[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Cuban American Support System

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Cuban American Support System

There are few events that cause as much worry in a Cuban family as when a family member is sick. I'm not referring to a serious illness, but something like a cold or perhaps the flu.

Back when my wife in the last stages of her pregnancy with my youngest daughter, I wrote a post about what I called CASS (Cuban American Support System). Well, the CASS also springs into action when someone is sick, but in a slightly different way.

Recently we had a nasty stomach virus run through everyone here at 26th Parallel headquarters. In what appears to be something similar to telepathy, relatives start to call non-stop asking how we're doing. I'm thinking, "how did they find out we're sick?". It's part of the CASS, folks. It doesn't matter if you're too sick to talk, or if you can't get any rest because of the phone ringing off the hook.

For those of you familiar with the Que Pasa USA series, think of the episode when Joe had to be taken to the hospital for an appendectomy. Although very over the top, it captures the essence of CASS.

When my wife was pregnant, the CASS functioned in rotating shifts of people visiting. In our recent case, however, since we were all sick, no one came over because the CASS won't function properly if everyone catches your virus. That's where the phone calls come in. The same person will call at least three times a day, which may not seem like a big deal except when it's five, six, or ten people doing the same thing. Usually there's one person in the house assigned to handle the calls, but when everyone is sick, that can be tough to handle.

Their voices are usually filled with concern over your health. Como sigue Robert? How's Robert doing? This is then followed by some sort of medical advice such as: slowly sip your Sprite, don't gulp it all down in one shot. It doesn't matter if you're ten or forty, you get the same advice.

We're all recovered now, and the phone calls have decreased back to normal levels. The CASS is back to Level 3 status, ready to spring into action the next time a crisis rears its ugly head.

I wouldn't have admitted this when I was sick, but I welcome the calls and well wishes. It's part of what the CASS is all about.

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3 Comments:

Blogger La Ventanita said...

Yes it is, but it can also drive you nuts!

8:18 PM, February 07, 2007  
Blogger Marta said...

Ahh...the Cuban Conundrum.
They care so much they make you crazy. But isn't it great that they care so much? =D
Great post.

8:40 PM, February 07, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

LV and Marta,

Indeed.

12:26 PM, February 08, 2007  

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