Dec 31, 2019

I have no idea how this happened

We went to the Imaging Clinic yesterday morning to pick up my MRI results.  I was handed a very large envelope containing my MRI CD, actual X-rays taken from that and a report written in Spanish.  I had to pay extra to get it translated and that arrived today.  I was supposed to meet the medical doctor who is the head of the clinic but he was delayed a further three hours.

King David, one of the owners of this RV park had given Colin a name and direct phone number for a doctor at the Marina Hospital.  So we called him and he said to just come there and he would meet us.  We had about a 45 minute wait and then he spent over an hour with us and we had no appointment.  He was detailed and informative.

Waiting to see Dr. Ivan.  At this point I only knew that I needed surgery.

I have a tear in my lateral meniscus ( right knee ), except the English translation says that I also have a tear in my medial meniscus as well.  Dr. Ivan did a physical examination, looked at the knee x-rays, then at the MRI x-rays.  I was so stunned that I had this problem that I can’t remember what he showed us on the MRI x-rays. Colin says that he only referred to the one rupture and that it was not severe.  However the orthopedic surgeon is still on Christmas vacation and he was not certain when he would be back.  Meanwhile I was fitted with a knee brace.  As long as I keep my leg up and don’t walk too much within the RV, I don’t have to wear it.  But the minute I head out the RV door I need to have it on.  I also am on two different anti inflammatories and pain meds. I have to go back next Monday morning to be reassessed and to see the surgeon if he is there.

My head has been spinning.  Needless to say, I have done a good deal of Googling and have made several phone calls and sent dozens of emails. I hope that the travel medical insurance will pay for the surgery here, however they may not consider this an emergency and probably would rather fly Colin and I back to Canada.  They will pay up to $2000.00 to have a professional driver return our RV to our home.

There is no point flying home as I would then have to go through the system, see my GP, then be referred to an orthopedic  surgeon and then finally surgery.  I would be lucky to have my surgery before next October.  My wait time to see a surgeon re my hip replacements was ten months.  Plus we have no suitcases and the RV is full of our stuff, including my desktop computer and five guitars.  We can’t travel with that on an airplane.

As I had my knee brace on – which by the way does not bend much in terms of getting in and out of an Uber car nor an easy step into the launcha – we stopped at El Velero.  We were both hungry and frankly I wanted a margarita.  I had visions of this being my final meal out in Mazataln this season.

We still have to get the RV back home as well.  So we could simply pack up and drive north. North!!  I don’t think so, no way could we drive all the way home.  Likely we could get to Las Vegas and put the RV in storage, pack up the Jeep and drive home in the snow.  They are supposed to get up to 11 inches of the white stuff today.  Plus we still don’t have a generator, that won’t happen until February.

My new office for who knows how long.

So the only options are to not have surgery and just sit around until early March or pay for the surgery ourselves ( that is if the insurance does not come through ). No idea how much but it will be at least $8,000.00, could be USD. All of this will have to wait until we see the doctors again on Monday.

So how did this happen?  Usually a meniscus tear happens due to trauma or severe twisting.  That never happened to the best of our knowledge.  I did read that this can happen to older people based on their bones. The only good news is that I am not bone on bone and don’t need a knee replacement.

My head is reeling.  Obviously we will not be heading out to the Plazuela Machado for dinner tonight. Plus we are having a very dreary New Years Eve, cool, damp with rain showers. The forecast is for up to two inches of rain by end of day tomorrow.

One of the three ships in port today. It certainly was not a fun day locally.  Hope they have a special night on board.

……and so ends 2019.


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20 responses so far

20 Responses to “I have no idea how this happened”

  1. Maxx Trails says:

    Aww Contessa what a sad end to 2019 🙁 I really hope things work out for you and you don’t have to return home.

    • contessa says:

      Actually I have had a bad time of it since we left home on October 25th what with all the RV repairs, no A/C, then my 12 day cold and then the knee thing. Surely 2020 is going to be better.

  2. Dee Tillotson says:

    Contessa, all I can say is no one knows the knee pain until they have experienced it; I’ve had the orthoscopic surgery on one knee about ten years ago. After playing sports in my younger days and then walking around in spike heels at work for years and years, it caught up to me in my 60s. The orthopedic surgeon explained that I had some torn cartiledge (or ragged catiledge) which had to be trimmed off.

    Here in the states, you get your blood tests and MRI done; those are submited to the surgeon to discuss with you; the date is set for the orthoscopy; this is done start to finish in no less than three weeks and is done outpatient probably in a hospital similar to one you visited your friend in on the way to Mexico. (By the way you have 14 orthopedic surgeons alone in Lake Havazu.). If you could find out from your insurance company if it would pay for surgery in Lake Havazu and do your prescribed physical there, then how great that would be. The RV park would be there and the lake. There are more orthopedic surgeons there than you could shake a stick at. Outpatient services and therapy will get you in and out very quickly.

    Decisions! Decisions!

    • contessa says:

      Dee, If they won’t do the surgery here in Mexico there is no way they would pay for me to have it in the US. Mexico is much much cheaper than the US. It sure would be perfect if I can get it done here.

  3. Gail Todd says:

    Ask if you can get a set of 3 hyaluronic acid injections in that knee. That bought me some time until I could get a knee replacement. I had severe osteoarthritis and cartilage loss, but those injections brought relief in hours, and lasted nearly a year. Good luck. Here in the US, those injections were about $ 1300 apiece, but Medicare paid for all of it. Hopefully Mexico has a better price.

    • contessa says:

      A knee replacement is a much more serious surgery than a meniscus repair. Good to know about those injections should my knees ever become bone on bone.

  4. Sally says:

    My friend had same thing. Orthoscopy is a short outpatient procedure for a tear. Just relax for a couple months, take it easy and repair it in April when you get home. Enjoy your camping friends and take advantage of the downtime.

    • contessa says:

      I would love to do that but once we get home in April, I first have to see my GP who will then refer me to an orthopedic surgeon. The wait to see one is many months, then you have to wait for a time on the OR which is often 2 3- months more.

  5. Don & Kathy McKelvay says:

    Contessa, know all of your blog friends are wishing you the best. One good thing is you are where you want to be in ‘warm’ Mexico. Try to relax and enjoy what you can. Hopefully the insurance company will let you get the surgery in Mexico soon. Certainly seems the response time in Mexico (and the USA) is way better than here in Canada.

    • contessa says:

      I probably could have the surgery tomorrow if I wanted to. Mexico has a great medical system. Fingers crossed that the insurance company comes through.

  6. bonkers says:

    I’ve had 3 meniscus surgeries ( 1996 – 2006). Each time, the dr asked what happened and each time I said ‘ nothing, all of a sudden I was in pain’. The surgeries were easy: a morning in the hospital, 3 days off work, and some PT.
    (By 2011 I was bone on bone, but wasn’t on Medicare yet so I couldn’t afford knee replacement surgery. I had cortisone shots twice; the 1st one lasted 2 weeks, the 2nd one 15 minutes. Had both knees replaced this past summer; the surgery was fine but PT was brutal.)
    Prior to the knee replacement surgery I used Dicofenac Potassium and it worked wonders on the swelling. However when the swelling returned, it would come back with a vengeance, so you really have to keep it under control. Seems like everyone has different experiences with their knee problems …. what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for the next.
    Hopefully your meds will kick in soon. That will buy you some time so that you’re not forced to make a decision out of desperation. Fingers crossed for speedy relief !

    • contessa says:

      Thank you for sharing your experiences, it always helps to gather more information. The swelling has started to down but now I feel more pain. Strange.

  7. Dolores says:

    So very sorry this is happening, so many decisions… Certainly puts a crimp in plans n relaxing…

  8. Well crap, the only good thing is now at least you know what is wrong. Tough decisions to be sure. It is worth finding out how much it will really cost if you get it done in Mazatlan, it might be lower than you think. Hugs…and wine…and chocolate…and shrimp. Anything to make you feel better 🙂

  9. SandyM says:

    Happy New Year 2020 Contessa and Colin.

    We are so sorry for the knee problems you are having – Hoping you can get things all sorted out Monday when you return to DR. This has been a frustrating, painful time for you and raining to boot. Hopefully the sun returns tomorrow and problems get resolved Monday….at least some of them.

    We are Guayabitos bound January 14 – flying to PV. Looks like we will miss visiting Mazatlan once again but happy we will have a couple months in Guayabitos.

    Hugs to you both.

  10. Deb says:

    Happy New Year, although I’m sure it’s not been the best time leading up to it. Hopefully you figure out what’s best for you and are able to carry through with it. Perhaps a call home to your own DR might also give you some ideas on treatment and options. Good luck.

    • contessa says:

      I did call my MD back in Kelowna and that is how I found out that it is a 4 month wait for an emergency referral to an orthopaedic surgeon. That is why I was getting the surgery done here as long as I could afford it.

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