The X-ray routine

med

WE USUALLY get chest X-rays once a year. It’s easy to do and cheap to boot.

This is where we do it. You need neither a doctor’s referral nor an appointment. You just go inside and request it. It can be a bit crowded in the morning, so we always show up after 5 p.m. when there is little chance of waiting.

The place is open till 8 p.m.

You tell the receptionist what you want, pay 250 pesos (about $13 U.S. nowadays), wait a few minutes and get ushered into the X-ray room. The technician does his thing, and you return to the waiting room for a brief sit.

Ten minutes later, you get the results that have been interpreted by a radiologist. Yep, for that $13, you get not only the X-ray, but a doctor who tells you what it shows.

Our relatively new socialist president, he who shall go unnamed, has said he’s gonna give us a healthcare system like Canada’s, i.e. “free.” Let us pray not.

And we sure don’t want the type of system that plagues Americans.

We both got X-rays on Thursday, and we are free of problems. Good to go.

The broken bone

bone

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.

It’s rather inconvenient.

Don’t tread on slick ceramic

hospital
Central courtyard of the hospital.

MY CHILD BRIDE stepped into the kitchen from the service patio yesterday morning. It had been raining, and she was wearing old Crocs sandals.

The kitchen has a smooth ceramic floor. Her soles were wet. This is a very bad combination. She took a swan dive, landing on her left arm.

It really, really hurt, she said.

We hoped it would calm down after an hour or two, but it didn’t, so we drove downtown to a hospital connected to a church — Catholic, of course.

Someone saw us rapidly, and an X-ray was taken. No broken bones. Whew! Because, like me, she has never broken a bone in her life.

The arm is inflamed, the doctor said, as he wrote a prescription for a pain reliever. He said she might want to return Monday afternoon when the traumatologist is available. We’re hoping that won’t be necessary.

armOnce again, the Mexican healthcare system makes a mockery of what Gringos endure north of the Rio Bravo.

Here’s what happened. We walked to the hospital reception where there was no line. We paid 70 pesos to see a doctor. That’s about $3.60 U.S. A doctor is on duty 24-7. From the reception we walked nearby where a nurse took her blood pressure, which was okay.

We immediately walked next door where the doctor was waiting. He felt her arm, asked a few questions and decided on an X-ray. We stepped back into the passageway and took a few steps to the right to the X-ray room.

The X-ray was taken immediately, and the doctor reviewed it. No broken bones. That’s when he gave us the OTC, pain-reliever prescription. As we left, we passed by the reception again and paid 400 pesos for the X-ray. That’s about $21 U.S.

The doctor had suggested that an arm sling would be a good idea. Out on the street, we walked to the first corner, turned right, and there sits a small business that sells such things. We bought the sling you see in the photo. It cost 90 pesos. That’s about $4.70 U.S.

A nearby pharmacy sold us the pain reliever for 120 pesos, about $6.30 U.S. Total time for all of this: about an hour. Total cost: about $35.60 U.S.

The hospital is neither a government bureaucracy nor an appendage of the church. It’s a local charity run and funded by citizens.

How’s that Obamacare working out for you? Or if you’re Canadian, how are you liking that high-tax-injected “free” socialized medicine? Chortle.

Good and bad

sunrise

WITH SO MUCH bad-weather news happening, I thought it would be uplifting to show good weather. This is a photo taken from our upstairs terraza … a few years ago.

There is other good news. Not weather, dental.

Since I recently had a tooth implant inserted in my upper jaw, we revisited the mouth of my child bride. When we met in 2001, her dental history was typical of Mexicans. When a tooth problem appears, you don’t fix it, you remove it.

Yeah, I know. Incredible.

At 41, she had removed five. All were in the back and not visible when she smiled. The situation,  however, created a problem later due to the spaces, so she got two bridges, also not readily apparent, but bridges are a bother, or so I’m told.

So she’ll be getting implants too, four not five. The dentist said she could easily ignore one at the very back. She begins the process in a couple of weeks, and it will take, as mine did, three months total. This will cost a bit over $5,000 U.S.

We’ll pay cash. Donations accepted via PayPal.

I wonder what four implants would cost above the border. Lots more, I am sure. Likely $5,000 each.

* * * *

Bad news

Now the bad news, also in the medical category.

Recently, I had a sharp pain in my left heel whenever I walked. When I was not walking, I felt nothing.

I visited a clinic here, a hospital actually, that’s part of a church complex. I’ve known two people who died in the clinic, but it’s a good option if you’re in a rush, and it’s cheap.

But that’s not the reason I went. I went because my heel was hurting, and my usual doctor wasn’t available.

The clinic’s right off the main plaza downtown. The doctor consultation was $4. He immediately guessed the problem correctly. Osteoporosis! But I am a poster boy for not having osteoporosis in all categories save one: I’m old.

I am not overweight. I do not drink. I do not smoke. I eat healthily, a salad a day and better. I take calcium tablets. And I’m a guy. Mostly, it’s women who get osteoporosis.

I have a girly affliction!

The Goddess has a wicked sense of humor.

To confirm his guess, the doctor pointed me over thataway to get a couple of X-rays of my foot. Cost of the x-rays: $22. That was done immediately while the doctor sat and waited.

Really.

Seems part of the bone in my heel went elsewhere, leaving a little peak that dug into my heel pad on walking.

The doctor prescribed an anti-inflammatory gel plus pills that do much the same.

He told me to get a glass bottle and rub it sideways over the peak twice daily to make it gradually less pointy.

I have done this now for two days, and it’s really helped. I did my daily exercise walk around the neighborhood plaza yesterday with no problem.

And I’m doubling my daily dose of calcium.

Getting old is a bitch.

* * * *

(Update: Online research, plus having my X-rays on hand, has convinced me that my problem is not osteoporosis but a heel spur, a much nicer diagnosis. Tip of the sombrero to Al Lanier for pointing me toward heel spurs in his comment below. This means the clinic doc misdiagnosed. The good news is that treatment for the two separate conditions is basically identical.)