Monday, January 30, 2012

Acting Without Orders.

There was an assault in the Civil War during which the Union army under General Ulysses S. Grant broke the line of Confederate forces with a spontaneous charge initiated without his order to do so.   Grant must have been astride his horse watching with binoculars, taken aback at the view of his troops exposing themselves to enemy fire without the prompt of his command. I read that in a history book.

Like those Yankee troops, nobody commands me to go to Ecuador.  Nor am I going to Ecuador to escape personal discontent or to somehow medicate painful feelings associated with awkward personal growth. My intent to visit Ecuador is in fact a good indication of health.

In last week’s blog post I wrote I wouldn’t mind staying in Ecuador solely to learn to speak Spanish fluently, even if I discovered I felt retiring there wasn’t an option. For instance, if I didn’t feel the necessary chemistry.  I still feel that way.  It would probably take only a year’s living in Ecuador---speaking only Spanish--- to learn to speak the language fluently. I could store my property.  I’d return to San Mateo and rent a motel room until I found a suitable new apartment.

But I’m going to adhere to the original plan. I’m pretty sure of it. There are ties that bind in the Bay Area that need to remain uncut, at least for the time being. A doctor from the Liver Clinic at the S.F. Veterans Administration Hospital explained last week that the clinic has noticed a drop in my red blood cell count. When I inquired about the most likely cause, he replied it could be any of a variety of what sounded like innocuous reasons, but he also mentioned some kind of deterioration of the ability of the bones to produce red blood cells. That part didn’t exactly register like a favorite rendition of Mozart’s music, but I refused to broach the subject and ask if this means if I could have some form of cancer. I do feel concerned.  They are ordering further tests and they told me they expect me to be on hand in September, after three months in Ecuador. I have Hepatitis C too, almost certainly contracted during the period in my early twenties when I was injecting drugs. Tests show the Hepatitis C isn’t damaging my liver, but I’d like to eradicate the virus all the same. The VA Hospital will provide the six month's treatment, and according to what I’ve been told, the success rate is 80 percent. If I do retire in Ecuador, it wouldn’t be until after receiving this treatment.

I just need to exercise a degree of caution. After I get back, if I find I COULD live there, I ought to further ruminate and reflect. I ought to not rush into a hasty decision.  I ought to honestly and carefully balance the positives and negatives on the scale of what would realistically work best for me. Money is going to be a factor--- but I don’t know in the end how much of a factor. Certainly visiting Ecuador is going to change my perspective and after that happens I’ll be in a better position to decide.

I do want to add this final paragraph. I first read about the financial benefits of retiring in Ecuador about four months ago---I was astonished. I was astonished enough to decide to go there in person to investigate these claims and this country for myself.  This doesn’t mean I’m discontented.  It just means I don’t care for the prospect of needing to budget every single dime I get in my "old age".  If I had to do that, I’d accept the necessity, adjust expectation and live in contentment.  Where I live in the final analysis isn’t going to make me happy or sad. I’d say the same is true for anyone of us because those states of being are born from within.