Nowhere But In Mexico

By Iris Slocombe

 

hippocratic-oathChristmas 2010 was about as unusual for me as can be imagined. I was writing a few last minute e-Mails before getting ready for the “carol sing” at church. I managed to get tangled in the castors on my husband Bert’s desk chair, and in a bad error of judgment clutched at that chair to try to stop myself falling. Of course it did not do anything but roll away, and dump me on the tile floor with a very painful left hip, as in, “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!”

Bert called our primary care doctor. And after several calls to his cell-phone we discovered he was already more than 100 kilometers away from Guadalajara on his way to a family Christmas gathering. He listened sympathetically, and said, “Don’t worry Mr. Slocombe, I’m coming back right now and will take care of everything for her.

“Call the Red Cross and go to Chapala so they can take preliminary films. I want her admitted to the Hospital Versalles on Alcade, under the care of Dr. X,” and he named Doctor X (who would also have to give up his own plans for Christmas Eve with his family.) “I will arrange for the hospital ambulance to meet you in Chapala and take you there.” All went as smoothly as “I can’t believe it’s not butter!” What utter kindness! Where but in Mexico? The X-Ray showed I had broken the neck of my left femur and would need surgery, equivalent to a hip prosthesis. There went our Christmas.

I had to wait a long time for surgery to be scheduled, because my blood clotting time was at a dangerous level thanks to all the blood thinner medications I have taken since my open heart surgery in 2004. All the hospital staff was kind and efficient. My room was large and as well-furnished as a private room in most U.S. hospitals. The food? Best not discussed.

Just before we left the hospital our land-lady called to tell Bert he would not have to worry about what we would have for dinner, she had made chicken soup for us. Once we were home, she came to visit me with a bowl of hot soup! Delicious! And she sat down by my bed and spoon-fed me. I truly believe that nowhere but in Mexico would I have encountered such consistent kindness and care for my welfare.

For a doctor to abandon his own holiday plans in order to take care of my problems, not in the States I don’t think nor anywhere else we have lived. To save my having to travel to have the sutures removed, he will come to the house and take care of me himself. So all I have to do now is learn to use my still painful Left leg, and get myself going again.

 

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