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Open Roads Forum  >  RVing in Mexico and South America

 > Two Medical Crises their Resolution and Costs

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Talleyho69

Playa la Ropa, Zihuatanejo, Mexico

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Posted: 11/10/20 03:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We had a rough October. Things are healing nicely, so I thought this information would be good to share. We became eligible for Medicare through the US this year and have decided not to purchase part B because we do not live in the US nor do we plan to. At least for now and the foreseeable future, we do not plan to purchase medical insurance here in Mexico. That being said......

Four weeks ago we were having our evening walk around looking at our fabulous flowers with drinks in hand. Lifting an anthurium leaf I bumped a wasp nest and was stung once on the middle finger. Man those hurt!!! Wasn't the first time, probably won't be the last. Thirty minutes later the hives started, all over me all at once. I quickly took two Benedryl. Ten minutes later they started in my mouth. No other problems, but hey, let's be careful. So we took the roast chicken out of the microwave and headed to the private hospital 10 to 15 minutes away. We got fairly close when I passed out due to low blood pressure. Next I knew I was on a bed with an IV in my hand, two bags of fluid feeding it and a heart rate/blood pressure/oxygen level reader on my finger. A very nice doctor and nurse were around, and Ray was sitting next to me. Over the next hour, things improved, and we went home via a pharmacy in less than two hours. Good to know, it was just after 9pm, Zihuatanejo had rolled up it's sidewalks except for all the pharmacies. Got my antihistamines and anti inflammatories and went home to sleep it off.

When we asked how much we owed we were warned that since they were a private hospital they were expensive. The bill was 2,100 pesos. Current exchange rate, call it $100 USD. Wow, and great care and service.

What did we learn?? We now stock liquid Benedryl, and if any of us, dogs too, get a sting Benedryl immediately, and if it's me, head to the hospital just in case and take a book while waiting for a reaction.

Epi pens are not available here and not in many countries. They are absurdly expensive and have a shelf life of under two years.

Issue two:

While our beaches were closed for three months, we moved our SUP's into the first floor from the garage so we could do some work on the garage. When the beaches reopened we took them back down the stairs into the garage. While he was carrying the black floor mats that they stand on he stumbled. He ripped off his toe nail. In about 5 days, after the pain eased he made another discovery: the corner of the heavy mats hit him very hard in the lower abdomen causing a tear and a hernia. Great. First Doctor said, "Nope, couldn't be, too small, let's do a coloscopy." All was well, total cost with CD, etc., 7,000 pesos.

Went back to the private hospital that had treated me two days prior and saw the doctor on duty. She said, "Maybe, probably." Ordered an ultrasound, blood work, everything. It was Friday. She scheduled his hernia surgery for Monday afternoon. I dropped him off at 2:30pm. Returned at 6:30 and kept him company while his spinal wore off. He was the only person in the hospital that night. I left him at 8:30 after he drank a bunch and ate his jello and applesauce. Drove home, made a drink, sat down and his cell phone rang. It was him on the Doctor's phone asking for a ride home. I hadn't even had a sip of my drink yet! He had a great night and the next day we went to breakfast and went food shopping in the mercado. It was four weeks ago yesterday and he plans to start ocean swimming with me tomorrow. Paddling soon.


OK, four surgeons, anesthesiologist, paid for a private room for the night we didn't use, everything. Again we were warned that it was a private hospital and was expensive. 35,000 pesos for everything cash, 10% more with a receipt, 4% more for a credit card. The off site tests cost 1,800 pesos. In US dollars we spent about $1,675USD, and the care and quality of everything was very high.

So far we are healthy again and our stress is gone. Medical service in Mexico is outstanding, the cost is minimal we are SO happy to be here!!!

Then there were the dental issues, but that's another story.

gbopp

The Keystone State

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Posted: 11/10/20 03:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow! [emoticon]
We're doing something wrong north of the border.

wolfe10

Texas

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Posted: 11/10/20 03:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Every time you see a TV drug commercial, a health plan/Medicare supplement commercial, an attorney ad for "bad drugs/bad medial care, JUST ADD THEM TO THE COST OF OUR HEALTH CARE.

Taking no sides/not political, but the TV networks aren't running all those spots for free! And drug companies and medical care facilities and personnel have to set aside money for mal-practice insurance and drug law suits. Part of cost of doing business NOB.

Back out those costs and medical care would by reduced substantially.


Brett Wolfe
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rexlion

Broken Arrow OK

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Posted: 11/10/20 07:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Let’s not go there. I am thrilled for the OP and encouraged to know that there are some places where medical care doesn’t cost an arm and two legs. Also that there are some places in Mexico where folks still feel relatively safe, apparently. Filing away for future reference....


Mike G.
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LadyRVer

Florida

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Posted: 11/10/20 07:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow... great on the cost and the services. Several years back I had to take my late husband to the ER to get a catherter (sp?) inserted and 15 minutes and $1400.00 he was out of there.

I just got a increase in my secondary insurance (I have Medicare Part A & B) of right at 30.00 a month, bring the total to 430.18 a month (plus Medicare...) Mexico is doing something right.

Lou Morris

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

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Posted: 11/11/20 06:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Had a similar experience earlier in the year in Mazatlan. Had to put my brother in the ER there. It was a late Friday night and he was the only patient there. They did CT scans, x-rays, various doctors involved, he ended up spending the night. When we picked him up the next morning the bill was about US$500.

Just for comparison, I spent 4 hours in an ER in Denver a couple years back. Thought I was having heart problems, turned out to be a bad case of anxiety. A few docs spoke to me for a few minutes, a few nurses too. They poked a little, gave me some nitroglycerin, settled me down, let me rest a bit to get my heart rate down and sent me on my way. The bill was about $8000.


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noteven

Turtle Island

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Posted: 11/11/20 08:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you crunch the front of a late model car...

Or break your arm...

Repairs seem to be very expensive when "insurance" is involved?

ReneeG

Meridian, Idaho

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Posted: 11/11/20 09:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

gbopp wrote:

Wow! [emoticon]
We're doing something wrong north of the border.


And how!!!


2011 Bighorn 3055RL
2011 F350 DRW 6.7L 4x4 Diesel Lariat and Hensley BD3
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Dave & Renee plus (Champ, Molly, Paris, Missy, and Maggie in spirit), Mica and Mabel, both Rat Terriers!


Reader1

Ohio

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Posted: 11/11/20 12:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Glad to hear you are doing fine. I don't know anything about the wasp that stung you but I have a bee allergy. Please be careful. I have always been told that a second sting within 6 months could be a much more severe reaction. My protocol is to take 2 benedril immediately. If that does not work I have to use the epi. Epi's are life saving if benedril does not work, but also have risks involved. They can severely impact your heart which is why we have to call 911 if it is used. Best wishes!!

Talleyho69

Playa la Ropa, Zihuatanejo, Mexico

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Posted: 11/11/20 12:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for that information.

Have you checked out liquid Benadryl? It's supposed to get into your system faster.

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