27 May 2010
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
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
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
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
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
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
19 June 2010
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