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Surgery in Mexico at Star Medica Hospital

blogs/blog-0651715001375883650.jpgSaturday, August 3, 2013

After traveling all day on Saturday, August 3, 2013, my driver had already called me and left a message on my cell phone and was waiting for me at the front of the ElPaso Airport baggage claim area. Wow! We drove across the border into Mexico with no problems; they didn’t even ask to see my passport. The driver dove up to the front doors of the hospital, unloaded my suitcase (be certain that you tip the driver especially if it’s a weekend) and took me into Star Medica Hospital in Juarez, Mexico where I was met by Dr. Calderon at the admissions office. He had all the Papers in order for my admission and consent to surgery. He personally assisted the admissions clerk with checking me in, the payment and took me to x-ray for my chest x-ray and then to my surprise upgraded me to a much better room on the 3rd floor. He also took me to the 3rd floor after x-ray, weighed me and measured my height, then took me and my luggage to my room! You can’t get this kind of service In the US! ( I have had 2 deliveries and surgery 2 times in the US and believe me, I was not treated this nice at all).

After I got settled into the super nice room, two nurses came and performed an EKG, took blood and started an IV. It wasn’t long before a nice young man came to transport me to surgery. While in the pre op room there were about 5 nurses and an anesthesiologist waiting for me. They were all smiling and talking to me along with putting medicine into my IV. The next thing I remember was being wheeled into a surgery suite with nice Mexican music playing. At this point I have not met my surgeon Dr. Jose Rodriguez. He told me later, that the anesthesiologist put me under before he could talk to me, but he did talk to me anyway.

I woke up in recovery with the very same smiling nurses. I will tell you something, the nurses at this hospital are some of the most beautiful young women I have ever seen in Mexico. The young man wheeled me back to my room where I slept for a couple of hours. I’m glad I got that couple of hours of sleep because the gas pain kept me up all Saturday night. It was horrible pain! I couldn’t lie down because that is when they would start. My mouth and lips was so dry, good thing I brought my Burt’s Bees along. The nurses had 2 bottles of water in my room for rinsing and spitting only. I was not allowed anything to drink, just swoosh and spit. I took the IV with me several times out into the hallway and walked around the floor to help relieve the gas. This does work and blowing on the little horn they give you to use.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

It’s Sunday and I still have gas pains, but not as bad as last night. There is free wifi here in the hospital, but I can’t get my computer to go online. The nurses tried to help me, but they couldn’t get me online either. They told me that several of the patients can’t get on it either. My cable wasn’t working either, but the nurses called maintenance and a man came right up and got me another remote control. Now I am watching TV in Spanish. The nurse came to my room and told me I could take a shower. I took her up on that. She changed my bed and made it fresh again. The ladies come and clean my room every day.

One of the doctors came to see me this morning and said that I could get some ice chips! Yeah! He also said I could take my prescription medications if I chew them up before swallowing with the ice chips. For the first time in several years, this morning, my blood pressure was 100/60! After the vitals were taken, she did a blood sugar on me. I told her that I am not diabetic, but I held out my finger anyway and the test showed I was 126, high for someone fasting for 2 days and not being diabetic. I think is from the IV solutions they are pumping into me. The nurse came into the room with clean bed sheets, towel and new pajamas and told me that I could take a shower. I didn’t have to worry about the drain and she unhooked my IV. I felt so much better after the shower.

All 3 doctors came to see me this afternoon. Dr. Rod told me that he took 80% of my stomach, stapled it with 3 rows of titanium staples and also sutured it all together. I have stitches in the muscle of my stomach that will dissolve and the drain has no stitches. After having my first meal since Friday evening for dinner, I was given a nice lunch tray including chicken broth, pear juice, a bucket of chipped ice, tangerine flavored jello and hot tea. I could only eat a couple spoons of broth and some jello, and then I was full. Later this afternoon, the nurse came to walk me down to x-ray for the swallowing test. YUCH! That liquid was horrible; it tasted like liquid cough syrup from when I was a kid. I stood there and could watch the liquid go through my esophagus to my stomach and onto the small intestine. After the doctor escorted me back to my room, I had to brush my teeth to get that horrid taste out of my mouth. A few minutes later, the same doctor came back to take my drain out, didn’t feel a thing, and he put a band aid over the opening. He told me to take the band aid off when I take a shower (no baths) and put a new one on after. Next, a nurse came into my room and took the IV out. I’m glad because the IV was in my hand and it hurt every time they would flush it or add medication. The doctor brought me a DVD of my x-ray swallowing test to take home with me.

(By the way, I am on 3 prescriptions and they have to be taken every day. I asked the doctor how I could take them my first post-op day and he said to smash them up to swallow them)

I had to get up during the night because I had a headache and my mouth was very dry. I walked up to the nurses’ station with my empty ice bucket and asked for some ice and something for a headache. I was instructed to go back to my room and they would bring it to me. The nurse brought my pain pill and a new bucket of ice to me and told me to put the pill under my tongue. I went back to sleep after eating some ice and the pill had dissolved.

Monday, August 5, 2013

It’s Monday morning and I think all the gas is gone. I was able to lie down and sleep last night without any pain except the headache, and there is none this morning. I feel like going back home today, but my flight can’t be changed from tomorrow morning. I plan on taking a shower this morning, getting dressed into my regular clothes and just hanging out here. The time zone here is mountain time so I am still getting used to everything being one hour behind. My stomach is growling a little this morning, and then it stops. I don’t know if that is hunger or just healing. My breakfast this morning consisted of Orange jello, hot tea, pear juice and crushed ice, yummy!

 

I asked one of the nurses if I could weigh myself this Monday afternoon and she agreed to help me. To my surprise, I am down 16 pounds! I have had a headache since last evening and I believe it is my system crying out for caffeine. The doctor said I could have caffeine so I was delivered a large cup of hot tea with splenda sweetener. I hope this takes care of the headache because the pain pills are not.

One thing the doctor did tell me about eating is that you should eat the warm foods first to prime your stomach, then the cold. Always eat with protein first, then vegetables and add some fruit if you are still hungry. I haven’t eaten very much because I get full after a few bites of jello and a couple sips of their good chicken broth. Lunch today consisted of pear juice, lime jello, decaf hot tea and a bucket of yummy crushed ice. I never thought I would love eating crushed ice! Maybe when I get home, I will give the shaved ice people a visit and get a sugar free goody!

I have been told that the man who will drive me back to the airport Tuesday morning will be here at 8 am. Since going back into the US is worse than coming into Mexico, it could take a couple of hours. There is high security alert at this time. My flight home is at 11:55 am to Dallas, then on to Gulfport, MS. I am worried about the prescriptions I had to buy ($50) to take home with me getting through the TSA people at the border. I have a written RX for them, so I hope that will be enough. A surprise, another belly shot for blood clots, man, those things sting bad!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I got up early this morning, took a shower and dressed. I asked for breakfast and it was sent to me with pear juice, lime jello and hot tea. I took a few bites of the jello and that was all I could eat. Next thing I knew, the driver called my room 30 minutes early and said he was downstairs waiting for me in the lobby. I grabbed my bags and headed downstairs. He was right there and assisted me to his van. We drove to the border and it was our luck that the DEA was there today. We had to wait for 35 minutes for them to go through all of my prescriptions including the ones I brought with me! We were flagged to go through and on to the ElPaso Airport. I am here now waiting for my flight back to Gulfport, MS. I feel fine, just a little groggy. I am looking forward to being home in my own bed and with my husband and pets.

If any of you ever need encouragement or advice, please don’t hesitate to ask me. I will keep posting my progress. Thanks for listening to me!



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Did you use Belite?

Yes, I used Bi-lite and Sharon was my coordinator. Everything went so smooth and with being in Mexico by myself, everyone was so supportive.

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