My first week in Mazatlan has been a bit of a roller coaster ride health wise. I am on a schedule that has me reducing the prednisone I am taking for temporal arteritis by 5mg every two weeks The last drop was from 45mg. to 40mg. a week ago and I noticed side effects. Not feeling well, headachy and bad chewing along with a rise in blood pressure. Not good.
So off to Sharp Hospital here in Mazatlan on Wednesday to see what was up. Frank led Eric and I to the hospital so we would have no difficulty finding it. Thanks Frank. I checked in at emergency and was initially given a Mexican doctor but I asked for someone who spoke English. Dr. Barazza was called and as he is the head of Tourist relations at the hospital he speaks excellent English and he was very helpful. I had all my test results with me and he was very familiar with this condition. To start with he was not overly concerned with the blood pressure but I was. He told me I just needed to calm down a bit. Easy for him to say! In the end we ran a full blood work up and when it came back in about 30 minutes they had missed the CRP test which is a marker for my condition as well as showing that there could be infection in my body somewhere.
Prednisone is very sneaky because along with suppressing your immune system and not allowing you to fight infection etc. it also masks illness so you don’t know how sick you are. Swell!
Back on Thursday to the Sharp Hospital to see Dr. Barazza and he noted that the CRP was up as well as my white blood cells so there was a problem somewhere. He put me on a week of a broad spectrum antibiotic which would target upper respiratory infection.
When all was said and done I spent about $160 on blood tests and the emergency room visit along with $40 for the antibiotics. Not too bad. I was impressed with the reasonable fees as well as the very professional care that I received. I feel safe here at this point.
I will have the pertinent blood tests repeated in about a week to see where I am at with infection and the temporal arteritis as well.
I guess it was naive of me to think I could just waltz through this whole thing without a few glitches. Humbling.
I am feeling much better and as my health will be a huge concern this winter while we are here I will do periodic reports on my condition.