. He also sent Chris for X-rays to eliminate the possibility of a bone crack, but the wait in radiología was such after a holiday weekend that the doctor came to retrieve us, just as I was getting into full swing chatting to all the old ladies in the room. He said the X-ray outcome wouldn’t change the treatment, so wasn’t worth the wait or expense. He gave us the name of a physiotherapist he collaborates with and who we believe specializes in arms.
We called Fernanda the physio right away, and went to see her at what looks like an arm clinic today. The practice is right next door to a special hospital for hands. Fernanda’s detailed examination of Chris’s arm brought her to the conclusion that he has ruptured or torn the shorter of the two tendons that attach the top end of his bicep. His arm muscles were probably already strained from holding his bike steady on ripio, so when he hit his upper arm on a protruding part of the gate while trying to lift it, something gave out.
He is now taped up, has very gentle exercises to do, and is finally agreeing to use the kerchief sling I made him. Fernanda approves of my contraption for resting his arm and for reminding him not to move it quickly when we are out and about. It also reminds others (especially me) not to bump him or jostle him.
We are moving tentatively toward Plan C. Leaving this hostel with all our gear and Chris in his current state seemed a daunting prospect, but I knew I would go crazy with noise, lack of privacy, and the inability to cook if I stayed here any longer. We looked at short term rentals of furnished apartments, so as to spend a few quiet weeks here with Chris doing physio and me doing Spanish. Before we got too far into this process, we reconnected with Paul/Pablo whom we met in Villa La Angostura. To make a long story short, we are moving into his apartment — which he currently doesn’t use — in a mutually beneficial arrangement tomorrow. Pablo will collect Chris, his bike, and all our panniers in the morning, and I’ll ride my bike to our new temporary abode.