I’VE LONG NOTICED the occasional cultural difference where you wouldn’t normally expect it — in the medical community. Isn’t Science Settled? No, it’s not.
An interesting example popped up in my life this week.
Yesterday, I received a minor dental surgery, two stitches. Before leaving the dentist’s office, he gave me instructions, one of which was to avoid dairy products for three days. No milk, no cheese, no yogurt, no nada.
This struck me as odd, but I decided to obey orders, so last night, instead of my usual small bowl of cereal and milk before bed, I downed a croissant with orange marmalade.
But this morning, I decided to do a little online sleuthing because I like my bedtime cereal and milk, and I eat it again for Second Breakfast.
I typed into my search engine (DuckDuckGo, never Google), “What foods should be avoided after dental surgery?” I phrased the question in English, so I received U.S. medical websites. I read three of them, and nowhere did it say to avoid dairy products. On the contrary, yogurt was one of the recommendations.
I then typed the same question in Spanish, so I got Mexican medical websites. The very first one told me to avoid all dairy products. So what’s happening here? Cultural differences is what. I’ve decided to be a Gringo and enjoy my cereal and milk.
WE ATE WARM biscuits and honey for First Breakfast* today instead of our usual options of croissants and orange marmalade or bagels with Philly cheese Lite.
At quarter till 9, I jumped into the Honda and headed downtown to the post office, a biweekly trip, to check my box, a service I’ve had for 19 years.
I rarely find anything there anymore, which is why I rarely check it. It has to be checked though. Recently, a threatening letter from the IRS** lurked in there longer than it should. But usually, nothing is there, which is how I like it.
These early morning drives to the post office are fun. Traffic is light, and I see things I don’t see in the late afternoons, which is when I’m normally downtown.
An old Mexican town waking up.
Up until about five years ago, I checked my box on any afternoon. It was easy to drive down Calle Obregon and park near the post office. But then City Hall was moved from the main plaza where, I imagine, it had sat for centuries to the same block as the post office. The block became way more congested and nearby parking is impossible weekdays.
So now it’s early every other Saturday morning.
I park at a nearby corner on Calle Carrillo Cárdenas.
I read a local internet forum aimed at Gringos. There are always things to chuckle at there. Most participants seem to embrace the notion that the Mexican postal system does not work, which it does. People are often asking if someone is headed to the border and if it would be possible to take a letter or package to mail in the United States.
Mexican mail works fine. It’s just slow, and if you’re in a rush, it has an express service, which costs a good bit more, and there is registered mail too. You can track both express and registered items to their destinations above the border via the internet.
Not only does the Mexican mail work, so does the healthcare system, another issue that provides me laughter because, as they don’t trust the mail, the Gringos don’t trust the healthcare system either and if it’s anything more than a routine doctor visit, they often flee above the border for “real” healthcare.
Okay, many do it for “free” Medicare, I admit, but even major issues can be addressed here at a minuscule fraction of the ripoff prices above the border. And, more importantly, healthcare here is nicer and more personal.
There was nothing in my post office box this morning except a routine advisory that my pension from the Hearst Corp. had again been sent electronically to my Mexican bank. It’s a waste of postage on Hearst’s part, but they send it anyway.
At least there was nothing dire from the IRS.
* * * *
* Second Breakfast arrives at 11 a.m. Lunch at 2 p.m., and supper at 8 p.m.
** I phoned the Internal Revenue Service and discovered the problem was their error, not mine, and all was ironed out peacefully.
BRIAN FEY WHO lives on a nearby mountaintop took an unplanned swan dive off a two-story (or more) building a few weeks back. I wrote about it in a post titled Brian Fey Cannot Fly.
Since that near-death experience, he’s been through surgery and pain, remaining hospitalized until Thursday when he was transported by ambulance to the humble home of a nurse who will tend to his needs for a few months more.
Till he gets back on his feet, literally.
Brian was quite a bit short on funds before the swan dive, and a GoFundMe page has been set up for his benefit. I kicked in a bit, and you can too if you wish. Here’s the link:
AS REPORTED a few days ago, my child bride took a swan dive Friday onto our ceramic floor, injuring her left arm.
We went to a downtown clinic where an X-ray was taken, and the doctor said no bone was broken. We also looked at the X-ray and saw nothing out of place. He prescribed a pain medicine and recommended an arm sling. He also suggested that we return for verification when the traumatologist was available.
We did that yesterday. Alas, the first diagnosis was off-base. The second doctor noticed a hairline fracture. She is now in a cast for at least a month.
This is the first broken bone in her life. I still have never had one.