Saturday, February 7, 2009

Miracles in Mexico

I'm a medical mishap. (i'm also on a roll with blogs today, but it's been a busy week) I can't tell you how many things are wrong with me... So many in fact, my hubby reminds me often that I should have provided him with a list prior to our marriage... so he would know exactly what he is getting into. I've got psoriasis, scoliosis, back surgeries, mental problems (don't we all), slow metabolism, hearing loss, severe allergies, sinus problems,pre-cervical cancer,pre-skin cancer, weak teeth,accident injuries,a gazillion fractures, severe vertigo, and on top, I'm a klutz. Vertigo is the worst, not like you get up too fast and you get dizzy, but Vertigo like I'm on the floor for hours just for the hell of it, and i can't get up. It's pretty bad. In fact, my hubby and I waited getting married because I was still on dad's insurace for all my CAT scans and whatnot. I've been going to doctors for years and never got a straight answer. Specialists, CAT scans, heavy meds... nothing worked. You never know when it's gonna hit... but my ears start ringing really bad, my face hurts like sinuses, my throat closes up and I can't swallow or breathe, and then boom. My eyes start darting, i can't keep a balance, I start vomiting and I can't move AT ALL. Longest times, I think was for about 8 hours. It was horrible. My parents used to drive an hour to come pick up my kids because I couldn't pick up my baby or take care of the kids. They helped me more than ever.
Doctors in the States kept giving me one reason over another. More tests. More meds. Come see me in two weeks. Nothing helped and it kept getting worse and soon I was without insurance. Hospital visits were way too much. I think one set of xrays was $2500 billed to the insurance. My back surgery was well over $100,000. I seriously was scared that it would be something fatal or rare. I didn't want to live like this forever.
I always heard that Mexico was the place for miracles. They had meds and care just like the States, but it does come with a price tag. If you can't pay, they don't help. Simple. BUT, the services here are still cheaper than those in the States. Only bad part, no insurance. But I guess that;s what makes things better. There are no doctors milking the insurance. No insurance trying to lessen your care. No Pharmaceutical companies trying to make a profit. In Mexico, they want to get paid and they'll cure you. My BIL hurt his eye really bad that it turned completely white! States said it will go away on its own and gave him pain killers. It never went away, and only got worse. My hubby sent him to Mexico and turns out it was a baterial infection. He got the meds and now he's fine. Another friend SHOT himself in the head. Hubby took him to the hospital. They asked for money up front and hubby gave it to them. They did surgery on his brain for $6600. They saved his life and he is fine. Doctors in the states are amazed. There are more stories. But they come with a price.
Well, I finally went to a doctor in Guadalajara. Visit, $400 pesos. Not bad. He asks for a blood test $1200 pesos, a audio test, $1500 pesos, and a sinus xray of my entire head, a whopping $2500pesos!!! Not a whole lot for all those tests in the states, but when you're not making that much in Mexico, that's a fortune!!! Nonetheless, I finished the tests and saw the doctor for the final result. You have a breathing problem, he said. No I don't! 'Yes, you do. Let me explain.' He went through this whole diagram, bringing all the tests together, about how this affects that, that contributes to this, this causes that... all resulting in your Vertigo.
WHAT!!!! And he mentioned that it IS curable!!! are you freaking kidding me?!? yup, with surgery... on the one part of my face that I like. My nose. It would be a simple outpatient surgery. They would cut the interior of my nose, create a passage way so that the fluid could drain and clean the area out. While they're in there, they'll also straighten out a bone or cartilage to make the breathing easier.
After his explanation, it all made sense. All my different symptoms all merged into one problem. Here, in third world Mexico, they've figured it out.
Surgery does come with a price tag. Certainly less than in the States, but I don't have insurance and everything here is paid in full. He did give us an option. SIN RECIBO. without a receipt. everything and everyone is taxed. HAHA, yup, I'm in Mexico. Off the books, everything including hospital, anesthesia, doctor, instruments etc... would be 28,000 pesos. With the exchange rate that's about $2000. Not bad. But i don't have that kind of money. We'll start saving. The doctor reassured me that I've lived with this for years and I can do it for some more... but now I have an option and when I'm ready, he'll be there. I'm excited that it's curable. I'm excited that its not going to be forever. I'm excited that's there's options. I just don't know where I'm going to get the money. :(

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About Me

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I've been living in Mexico now for about a two years with my hubby and 2 kids. Not exactly by choice, but we're here nonetheless. Luckily, I live with quite a few of the accomodations that i was used to in the states. In spite of those convienences, we also have a water tank with asbestos, outdated electricity, massive amounts of dust, caterpillars that burn your skin, and thousands of windshield washers on every street corner. My kiddos and I are learning to speak spanish and adjust to life away from our family and friends in the States.


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