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27 May 2010
by
Dave Clingman

 

New Phone number, and Pain

 

We have a new direct line from USA. You can now call this Fresno, California telephone number, and it will ring here in our home in Guadalajara, Mexico. This is done through the "magic" of magicJack. Our telephone number is **email us if you need it**. Please feel free to call anytime, but remember that there is a two hour time difference from California to Guadalajara. When it is 7pm in Calif, it is 9pm here. From New Zealand, you can Skype us directly or Skype our telephone number in USA for less than it costs to call our Mexico telephone numbers. The time difference between here and NZ at the moment is seven hours (plus one day), so that at 8am your time, it is 3pm our time (but one day earlier).

It has been three weeks since my last "weekly" log. Even as I wrote that last one, I was in bad pain. That pain plus our having three rather boring weeks (our friends Larry and Sharon arrived back home here, but other than that and our regular routine, literally nothing happened here) decreased my desire to write a log. Finally, though, here I am again.

While we were at Casa de las Flores Bed and Breakfast in Tlaquepaque, you may recall that we enjoyed the Fiesta de la Cruz (Fiesta of the Cross). I guess that carrying Mela for nearly an hour overstressed my shoulder muscle. The following day I began experiencing pain in my left shoulder.

Since then, the pain has increased and expanded into my arm, and nothing seems to alleviate the pain other than standing and walking. Standing and walking then aggravates my sciatica, causing pain in my leg. So, when I sit for a few minutes, my shoulder and arm begin aching nearly unbearably, and after I have been standing or walking for half an hour or so, my leg begins hurting. What a three weeks this has been.

We went to the IMSS clinic (or IMSS hospital) yesterday to see a doctor, but it turns out we had to get an appointment. So, after just half an hour or so of waiting, we were given an appointment for this morning. We were told to be there between 7:00 and 7:30 in the morning.

We arrived back at the IMSS clinic at 6:45 this morning and found we were fourth in line for our doctor. The doctor didn't show up until 8:05, and then we had to wait an additional hour and fifteen minutes while he saw the three others in front of us plus two others the nurse let in out of turn. In just ten minutes of talking with us (with Andrew translating), taking my blood pressure and listening to my heart, the doctor decided it must be a muscular problem. The other possibility (he didn't mention what that is) is extremely unlikely, but he assigned us a lab blood test just to be sure.

At the IMSS pharmacy right there in the clinic, we received two packages each of acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Diclofenac (an NSAID). The cost - zero. Then we walked to the lab and received an appointment for the blood test for Wednesday IN TWO WEEKS. Yikes. I have to endure this pain for that much longer? And even after the test results are in, then what?

This was our first experience with IMSS clinic/hospital. It is wonderful being able to receive treatment for free, prescription medicines (as well as over the counter medicines) for free, and lab blood tests for free. Well, not exactly free, since we had to pay $2133.80 for my coverage for the year. (Remember that is pesos, and equals at present exchange rate about $165 US.) For the YEAR. Back in California, I was paying more than that PER MONTH, and then I still had to pay seventy dollars to be seen by a doctor plus other fees for other things, with no free drugs. Nice. Of course, the waiting time for IMSS is a bit more than back in California, but the savings in money is very nice indeed.

As I write this, it has been a few hours since I took my first pain pills, and the pain is lessened, but it still hurts bad. I guess this pain medicine isn't going to work any better than the other six I've tried.

We've tried rest (I slept eighteen hours one day after trying an opiate pain reliever), hot pads, soaking in the hot tub (which I do almost every night even without this pain), massages, and ointments. Nothing seems to make much of an impact on the pain. I found a website that describes a special massage, and the first time Andrew did that to me it helped quite a bit, for about an hour. The second and third time he did it, it helped but to a lesser degree.

Please pray for us, as always, and have a great weekend.
 

Read update 6 May 2010

Read update 19 June 2010

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