Saturday, November 11, 2006

Part 2: Head Meets Tile Floor, in Chacala

I have had a nice string of visitors last night, and this morning, checking up on me, and examining my stitches. And insisting that I not throw away my blood-covered clothes, and offering wash them. I finally got the bloody rags in the garbage bag. Out-of-sight, out-of-mind. I really appreciate the care people here show me. Even if it started at 6:30am.

In re-reading my post from yesterday, I realized I forgot to write the most important thing.
This is Aurora, the best friend and best landlady in Chacala.
When I came to Mexico I had made a couple of decisions about healthcare for myself. One was that if I have something seriously wrong with me that isn't accident related, I probably wouldn't seek treatment. I would take good care of myself, including controlling my diabetes, but wouldn't seek care so serious illnesses. Cancer, heart, kidney/liver, etc.

Aside from controlling pain, which is something I firmly believe in. I don't like hurting if it is avoidable. At the time, I didn't understand the official policy in Mexico is that God wants us to feel pain, and that pain control is not generally something doctors are not very concerned with. I understand that only certain authorized specialists are allowed to prescribe anything more than aspirin, tylenol, etc.This is a family home on the beach. It's located on Federal land,
where the family has a "concession", for which they pay an annual fee.
I assume there are no windows, etc
because they can be evicted at any time by the Feds, with 90 days notice.

However, apparently that attitude is changing. This year the public health system announced in the newspapers that one of its goals for this year to to move towards aggressive and appropriate pain control for patients under their care. Good news in my opinion. My understanding and observation is that the main medication offered for pain control is anti-anxiety and other psych meds. To keep the patients in the hospital quiet, so as to not disturb the staff and other patients.

Anyway. I am pretty old, and I'm not interested in getting complicated medical treatments intended to extend my life. I have a great life, and dying when you as old as me seems reasonable. Occasionally I think, oh my god!!! What if there really is a God, and I am on my way to hell? However I usually stay out of that fantasy-land-type thinking.In case you wondered what Bill Clinton is up to these days,
here he is, in his new jig as a beach musician in Chacala.
He and his sax are favorites here.

I liked the idea that doctors in Mexico generally aren't practicing "butt-covering" medicine. Where they feel they need to order endless tests to make sure they don't get sued later. (Except in the hospitals in Mexico geared toward tourists from the U.S.A. and Canada who have good insurance. Those places run every test they can get the insurance to pay for. A whole other story.)

I imagined that doctors here would treat what was in front of them, and let it go at that. And I liked the idea in theory. But when it happened to me yesterday, and they weren't interested in checking for head injury, I felt kind of indignant. Now, today, it feels appropriate. As some people pointed out to me, the Doctor knew people would be watching out for me and bring me back if I got in trouble when I got home.Beatriz is converting a former porch on her Techos de Mexico rental building
into what I think is the smallest rental room in Chacala. With bath.
Which she plans to rent for $250 ($23US) pesos a night.
Socorro,across the street, rents a large bedroom with bath
and a patio with complete basic kitchen for between $150 and 200 pesos a night.
Interesting.

So it's was a learning experience for me. About what it's really like to get basic care, with no fancy frills. At the time it seemed worrisome. Today it seems fine, and exactly what I believe in. Except for the crummy tylenol or whatever. Lucky I still have a few hydroco....... that I brought with me. I took one this morning. My head was still pounding when I woke up, and I love pain relief.

I just looked at my emails and comments from this post. La Gringa
(I love Hondura's bloggers) in Honduras, commented about about the lack of medical questions and the questions about education. And thinking about it, I thought the lack of medical questions was odd too. Like previous head injuries, what medications are you taking? But who knows?

I have a Master's, which put me in the highest checked box, so that was sort of fun. The box is called "Superior". I liked that.

God knows why they asked about the education level. Actually, I bet it was so that if they thought you couldn't read, they would find a family member or someone to help you with you meds and return appointment etc. I actually saw that happen while we were at the Urgencia. And I didn't get was going on, but now I do. They had someone go out in the yard in front and bring a young man in to help his grandma with her meds.

5 comments:

Marie McC said...

Nice to know you were not seriously injured and don't have a concussion. Whew! I'm with you on the pain meds. Why be uncomfortable when it's totally avoidable?

Tomas Dennis said...

Good vibes from Tom in Kentucky. Hope you heal nicely and without itch or pain. Maybe a rubber suction mat would help near the sink.
Again we are thinking of you,take care.

Bound for Ceiba said...

Hope you recover swiftly!!!

Jill said...

I was surprised when you said that you were old.

Sender-Barayon-Morningstar said...

Slow to catch up, but glad you are okay!!! Sending positive get well beamage... Ramonc