Well, I can tell you that her talent doesn’t come from her formal education. She dropped out of that as soon as she could, so she didn’t have many people telling her what she couldn’t do or say, and trying to squeeze her onto some shape she couldn’t fit in, which she wouldn’t have done anyway — but her going her own way saved everyone a lot of hassle. But she was a voracious reader, and a discerning one. And she was always happily juiced up. She would have been outrageous if she weren’t so good natured. That’s what gets her through the tough ones like this. She’s a lot like her mother, come to think of it. As one of my sons said, “I’m not sure I could even be a fraction of that upbeat, but that’s her and I’m me.”

Comments have been enabled, and I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Please Share with me and each other!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Keeping it Real in Margaritaville

Oh, I have gotten a lot of positive feedback on my naked honesty, my raw vulnerability, and all of that. I'm delighted y'all are enjoying it. I found myself having a little overdose of raw honesty when I was bent over the sink in the bathroom most commonly used by my husband.

If more than an hour has lapsed since the maid left, that sink is not where you want to be face down. I don't understand it...it's not like he runs in there and does a little quick manscaping and then squirts toothpaste around to celebrate, but that is the way it always looks.

 But listen, who am I, Jane Austen? I was the one bent over the sink, pajama pants pulled down to my knees. And because today's nurse was Scatter Brain Lupita  (5 out  of 7 of the day nurses are named Lupita, so we have to give them modifiers, like Hot Lupita and Frosted hair Lupita) I was likely to be there, stuck in that ignominious position, for some time, while she ran back and forth for the gauze she forgot, or the scissors to cut the gauze, or the cream to put on or the.....

Scatter brain Lupita....she has her talents, and a nice mani/pedi makes
 up for myriad of shortcomigs

     I had a a rash..a "superficial skin infection secondary to surgical procedure." When the nurse in charge tried to explain it to me, our language got so screwed up that I believed for a moment that I had been diagnosed with buttock mushrooms. This seemed unlikely,  but it was all I could get out a conversation that included the words " pampas" and  " hongos".  I semi solved the mystery by reading the notes on the tube of cream, which is how I learned that it's possible to walk away from eight hours on a surgery table with an allergic reaction in the form of a fungus. In my case, it occurred in the most unmentionable location. Unmentionable? It's practically unreachable.

  Oh, I know you! You're thinking " ew, fungus, unclean, unclean! " like they were sewing me up with a guitar string in one corner of the dirt floored operating  theatre while a cockfight was going on in another corner and seƱoritas in off the shoulder blouses sold  long neck bottled beer and tequila shots. Don't be silly.

     I've been through the system now. I've been in the National Health clinic and the nicer hospitals and even,briefly, in one of the nicest. And Mexico seriously has some of the best medicine in the world.

   I've been flying by the seat of my pants through all of this. I've tried hard between curve balls to figure out the best, most efficient and economic way to handle my medical needs in Mexico, but so far the curve balls have been coming in a little too fast. So I've probably made some mistakes along the way. Even so, I don't seem to be able to find a doctor who isn't startlingly professional and up to the minute in his thinking, or one who has anything on his schedule except for me. They are so caring, and so personal that I've fallen in love with every single doctor I've been in front of.  What's more, it came to my attention the other day, that if I needed to call the reception desk at my oncologists, I wouldn't know how....I only have his personal cell phone, which he answers promptly when I call, and makes appointments with me himself. How is that possible?

    For this last surgery, I feel like my hand was heavily guided by, well you call it what you want to. The awful leak in my neck seemed to be worsening on a Sunday morning. It was impossible to drink coffee without the most absurd arrangement of strips of towels and hefty bags, really, it was ludicrous. And it was Sunday. I cannot deal with medical issues on Sunday--the anxiety reduces me to to near hysteria, and not only was it Sunday, it was Sunday before Semana Santa. (Holy Week for Easter. Celebrated here in Mexico by closing the interior of the country and going to the beach) so I was struggling. In an effort to find an action to take, any action at all that would make me feel like I had some power in my life. I located this page and sent in an appt request  at about 3:00 in the afternoon. By 4:00, I had received an email confirmation.

    I am normally kind of skeptical of this kind of streamlined  modern system. I like alternative medicine. I like my doctors to wear dreadlocks and shake a rattle before they draw blood. I want to feel like they have secret knowledge that mainstream medicine isn't allowed to sell because of big Pharma.

 Dr.Santiago Hernandez is not down with rattles or incense. What he's down with is getting the job done. I submitted the online request on Sunday, saw him on Monday, had an appointment with a world class head and neck dude  that he arranged on Wednesday, was checked into the hospital a week later for the surgery, and  returned home to my house to find in home nursing care waiting for me. All of this was coordinated by Dr. Santiago, I couldn't tell you how. AND he was on all the appointments, and has made three house calls since I got home! Somehow, all of this has happened within three weeks, so I'm endorsing ChapalaMed. There are less expensive options... but when you're neck is leaking  coffee...

Can you believe I'm wearing a hair accessory for this?

well, it's hard to put a price tag on the guy who's going to get that to stop. Dr. Santiago did, and he's still on it, as he drops by the house once or twice a week with his stethoscope draped jauntily around his neck to check on me.
     I feel like I'm being extremely well looked after. There's a big team of drs. and surgeons and nurses involved in putting Humpty back together, and there appears to be seamless communication between them, facilitated by Dr Santiago, who makes sure that questions don't slip through the cracks.

    I have an appointment in Guadalajara today, and I might have a surprise when I get back!


  1. You are inspiring in so many ways!! Look forward to your next update..will be thinking of you..

  2. I appreciate you sharing your amazing prolific writing as well as your journey for the moment. I have always admired your strength and sense of humor! A new Lupita each day....I will look forward to reading your updates...I am praying your healing goes quickly and completely! You inspire me dear Elliott!