Jan 06, 2020

Gold medal bedpan aerobics

Now that I have been home 48 hours I am feeling somewhat better.  I am no longer wonky nor nauseous. I certainly am not back to my normal self, that is going to take some time.  But I can see that day by day I am going to improve.

I am checking into the hospital here on Friday morning. That black thing is my knee brace. I won’t lie, I was very apprehensive as this point.  Not about using the Mexican medical system but just about having to have surgery.

There are standard rooms and VIP rooms, this is the standard room.  Colin slept on that beige sofa, the large cushions came off.

We never even turned on the TV.  The toilet and walk in shower are to the right.

Back from surgery.  I was chilled to the bone and asked for a pile of blankets.

One thing that stands out from my time in hospital is using the bedpan.  Way back when I had each of my hips replaced I was helped out of bed within hours and placed on a beside commode.  Not here.  I was expected to remain in bed the entire time.  It wasn’t so bad at first because I had been fasting prior to surgery.  However I eventually had to go especially as I hydrated myself with lots of water.  I had to use my upper body strength of which I have little, plus I was somewhat still dopey from the anesthetic, to raise myself as the plastic pan was slid under me. Half the time it only got halfway under as it would get stuck in the bedding.  Try and try again.  Then I had to balance precariously.  Oh and the nurse just stood there and watched me.  I definitely felt under pressure to perform. As the hours passed throughout the night I got better at it. Gosh Colin even had to do it once for me. I was on bedrest for a full 23 hours.

I was given cryotherapy every four hours so did not get much sleep.  There were also interruptions to check blood pressure, give me pain meds, etc.  Each time I was roused from my light sleep I had to pee.  By mid morning the next day I think I was in good form, likely gold medal stuff.

This is the portable cryotherapy unit that I also have here with me on the Isla. It was loaned to me at no charge by my doctor.  Basically you fill the base with ice and a bit of water and it circulates to create the cold.

This pad lays over the knee and is wrapped up with a compression band to hold it into place.

The nursing staff were great in that each time I rang the call bell someone arrived within two to three minutes.  However not once did anyone wash their hands after handling the bedpan and before injecting my meds into my IV.  There were no towels, nor facecloths in the room, nor was I ever offered anything to freshen up with or to wash my hands.  Fortunately I had several individual packets of Sani wipes.  The mattress was very hard but the sofa that Colin slept on was even harder. He did sleep though.  I also fell into a deep sleep for just over two hours.  However I think that is when I crimped my arm which created a blockage in my IV.  I had already had the first IV go interstitial coming back from the recovery room.

I vaguely remember that the surgeon came to check on me at the end of day.  There were staff changes, a nutritionist visit, head nurse visits and and the hospital supervisor visits.  So much coming and going.  There was wifi but it was very slow.  That did not bother me as I was mostly out of it but it would have been nice for Colin.

The tuna sandwich that Colin got for me the first night. He had had this for his dinner earlier. Three layers of very fresh bread with seeds, toasted and filled with the most delicious mix of tuna, tomato and lettuce. I could barely eat half as I was somewhat nauseous and really not very hungry. It was only 65 pesos/4.40CAD/3.40USD.  I would go back there in a heart beat to have it again.  Colin got me a coffee the next morning and I have to say it was the best coffee I have had.

As I did not eat meat, dinner was a cheese sandwich, which was  a piece of some sort of Mexican cheese on bread with a piece of lettuce. Colin had gone down to the cafeteria for his supper and it was great so he went and got a tuna sandwich for me.  By the way the prices of the food in the cafeteria were very inexpensive and the food was great.  A nutritionist came to see me before breakfast to offer me some options.  I was served a smallish omelet with cheese, tomato and onion.  It came on a plate covered in Saran Wrap which was covered with the usual food warmer.  On top of the Saran Wrap were two tortillas wrapped in foil.  Everything was hot.  A lovely surprise and the food was tasty.  Both meals came with juice and a large serving of cut up fresh fruit.

Change of shift. The cryotherapy machine was new to some of them.

About 10AM the surgeon came and had me stand up ever so slowly. He was extremely cautious and helped me walk a few steps.  I have to say that I had no pain whatsoever.  That is until we were checking out but we got my prescription filled asap and I have been mostly fine since then.  Here I just use an ice pack if I feel any twinges. I am taking one pill every 24 hours for pain which works very well. Plus I am also on antibiotics.  I see the doctor in two weeks to have my stitches removed.

First time I saw my un bandaged knee. Note the blue pen check mark indicating that they had the correct knee to do the surgery on.

Dr. Ceravantes listening to my large list of questions.

He was ever so gentle and caring.

Over all I am very pleased with my surgery and how everything went.  I feel that the surgeon went above and beyond as did the staff.  I would not hesitate to have surgery done here again should I require it. At no time was I ever rushed by any of the medical staff and always felt that I was the most important person there.

Colin waiting for me to come through the door in a wheelchair.  The orderly placed me ever so carefully into the car being careful not to jar my knee.

It was a most positive experience but I am happy to be back on home turf.



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22 responses so far

22 Responses to “Gold medal bedpan aerobics”

  1. Nancy & Doug says:

    Glad to hear things went so well, Contessa. Hoping for your speedy recovery (mostly pain free) as soon as possible. Hugs…..

  2. Shirley Joiner says:

    Several years ago I had the opportunity to see a hospital in a small coastal town in Guatemala when a friend of mine was injured and spent the night in the hospital for observation. While it was not the mega hospitals we are accustomed to in the US, it was clean and efficient. The doctor was well trained. Aides were not employed, thus the patient was expected to have someone provide meals and assist with grooming, etc., which was not difficult to do. We too often think our way is the only way and it is reassuring to find that simpler ways can work also. You had a difficult decision to make regarding surgery in Mexico vs an arduous trip back to Canada in the winter followed by a long wait for scheduling. You did the right thing in asking for recommendations for a doctor and you made an informed decision. As you talked about your surgery, I kept remembering all the walking you did last year on your trip to Europe. I wish you a speedy recovery.

    • contessa says:

      Some of the even smaller clinics here expect family to bring in food. I loved this comment. You make me wantto get mobile so that I can get traveling again.

  3. Deb says:

    Glad to hear things are going well. Hopefully recovery is quick and mostly pain free. Good luck.

  4. Don & Kathy McKelvay says:

    Congratulations and it seems you are well on the way to recovery. As we have had way too much experience in Canadian and Texas hospitals, I was so very pleased to read, and see, how everything went exceedingly well for you in Mexico. Feeling you are the most important person in the world gives great comfort. I am always amazed at the differences we experience in the three countries. The only problem I have ever had was from my previous Canadian dentist who, when I told him I had a crown done in Mexico for about $210 US, he was not pleased and made derogatory comments. I was impressed with the Mexican dentist, their staff and that one usually only had to wait for an hour to be seen and the crowns were made in the USA, oh, and the dentist was trained in the USA! My last crown here in London, ON was over $1,000 CDN.

  5. Maxx Trails says:

    That was really interesting and I’m glad it was a mostly positive stay. Several years ago our son was in a hospital in Thailand and he said it was incredibly clean and had excellent staff. Somehow we don’t expect that of some other countries but, from what I hear, we should.

  6. SandyM says:

    Contessa, hope you are feeling better and better each day. It was very reassuring to read of the fine care you received in hospital in Mazatlan. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Cat in KC, MO says:

    Just wanted you to know that I have been thinking of you and Colin lot, and am glad to know all the details and about your wonderful treatment while in the hospital. I know several people who have had a very pleasant experience with Mexican hospitals, doctors, dentists, etc.

    Sending BIG ((hugs)) to you and Colin, Contessa!!! xo

  8. SO glad to hear you’re doing well and had a good experience!

  9. Rae says:

    So glad you’re doing well and have kept your sense of humour. 🙂

    You got better care in a nicer hospital than I’ve ever experienced in Canada. I don’t have a ton of experience with healthcare here, but what I have experienced has always been way better than anything I ever had up north (especially dental!). I’m so glad you had a great experience and aren’t back in BC waiting for this surgery and getting worse along the way. Now, you get to recover with view of the ocean and can salvage the rest of your winter. Things are finally looking up. *hugs*

  10. Hello Contessa!

    So glad to read of your successful surgery. And thank you for posting the pictures and providing the details. It’s always interesting to find out what is involved in these kinds of circumstances.

    I’m curious to know what kind of pain medication they gave you? The things they offer here in the States are usually worthless: Tramadol, or similar.

    Wishing you a Speedy Recovery!


    blog: Wahnfried der Nomad

    • contessa says:

      Welcome to the comment section of my blog Michael. FYI I did check out your blog. I am on 120 mg of Doscoxel Etoricoxib. I take one pill every 24 hours for ten days. It also contains an anti inflammatory. My only concern is that way happens in a few days if I want to decrease my dosage as I likely won’t take a full ten days of pain meds. Here is an English link to the medication https://www.cochrane.org/CD004309/SYMPT_single-dose-oral-etoricoxib-acute-postoperative-pain-adults

      I was also given a script to fill for severe or intense pain and it is Skudexa which is a mix of 75mg of Tramadol and 25mg of dexketoprofen.

  11. Wow, that looks newer/nicer than a lot of medical facilities in Canada! And your knee looks so clean and tidy, hardly can see the stitches! Glad you have little/no pain – now to heal up!

  12. Glad the experience was a good one. Other then cleaning their hands even the Canadian Health Care could take some lessons from that Hospital.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your recovery.

    It’s about time.

  13. Kathryn Tycho says:

    Glad to hear all went well. Your comment about no upper body strength could be rectified with a couple of light sets of weights and a simple routine. I do this every three days. As you know muscle loss is a serious problem as we age. Get strong and active soon!

  14. Joyce F in Kansas says:

    Glad to hear all went well and that you were well treated. You’re on the road to full recovery! Maybe not the way you expected to spend your winter but thank goodness for skilled medical care.

  15. Dolores says:

    Re: bedpan… I recently had to have one in emergency room… Quite the experience!! I had to go SO bad tho, overcame my trepidation about performance !!!! So I am right there with you… But only that once, getting ready for surgery had the “Foley catheter”. Then day after that was taken out n was up n using walker w/ assistance to get back n forth to restroom :). And what is it about not freshing up or keeping oneself clean? Was given warm washcloth a couple times but had to ask for it and to brush teeth most of time, guess it depends on nurse on duty..
    Am glad u had a good experience tho and all going well….
    It is wonderful but to be home in own surrounding

  16. Looks like you got top-notch care. Can’t imagine the hassle and expense of flying back to Canada.

    • contessa says:

      No sense in doing that as I would have had to wait at least four months to see an orthopaedic surgeon. And how would we have got the RV back to Canada?

  17. Croft Randle says:

    So sorry Contessa. I was away in Victoria and too busy to read most of my regular Blogs so I missed out on your whole adventure! I am happy you did so well with the surgery and are on the mend.

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