Thursday, February 14, 2008

Doctoring in Mexico 2.14.08

We had an interesting couple of days doing Michael’s doctoring here in Mazatlan. I called for an appointment to Dr. Levid, a General Practitioner as he was highly recommended by many of the cruisers and speaks English. I got to practice my Spanish as the receptionist didn’t speak English! We set the appointment for 2:30 on Wednesday. As we were telling a local friend here, Ray, who is the father of Sheryll, from Eric & Sherrell on Saranawho we met here several years ago, he promptly called up Dr. Levid and asked if Michael would need any x-rays. They agreed he would and so Ray said he’d take us to the x-ray place in the morning – meet him at 10:30. We met him and he drove us to the x-ray place and we just walked in, asked for an x-ray of his knee and his chest (he’s still having Asthma problems), paid approx $50, and walked out 20 minutes later. We had to go back at 1:00 to pick up the x-rays and the report so we came back to the boat, made arrangements for a Taxi. About 1:30, the taxi picked us up, we went to the x-ray place, then over to the Dr’s office. The Taxi driver, Chuy, was a very nice guy and we chatted the entire drive over.

When we arrived, we spoke to the receptionist and told her we were there for a 2:30 appointment….well….I misunderstood over the phone, the appointment was for 12:30 (dose-y-media), not 2:30 (dos-y-media). And she was going to send us home! We explained we were from the Marina and it was very far from the office and she agreed to let us wait until after everyone else was seen. Doh! I was beating myself up for this mistake but was really fuming as there were some Pharmaceutical Reps in the office, also waiting for the Dr., and the reps & the receptionist were bashing both us and any Americans who don’t understand the language. They were really having fun and I was getting really aggravated as I understood every word they said… but Michael surprised them as they were trying to say something in English and he corrected them. Suddenly they realized we understood them!

Anyway…back to the story. We finally got in to see the Dr. and were apologizing to him for missing the appointment and he could care less. No problem, he said, that’s a very common mistake – mistaking 12 for 2 and vice-versa. We were feeling guilty for being in as the Drug reps were still waiting and found it kinda funny as we were telling him our ‘story’ and he pulled up the website right then and watched the videos & looked at the pictures. We really liked the Dr. He spent probably 45 minutes with us, but ultimately, referred us to an Ortho Dr about 6 blocks away. He said the swelling in his lower leg was because the fluid was draining down and that the knee more than likely needed to be drained. He said to stay off of it, take it easy, and get to the Ortho. It was 3:00, break time for everyone, but I was hoping to get an appointment so we decided to walk over there. Just as we were trying to figure out which way to go down the street – a man ran up and said “Hey my friends….in the Taxi….my friends…” We both didn’t know what he was saying and figured he was trying to get us to take his taxi. Then he said something about did we have our camera. Well…I had the @#$ camera next to me in the taxi and had taken photos of the x-ray place and forgot it! I couldn’t believe it. But Chuy, the first taxi driver had brought it to this guy who drove back to the Dr.’s office and waited until we left. Wow…how lucky was I?? Since he was there, and had waited for us, we asked him if he could take us to the Ortho Dr’s office and then back to the Marina. The Ortho Dr’s office was on a main street, one of the busiest streets in Mazatlan and he graciously circled the street many times looking for the address. Finally, we parked in the general direction and we walked up the street until we found it. It was in the back of a huge Farmacia and they were closed until 5pm. So we jumped back in the Taxi and went back to the Marina.

We asked Elvira in the Marina office if she would mind calling for an appointment for Michael as we still don’t have a way of calling Mexico yet (and honestly, I was a little gun shy calling for another appointment!) She got him an appointment for 11:30 the next day.

Thursday came and we took a bus to the Central Mercado as the Dr’s office was just opposite it. We went into the Dr, his name is Dr. Alberto Castillo, who spoke very little English, but his ‘other Dr’, a female nurse came into office and helped us translate. Between the 4 of us, we communicated very well. Anyway, he manipulated the knee, pushed, prodded, jerked, & poked. He said the ligaments were fine, not ripped, as we had feared. But there was a ton of liquid behind his kneecap that he must see to make sure it was not infected or full of blood. Now those of you who know Michael knows he HATES needles and was not comfortable with this at all. The Dr. numbed the area and then inserted a needle through the side of the knee. Immediately, it started dripping and the Dr. added a syringe and began drawing the liquid out of the knee. Luckily, it was a clear yellow color, which indicated it was not infected and no blood was detected. The Dr. took out 3 syringes of liquid, then injected it with a cortisone/anti-inflamatory medicine and we were off again. The Dr. prescribed one thing….REST…for 3 weeks. Rest, Ice, Compression, & Elevation in fact.

So we made the decision to stick it out here in Mazatlan until it’s time to go back to the States to sell the Electric Boat business. Luckily, the marina has room for us the entire time. I can’t say I’m not disappointed – I had hoped to get further South this season and was really looking forward to it. But Michael’s health is more important – and those spots will still be there next year, so what’s my hurry?! We’re going to make the best of our time here – we’re looking into Spanish classes and have made a list of non-walking things we can do for the next couple weeks. Hopefully his knee makes a full recovery and we’ll be to continue the other activites we are looking forward to doing soon.

I’ll write more later…
Happy Valentines Day everyone!!


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