Monday, January 28, 2013
Last week it had been a month since my last blood test and it was time to set up an appointment and get that done. I first sent an email to the Doctor that I had seen at Sharp Hospital when I arrived in Mazatlan just before Christmas asking him how I should go about having this done. As he had been knowledgeable about the temporal arteritis I thought this would be the best way to go. I did not get a reply back.
Plan B. I saw Dr. Olalde last year when I had all my muscle pain and was very pleased with his gentle manner of listening and the treatment that he suggested. I had thought it would be easier to continue with the Doctor at Sharp Hospital but in the end I booked with Dr. Olalde. I sent him an email with a quick outline of my current problems and asked for a Monday appointment. He replied and we set an appointment for 11am on Monday.
Monday morning Eric and I hopped on the bus and headed downtown to his office. I had good chat with Dr. Olalde and he checked my blood pressure (good) heart (good) and then we discussed the blood tests that I needed. I also had my medical tests with me so that he could have a look at the previous results. He mentioned that the test for the C reactive protein that was done at Sharp hospital should have been a high sensitivity one and that was not what they had done. He typed out a requisition for the local lab and we were done. 200 peso’s for the visit (about $16) which is very cheap by any standards. Dr. Olalde explained that some people can not pay any more and even though other people can he charges everyone the same fee. Very democratic I’d say!
Up the street three blocks and then left for two blocks to the lab. Well…at that point we couldn’t find it and as we were standing on the street looking confused holding the lab slip a worker toting a big bucket came to help. He looked at our lab slip and motioned for us to follow him. A half a block ahead on the right and we were right where we needed to be. How nice what that? Very typical of the Mexican people to help whenever possible. Eric gave him ten pesos even though he didn’t expect anything for this courtesy.
The lab visit was quick, efficient and economical. The lab manager spoke English, the blood work was done quickly and the cost was about $65.00 Canadian which included a 20% discount. They took my email address and said they would email the Doctor as well.
Tuesday I received an email from Dr. Olalde and he said that everything looked okay on the blood test except that two of the markers for my disease were up (ESR and white blood cells) although the most important one (C reactive protein) was very low. He suggested there could be infection somewhere in my body even thought I am not showing any symptoms. As I do not have any symptoms of the temporal arteritis at present I will continue with my prednisone reduction.
On my visit to his office Dr. Olalde had suggested that I look at a product called Immunocal Platinum to stimulate the immune system. I have done this on the internet and think I will give it a try for a month. Can’t hurt! It is approved in Canada and does not seem to be a quacky product.
After the lab visit Eric and I walked back down to the malecon to look for lunch. Just off the grassy square we found a nice little “luncheria..taco restaurant” to eat. Chile relleno was on the menu along with rice and refried beans for 45 pesos so that was what we had. Very good.
We struck up a conversation with a gringo (Kurt from Saskatchewan) eating there and it turns out he used to RV to Mazatlan before his wife died 6 years ago and he said that he had stayed at Las Jaibas where we are parked. He also said he knew a guy from Saskatchewan in the park and it turned out to be Fred and Marion who are parked right behind us. Again…a small world.
After lunch we walked a couple blocks north on the malecon to the Pescaderia (fish store) that John in our park goes to to buy fish. We bought a kilo of Dorado (Mahi Mahi) and a whole Red Snapper (Pargo or Huatchinango) and they filleted it all while we waited. Cheap, fresh and delicious. We will buy fish there on a regular basis and eat it at least twice a week. Yum, yum, yum.
A quick ride home on the bus…..fish packaged up and frozen and off to the beach.
A good day.