• Glenn Wilson
    53
    Al from Rancho Santa Clara: SAN ANTONIO, Texas—Two weeks ago today, we came here for Stew to have spinal surgery. Our sojourn has delivered unexpected encounters too with the uncertainties that lie ahead as we both age; a brush with the notorious opioid oxycodone; reminders of what it would be like to live back in the U.S., and the wonders of single-payer government health insurance. It's been quite a mental, and spiritual, seesaw.

    Rather than the hassle of a 12-hour drive, particularly on the return trip with Stew still recovering, we opted to fly from Querétaro to Houston and on to San Antonio. We ran into a five-hour delay in Houston that made the arrangement a toss-up in length of travel and comfort, but more expensive.

    In San Antonio, we have been blessed with the generosity of our friend Ron, who let us stay at his loft and use his car here, and who called periodically to inquire about Stew's condition. His sister Anita, who lives in San Antonio, also checked on us. Such friends help smooth out the bumps in life's road.

    Stew's surgery was to correct chronic back pain that had recently spread down his right leg, all caused by a pinched nerve and other problems with his lumbar vertebrae. It was not one of those "minimally invasive" interventions in which the surgeon peeks through a three-inch incision to correct whatever, and the patient is up and about a couple of hours later. In Stew's case, the three-and-a-half hour surgery involved a vertical cut, about seven inches long and seven stitches, that I get to look at when I clean and redress it daily.

    Continue reading at Life at Rancho Santa Clara.

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