Wednesday, March 30, 2022

The elbow three weeks ago and now.!

               The original splint.
                   Today's selfies.

 So how am I doing with the elbow?  All things considered pretty good for an old lady three weeks after surgery.  The stitches were removed 1 week ago and today I started physio.  Lots of pain and swelling to this point but I'm determined to get full function if at all possible.

I saw Dr. Patino this morning for a physio evaluation and after reviewing my x-rays his comment was "that was a really bad break and can't believe how well you've healed!"  He said Dr. Mojarro did an excellent job surgically. I've been working on mobility and natural movement and it gets a bit better every day.

Today I had a 1/2 hour physio appt using rubber bands and then Tens and ultrasound. I'll go 4 times a week for the next three weeks and then continue at home.  Physio will work on the whole arm, not just the elbow.

I must admit I feel much more positive and things should continue to get better.

Luckily this happened in a larger city with excellent facilities and care.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Anita and family visit and we gather at Las Jaibas to remember John.

I apologize for this tardy post but my elbow injury has made it difficult to post.

2014 Anita and John play Bill and Eddie in Bocce.

This is an old photo from Christmas 2016 and happier times. You can see Anita in black with her husband John to the left.

John passed away this last winter after a long illness and Anita and her sons Lee and Nick and families came to Mazatlan to visit and spread John's ashes.  A bittersweet time for Anita as she has so many happy memories from their RVing times in Las Jaibas.  Lots of tears but also lots of hugs from old friends.

 Anita chatting to Connie with Bill in the foreground and me on the chair.

Hal and Helene with Richard and Dennis behind.

Reg, Dennis and Bill.

Anita with Hal in the background.

We're getting ready to toast John's memory with his favorite drink..a Black Russian.  Diane is having a look.

We raise our glasses in memory.  The RVing community is very strong and Anita is among old friends.

Anita with her sons Nick and Lee.

Manny and Bill catching up. Many of us like Connie and Manny no longer RV but we all remain friends.

Jeannette, Anita and Diane in front with Connie and Sandi standing.

This gathering took place on March 16th and this last week on March 24th Anita and her family spread John's ashes on the beach.  They all left for home yesterday but we hope to see Anita again next year.
This occasion reminded us that we need to gather as a group once a season so we all stay in touch.  Thanks to Marilyn and Frank for the photos.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

A walk up to the lighthouse..El Faro.

 A week ago, Tuesday March 8th Trudy, Linda, Connie and I headed down to the ferry docks for a walk up El Faro..the lighthouse.  The pictures may not be in complete order and not as much script as my two handed typing is in a sling!

We started off on the green bus at 7am..Linda at Cerritos, Trudy and I at my place and Connie at El Cid and we all managed to get on the same bus.  Usually the bus stops close to El Faro but this day he took us right to the entrancend...not sure how he got turned around after we got off.  Lots of nationals heading up the long hill and us! 

Up we the earlier years lots of the trail was dirt but now it's all hard surfaced. Trudy, Connie and Linda.  

Looking down to the cruise ship dock.

Here in Mexico you are free to fall off the edge if you wish..!

Connie enjoying the view.

A quick rest.

We made it!  My left knee did not like the uneven step heights coming up and didn't like them going down.

A very nice Mexican man took a multitude of photos of us..good job! With a combined age of 296 years we did pretty well on our climb and our up time was a a lot less than I thought it would be.  It was not a race and we wanted to enjoy the climb and the view.

Trudy and Linda...they're a speedy little pair! 

Out of order photo on our way up...

At the top..we did NOT go out on the glass walkway and none of us will be doing the zip line to the Observatorio when it's built!!!

Down we go.

336 steps to the top.

Down and on our way to...
You can see it is a bit of a walk from El Faro to La Puntilla.  The blue  dot is where we started out.

This restaurant has a buffet breakfast and as it was only 10 am...breakfast was in order.

All sorts of things being served and only one thing left on my plate...small pieces of liver in gravy.  I like liver gently cooked with fried onions.

Breakfast was over and we were on our way into Centro.  Up Carnival street on the blue line.  There were blue shirts stationed with information pamphlets.  We knew where we were going but a cruise ship was in and they were there to help.

Jack fruit tree.

Once into town we browsed a little and then took the bus back home.  A good day!

Friday, March 18, 2022

The trip..part two!


 Yesterday Frank took Eric and I back to see Dr. Mojarro at the Marina Mazatlan Hospital for my one week check up.  Dr. Mojarro removed the splint and cotton batten and left the bandage over the elbow intact.  I asked what next and he said no cast, just wear the sling and start gentle movement of the hand and arm.  He bent the elbow to make sure it was moving and that's all till next week when he will remove the  stitches and refer me for physio.   Was I bet!  As the elbow is pinned no need for a cast and the sooner it is moved the better.  He was pleased and so was I.  Really sore but it's sure good to be rid of the giant splint. I asked how much for the appointment and he've paid enough!  A good surgeon and a nice guy!

On  good note I went to Torres bingo up the street with the ladies and I won 2800 pesos..a split pot. All in all..a good day!

Sunday, March 13, 2022

The trip I never wanted to take!

 On Wednesday morning my friend Trudy who was visiting here with us and I were out on our morning walk at 7am.  About halfway through when we were crossing over the bridge I moved quickly to the right  to avoid a bicycle.  I tripped and almost caught myself before falling hard on my left elbow.  Huge pain.  Trudy tried to help me up but I just needed to lay there. Just then a truck with three Mexican men stopped to offer assistance. They had no English and me minimal Spanish.  The driver quickly called a lady who spoke English and I asked her if they would take me to the Marina Mazatlan Hospital which was close.  I asked Trudy to go back and tell Eric. to the hospital and the driver helped me in to the hospital. He then called the lady who spoke English and she asked if they could be of further assistance and I said no.  The absolute best good Samaritans and so very gracious.

Onward to x-rays, temporary splint, IV drips, Cat scan, ECG, blood work, chest xray and covid test as it turned out the elbow was broken and needed surgery!  The surgeon came to see me to tell me he could do the repair at 4pm.  Now we needed to get the insurance on board. Eric had called them from home before coming to the hospital. A report was sent and I waited as they tried to decide what needed to be done.  As we all know insurance companies don't like to pay.  We are Medipac customers and this is our first claim in 15 years.  I did not want to go ahead with surgery until Medipac gave me the okay but when the surgeon gave me a ball park figure of 140,000 pesos which us about 8750.00 canadian I said do it now.

Surgery went well and there are now a bunch of metal pins in it as well as having two bone chips removed. A solid splint on the back from hand to shoulder, padding and wrapping to keep it stable. The surgeon said it went very well and hopefully I'll get full function back. He said it is the most common elbow surgery and he does many of them.

From surgery to a private room and an Iv for pain and fluid.  I hadn't eaten that morning but there was some fresh fruit and chicken noodle vegetable soup beside my bed. They said only liquids but I ate the bit of food. The anesthetic did not bother me and food was what I needed.

Thursday morning the surgeon and the head doctor came to see me and said the surgeon Dr. Mojarro wanted me to stay until to Friday to make sure everything is okay.  Plus he wanted me on antibiotics.  The anesthesiologist also came by to see me.  He said sedation for me was light and I woke up quickly. He said for my exercise, lack of obesity and good health made the surgery and anesthetic much easier.  Good to know. Lots of nurses and doctors in the hospital all eager to help.  However all of this comes at a cost!

Thursday was spent trying to get the Insurance company to pay direct.  The insurance doctor on my case is not the easiest to deal with and seems a bit disorganized. She sent emails saying they needed my medical records before they would pay direct. They want to make sure you haven't lied on your application so they can weasel out of paying.  I'm not sure what could predispose me to falling and breaking my elbow! Then they wanted us to pay the bill, collect all the records and submit the claim to them for reimbursement.  Now I was mad!  I sent an email saying that I did not appreciate all the added stress of what they were asking while I was injured and laying in a hospital bed.  

On Friday morning I had the liason woman from the hospital come to see me and she was very helpful. She checked with hospital insurance department which helped get that in order.  The head doctor Dr, Roja came to see me Friday morning and he agreed to discharge me.  That of course depended on payment being made!  Turns out the bill ended up being $20,000.!  No way I was paying that and waiting for reimbursement!

On Thurs the insurance doctor had called Eric and said she'd faxed my GP doctor at home about medical records and hadn't received  a response.  I then called my doctor's office in canada to explain the situation and she said they hadn't received a fax but that the insurance doctor had just called about the records. Perhaps she didn't send a fax or sent it to the wrong doctor!!  Later in the day Eric called to say the insurance doctor called him and said now they would pay the hospital.  Eric gave her our credit card for our 5000 US deductible.

Our friend Trudy flew back to Canada Friday and over the last few days I sent her out to do the things we had planned.  We walked the lighthouse with Linda and Connie on Tuesday ( blog to follow) and Wednesday was Ladies Lunch at El Presidio that Trudy went to. Thursday evening was bingo and happy hour at Torres and she went with the ladies.  There was no point in her missing out because of my misfortune.

I was discharged Friday at 4pm and our friend Frank brought Eric to pick me up. I left with antibiotics and pain meds. Next Thursday I go back to have the giant heavy cast splint unwrapped to check the incision.  Hopefully we can replace it with something lighter.

First order of business when I got home was a shower.  Luckily our house has a large walk in shower that we could put a chair in as my arm needs to be supported. Did you know that you can't wash your right arm with you right arm??!!

So today is Sunday and I am still finding out all the things that require two hands.  My fingers are exposed on my left hand but I'm not allowed to use them.  Eric is doing what I can't do such as cut things up to cook, hang out or put away laundry and sweep and he's learning how to cook.  None of this is easy and there is a fair amount of pain.  Hopefully the splint cast will be off by the time we head home in 6 weeks.  Then on to physio to try and restore full function.  The elbow is the worst joint to break for loss of function.  I've been walking here for 15 years and this the first time I've broken anything.  If I had osteo it would have been much worse.

We've got lots of good friends here who will help with anything we need.  

The giant heavy albatross!

My selfie !

Breakfast on Friday.

Friday, March 4, 2022

Trudy and I take tour of the Observatorio 1873

Thursday morning and Trudy and I are on our way to the Observatorio.  Thursdays are 2 for 1 and since the cost is 450 pesos each we can share the cost at only 450 pesos for two.  Off to get on green bus and ride it all the way to the end down by the ferry dock.  

The blue dot is where we are in the Cerritos area and the red dot is where we were headed.  When we got on the bus is was crowded even out our way.  Lots of left over tourists still here from Carnival heading downtown.  
This blurb came off the net.  The renovations were completed and it was inaugerated in March of 2021.
We walked up the hill from the bus and almost walked by the entrance to the observatorio.  Upon entering you buy and ticket for the tour and start with recorded presentation of the history of Mazatlan and the observatory.  

Gorgeous plantings everywhere and all very colorful and tropical. 

Do you see Trudy?

The lighthouse in the distance.  We were told that they are going to build a zipline from the lighthouse to the entrance of the Observatorio which is a distance of almost 3/4 of a mile.  Yikes!
The funicular that takes you 12 at a time to the top. 
We are now on top after a ride up.
We started off with a tour of the very large aviary which houses parrots, macaws, lovebirds, toucans and flamingos.  We were told that these are all rescue birds.  

Our tourguide said this was a parakeet but I think it's a lovebird.  It actually belongs to this young man and he called it to him.  Many of the birds were quite friendly and were happy to land on heads and pick off your glasses if you weren't careful.

Still finishing breakfast and oblivious to people walking by. 
Next up was a tour of the actual observatory and a chat about it's history.  Although it was never a house it has been set up as one to show the history of the area.  
An old coffee grinder. 

The walls are covered in old photos of the Carnival parade, the historic district and the celebrities who visited in the early days.  Mazatlan has a very long and rich history.
Trudy is a cyclist and I'd love to see her ride this one!
All the equipment to keep an eye on things.
The coffee table has guns under glass.
The old cash register.
The views from the top are spectacular and would be amazing at night. 
Looking up at the ceiling. 
Now we are at the sky bar where we had a drink....sin alcohol.   Lemonade for me and pineapple juice for Trudy.  Imagine watching the sunset from here.
Happy me.
Overlooking the ferry dock and Stone Island.  Lots of places to sit and relax.  

After our drink we were free to wander around and revisit some of the attractions.  Trudy thought she'd like the chandelier out in her garden!

The very rare and elusive Toucan.  A zoomed shot from outside the aviary. 
This is the cactus and agave area.  It looks like they are in holes in concrete but it's actually perfectly raked white sand.  Many interesting plants that Trudy and I as gardeners are not familiar with.  
Isn't this one interesting.
Unusual and very beautiful.
Massive leaves.

After finding our way down from the top we were off to find some lunch.  A long walk over the hill to finally get down to the malecon.   We walked for about an hour past Olas Altas until we got to the seafood restaurants on the beach.  
This is the Continuity of Life Statue with the dolphins. 
This is where the fish boats pull up to unload their catch and where our lunch will come from...almost there!
One of the many Carnival statues.  
The pelicans were busy begging but were being ignored.
Pick a restaurant...any restaurant as it was now after 1pm and we were hot, sweaty, hungry and tired.  
A bottle of water and a fried fish.  Pargo or red snapper.  You don't order this if you are afraid of bones or don't eat fish skin.  Trudy and I both ordered the same thing.
Trudy says " Yum, yum!"
This is what was left on my plate...a bit of rice and a pile of bones. 
Trudy was much more tidy with her lunch and her fish still looked like a fish.  She also got a coconut dessert from a passing vendor but my hands were too greasy to take a picture!  Orange colored vanilla coconut which she brought home with her for later.  She said it was chewy but good. 

So...all in all a very full day.  What did we think of the tour?  The tour guide was a young woman who was very fluent, the gardens and exhibits were excellent and all round good experience.  As far as the cost I would say that 450 pesos for two people is plenty.  After having a tour it would be nice to go back and just wander through on your own which you can do. 

A good day!