Today, I went for my regular physical therapy in Cuenca Ecuador for my continuing spinal issues. My physical therapist (PT), Karina, specializes in neck and back physical therapy and she’s really good at it. She got her degree in Belgium where she had to learn English and Dutch at the same time.
In 3 months, Karina has helped me dramatically improve the numbness in my hands and feet, and I’m also much stronger thanks to the safe exercises she has given me. I showed her the exercises the PT’s gave me back in the states, and some of them she said are dangerous for me.
Every PT I saw back in the states specialized in sports therapy, not spinal injuries like Karina. In retrospect, their style of rehab was designed to get me back on the field or the court rather than to help me walk normally, reduce numbness or improve feeling in my legs. That makes sense considering sports gets more attention and money than anything else in the states. I was paying 5 times more for a lower quality of care and less individualized attention.
My ongoing medical care is one of the main reasons we left the states and moved to Ecuador. We simply couldn’t afford medical care or quality health insurance. My two spinal surgeries cost almost 1 million dollars and it almost bankrupted us even with Obamacare covering most of it. If I ever need another surgery, having it done in the states is financially impossible. Plus, my ongoing care expenses were costing us several hundred dollars per month in Denver. Now they cost less than a hundred.
If you have any questions about our experience with medical care here in Ecuador, please let us know in the comments or drop us a note.
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People & Places
Karina, My Physical Therapist
My PT’s name is Karina. She works out of her home office near Gringolandia on the western side of Cuenca. If you’d like her contact info, please let me know.
See More: Cuenca Health & Beauty Services
Laundry Day in Río Tomebamba
The indigenous people can often be seen washing their laundry in the river. This struck us as odd when we first arrived, but we’re used to it now. Looking at this practice objectively, it would be more odd for them not to wash their laundry in the river since they’ve been doing it for thousands of years. Some of the rocks have been worn down from centuries of laundry.
La Universidad de Cuenca
La Universidad de Cuenca campus is just like every campus I’ve been on. There are lots of young, beautiful people walking here and there. Lots of flowers and big trees. The university was founded in 1867 so they just celebrated their 150th anniversary.
This is where I go to swim for exercise and physical therapy. They have a nice lap pool and gym facilities that are open to the public. The pool costs $2.50 per visit. I’m not sure what the cost is for the racquetball courts or gym, but I seem to remember $5 gets you access to everything.
The pool area has lockers but you need to bring your own lock. I found a combination lock in a hardware store. We’ve since seen them at lots of places here in Cuenca. There are also changing rooms with showers and toilets.
RumiSol Yoga Studio
Amelia loves going to RumiSol Yoga, and I love her going there, too! In addition to being great strength training exercise, yoga helps her relax and puts a smile on her face. And a happy Amelia makes a happy JP!
We bumped into Olesya, one of Amelia’s yoga instructors, on our walk home. She’s also very interested in a plant-based diet.
Our bluetooth speaker died! We listen to music around the house every day and we also use the speaker for the Anonymous for the Voiceless Cube of Truth events.
So we stopped by this new electronics store, Computron, that’s in our neighborhood to buy a new speaker on our way home from my physical therapy and Amelia’s yoga. The staff was very helpful and they had a good selection of speakers, as well as most other types of electronics. The speakers ranged in price from $14 to $34. I think I paid over $100 a few years ago for the speaker that just died, and our new less expensive speaker has a better sound.
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