I had to get my TB test "read" today. Which meant a trip down to Copacabana before the lab closed. So I flagged down a van on the beach road, because those tend to be the most inexpensive forms of transport. But as it approached, I realized that it was one of the special vans that runs a longer route, and they charge R$5 to R$7 instead of the usual R$2. So I flagged him off and was surprised to see that they stopped next to me.
"Get in!" barked the young teen who was manning the door.
I shook my head and waved my fingers. "I want the R$2 ones. Sorry. Go on..."
But he kept insisting, which was odd, until the driver of the van turned around and with a grin, shouted, "Get in woman!"
I'd recognize that blond hair and those shiny eyes anywhere...the driver was a "groupie" friend of the Christian singer who I've known since practically my first year in Brazil! We spent the ride chatting and catching up and I had to marvel at the fact that I really can't go anywhere in this city without knowing someone...there is NOWHERE to hide!
Not that I really want to. In spite of the frenetic pace I've been living, things have been going really well. I could use a bit stronger pain medication, though. I've broken down into tears a couple times already this week due to vicious spasms of liquid fire in my bones. On Thursday, while monitoring the playground area as the kids played a version of catch, the soccer ball veered off course and smacked me straight in the face, ricocheting off my right hand. That wrist hasn't moved forward or backward since 2001. Fused in place by deformation. But the soccer ball twisted it just enough, a few millimeters, for me to see black, lose all the air in my lungs, and all my capacity for speech or screaming. I just stood there, shaking, for a good 30 seconds before the tears started to flow. Poor kids. They were so apologetic. But even though the intensity eventually wore off, it still throbbed for the rest of the day, a pain just out of reach enough to fight off the best efforts of ibuprofen. And then yesterday, I had to kick a concrete post and smash my foot two shades of purple that will match perfectly with my bridesmaid's dress. The wedding is tomorrow, so I'm ordering in pizza tonight (yeah Domino's!) and experimenting with my "look" so I don't have to pay anyone to do my hair and makeup. Don't let the Brazilians know. They'd be horrified...
Oh, and the TB test came back negative. One down, three more labs and a couple X-rays to go and I can start shopping around for new medications!