Wednesday, January 29, 2014

BANKRUPT......and it's only the first month of 2014 in Mexico!

I so looked forward to this year.  I said I had a sense it was going to be the "best year ever".  Heaven help me if that is the case.  It has been a doozy of a month so far..........one that never needs to be repeated.

Oh the cold wasn't THAT bad.  Nor were the flowers that turned black on the roof.  No, it was something much more serious then that.

It started on January 1st.  There was a blog about it.  A, "who knows what size stone" passed into the never never land.  I've heard the old adage that a rolling stone gathers no moss.  I'm grateful for that.

Now, it seems there are many, many more stones.  No one told me the actual count but with a VERY serious look on his face, in the Ultrasound Room today, Dr. Barrera said, "There are MANY stones".  Upon my question, which was, "Are you kidding?", he gave me that look that only a doctor being questioned can give to a patient.   Actually, no comment said more then an answer.  Silence was not golden.

The brand new state-of-the art ultrasound machine, with its professional technician, scanned all it needed to and then gave a report, in Spanish, along with photos.  I saw no bambino.  To my mind that is the reason for an ultrasound.  Different point of view now.

So, now what.  A trip to Houston to see Dr. Who Knows.  Haven't been to a doctor in Houston in ten years, except the eye doctor.  Oh and those ya-hoos at Kingwood Hospital that nearly killed me.  They don't count.  Dr. Who Knows can  hopefully, laproscopically  remove the gallbladder.  Information is that "it's no big deal".  OK.....we'll see.

Then on a bright side, it occurred to me that I should make this a "3 for 1" special, the gallbladder, the cataract and the torn meniscus cartilage.  We'll see.  First things first.  If I scheduled this right it could only take a couple of weeks.....I've been told two days for recover of the gallbladder thing; two days for the cataract surgery and if memory serves me correctly about ten days recovery on the knee.  Sound good?

When?  Where? How? With Who?  I'm feeling a little emotionally bankrupt right now.

You  know how on Wheel of Fortune, Pat Sajak says"It is better to get the bankrupts over at the beginning of the game so you can go on to win?"  Well. maybe that is a good way to look at this.  Get the bad stuff over  at the beginning and have a WOO HOO year for the rest of 2014.  What do you think?  Any suggestions for a gallbladder doctor in Houston in the Medical Center?  All advice appreciated.

26 comments:

Dean Wylo said...

I don't have a suggestion for a doctor, as I'm near Seattle, but I did have my gall bladder out in October. Out-patient at the hospital and was in and out in three hours.

They gave me narcotic pain meds but I don't like how they make me feel. I was fine with extra-strength Tylenol. Just don't cough!

I can't speak re the other procedures, but for me the gall bladder removal wasn't a biggie - I've had BIGGIES and trust me - this wasn't a blip on the screen, considering.

I've surrendered to the fact that after a certain age it's all about maintenance. I'm just thankful I have the means to do it, and good health care available.

You'll be led to the right doctors, and you'll do fine, I know. Spunky, powerful women always do. : )

Barbara

Babs said...

Thanks Barbara. Houston is a gem for any medical procedure and I'm not worried. Hopefully they can get me in before another "stone" decides to roll.......

wesley mouch said...

I am a physician. Gallbladder surgery is very easy and it is typically a second year resident operation. You will do just fine. Just make sure you go to someone who does a lot of them.

Peter Kouwenhoven said...

Why not get this done in Mexico?!

Babs said...

Thanks Wesley. Someone has already taken time to email me with a name of a surgeon in Houston, that I intend to follow up on tomorrow. His specialty is gall bladders!

Babs said...

Peter, I asked the Dr today what the cost would be and he said at least 60,000 pesos. Since I don't have insurance in Mexico, that would be out of my pocket. And, quite frankly I feel more comfortable having things like this done in the USA, where if there is a problem there is a Blood Bank and ancillary services that are not available in this area......

gringosuelto said...

Wow! I'm so sorry. Sounds like you've got your own personal gravel pit going there. I guess 2014 is off to a rocky start? Frankly, it's galling that this problem is back.

All kidding aside (and they do say laughter is the best medicine), going to Houston and getting it done there is probably the best option. And I'm sure your grandkids and the rest of your family will be thrilled to pamper you back to robust health.

I wish you the best for a low-bureaucracy, high-satisfaction experience there.

Saludos,

Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we really feel for you having to have your life interrupted by medical impositions.

Kay Cox said...

Well shit, Babs. You know you have a place to stay for recovery. Where does this recommended doc do his surgery? I will make myself available. The cataract is no big deal either...you'll be in and out in a couple of hours with a black patch on your eye. You will go back the next morning to get the patch off and that is it. That you can do while recovering from the gall bladder. Wait for the knee thing until you are past aching from the gall bladder. I was up the next day with a big boot on my leg after my orthoscopic knee stuff.

Babs said...

Ha, Ha, ha, Kim - galling indeed! Thanks for a chuckle......it will not be a big thing...just a few stones! or whatever.

Babs said...

Kay, thanks for the offer of a place to recover - wherever you are! You're a trooper, to put it mildly and a dear friend.
When I had the knee stuff done ten years ago, I went out on crutches, slept til the next day and that was that - no boot, thankfully.
More later!

Life's a Beach! said...

Arthroscopic on the knee isn't bad, but do the physical therapy afterwards. I waited and had problems getting rid of the swelling. Sorry about all this Barb! Take care!

Babs said...

Thanks Beck. I've had both knees done previously but that fall on Christmas Eve did damage. The surgeon gave me exercises to do at home, which I did afterwards and never had any problems with either knee! Glad you had a good experience as well.

vandy said...

Come on. Your beach awaits here.
Vaandy and Sue

Calypso said...

60K for Mexico seems high? Good report from Dr. Mouch. The knee is the thing here - I have met so many people that were bothered more after having a surgery. For me (and I have a candidate for the surgery) it would have to be VERY bothersome to have it 'repaired'.

Wishing you all the best with all this.

Sharon said...

Ah, bad news, but better now than decades ago before they discovered the "belly button" procedure. I said goodbye to my collection of gall bladder stones when the only option was a diagonal slice about 12 inches long. I was very young at the time, but it still took a couple of months for the recovery.

You'll do just fine and not end up with a road map of scars for incisions and drains on your tummy. Your beauty will not be marred!

Sending positive energy your way.

Sharon
Boston

Babs said...

Vandy, I'll cling to that thought! Beach, Beach, Beach and you guys too.

Babs said...

Calypso, I've had the arthroscopic surgery on both knees about 10 years ago by the head of the department at Baylor Hospital. It was easy and I drove back to San Miguel 10 days later. I had no problems and felt so good......The Doc said that it would last 10-12 years. If I didn't fall so much on the cobblestones, they would probably have lasted longer.......

Babs said...

Sharon, yup, I'm very glad they have the laproscopic surgery now. I do not want to do it the other way, at all.

steve said...

If you can afford to have it done in Mexico then for sure stay home.

Babs said...

Steve can't......and don't want to. We don't have good enough facilities here anyway, IMHO. for surgery. Simple things like amoebas, etc. that a small town hospital can handle is one thing, surgery, not.

wesley mouch said...

Babs
I wanted to clarify a couple of things. Gallbladder surgery is now done laparoscopically for most cases. I would define a "large number" as greater than 100 laparoscopic cholecystectomies in their career as a minimum number. The more the better. The price of 60,000 pesos seems high for Mexico. The Surgery Center of OKlahoma (in OK City) does a laparoscopic cholecystectomy for under $6,000 (total cost). I wish you well and good luck with the surgery.

Babs said...

Wesley, thanks so much for taking time to write. YOU are the only Dr. I have been able to have any conversation with. This is what happened yesterday.
I called the clinic that I went to for 15 years and my last visit was 10 years ago when I had a torn miniscus repaired and went to the dr at the clinic for clearance for the surgery. Of course, I couldn't talk to him yesterday for a referral and his nurse said that since I had not seen him in 10 years that I'm not considered a patient any longer and "they" could not refer me to anyone. When I asked to speak with either the dr or a supervisor, in a very, very nice tone, she cut me off with that they were all in a meeting. I doubt the Dr knows anything at all about this call! I'm shocked that the receptionist and the nurse have so much power that one cannot even talk to the DR. Anyway, I'm back to Square one of finding a GI doc who I can send the ultrasound report to and try to schedule something before I go up there. Surely I'm not the first person to ever do this with all the international people who go to Houston for treatment! Frustrating to say the least.

Shannon said...

Oh Barbara, I'm so sorry that you are going through all this! Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Please let us know if we can do anything for you.

Rick said...

I've had this surgery and it's no big deal. I never took the pain meds prescribed after the surgery, was just tired for a couple of days from the anesthesia.

You can't call doctors anymore since they don't get paid for talking on the phone. Just make an appointment and start the process. Ask if they will accept Medicare while scheduling the appointments, many do not. I am sure they will redo the ultrasound for legal reasons and then schedule you in for surgery.

It's all a bit tougher than it was years ago but you will do just fine.

Babs said...

Shannon, this is a blip compared to what you've been through for several years. I'll be just fine.

I will say that when I went to Med Tech 100 today to pick up the ultrasound report, I happened to run into my Dr. Dr. Barrera. He asked if I was scheduled yet and I told him what had happened yesterday with the clinic not referring me. HE is sending an email directly to the Dr!
He was so shocked at the lack of cooperation from the clinic! I'm pleased.

Babs said...

Rick, being out of the country adds a few complications as in trying to find someone, then scheduling it so when I arrive I don't have to sit around for a month or so..surely the Houston Med Center, somewhere, is set up for this kind of thing. I'll plow through and see. The actual procedure will be a piece of cake once I get all this other stuff out of the way. Thanks for commenting.