At the bottom of this post we have left contact information. We will try to remember to do this on each post.
One of the most frequently asked questions is about our daily routine in Tijuana and how his health had progressed. Most people want to know how long it took to see a difference. Altogether our stay in Tijuana lasted five weeks. Some are recommended for shorter periods of time, some for longer. Each week was quite routine, but the progress was notable week by week.
Everything was quite well arranged by the clinic: a driver picked us up at the San Diego airport and drove us across the border, to the clinic. (some are taken directly to the hotel depending on which day one arrives) I’m not sure what we were expecting, but I can tell you that everyone we met was very helpful and understanding. They truly care about you as a person, you’re not just another number.
Week one: Arriving in Tijuana my husband was in a lot of pain, taking a narcotic every three hours. His eyes were yellow, his skin a yellowish-grey colour. He could not keep anything straight in his head, and got winded going up one flight of stairs, to the point that he had to sit down to rest while I unlocked our hotel door.
Each day the driver for the clinic, Julio, arrived at the hotel at 8:45, with a smile on his face. At the clinic everything was so different from the healthcare in the U.S. The Dr and the nurse (yes the SAME Dr and the SAME nurse day in and day out, it’s fabulous!) took the time to explain everything that they were doing. Each day Richard would have an IV put in (most people are able to receive a temporary port but he was not), then for about 5 hours he would be pumped with vitamins, receive various treatments depending on the day, and served breakfast. His day concluded with a sauna and a shower, and then lunch. We would go “home” to the hotel, where Richard would proceed to sleep the entire night. And when i say the entire night, I mean the ENTIRE afternoon and night. Needless to say I watched a LOT of Netflix and played a LOT of solitaire.
Gar Hildenbrand and his lovely wife, Christeene, visit the clinic every Monday and Thursday afternoons.They come to visit, to educate and to spread their good cheer! They also bring things from the states that one cannot find in Tijuana.
Week two: No more narcotics! The Drs gave Rich a prescription for another pain reliever and weaned him off the narcotics. Treatments at the clinic were the exact same as the first week, but now we knew what to expect. His mind was still foggy and he doesn’t even remember much of the first two weeks there. (actually he doesn’t remember much of June 17th on..) Mostly Richard was still tired, slept a lot at the hotel. Mostly I played more solitaire and watched a lot of Netflix.
Week three: This was when the notable progress began. Same old same old at the clinic, but Rich was socializing more with the other patients. Anyone who knows Rich, knows that he is a VERY social person so this to me was a great sign! He was not winded going up the flight of stairs anymore, and after a nap we would usually go for a short walk. His colouring, which had been quite yellowish-grey because of being jaundice, was back to a normal flesh tone. Also, because his blood pressure was too low, they took him off the statin drugs he had been on for the past 7 years! At the end of the third week, we hired Julio to take us on a little field trip down the coast for lunch and a bit of shopping. It felt good to get out of the hotel and out of the routine… very spirit lifting.
Week four: Wow! What a difference! When we would arrive “home” from the clinic Rich would ask if I wanted to go for a walk! What??!! And he played cards WITH me! Even watched a Netflix series with me… still took naps, but again anyone who knows the Beres men knows that they can fall asleep on command within 30 seconds. His appetite had returned, which I took full advantage of, “suggesting” local restaurants. He started going into the hotel courtyard to visit with other patients, sharing his testimony and trying to lift THEIR spirits. His energy was back and his social-butterfly-ness was starting to annoy me again… this was a good sign, trust me. (he has a habit of saying “I’ll be right back” and then disappear for an hour or more) Family back in the states were asking how we could be sure that Rich was getting better. Well he was finished with ALL pain relievers, no more pain at all! and frankly, they couldn’t see him!
Week five: Making plans to return to the U.S. That was pretty much all that was on our minds. Other than the treatments at the clinic the last week was spent booking flights, revisiting restaurants, walking on the boardwalk at the beach, and Skype-ing with family. Rich’s energy just improved more, and his laughter had returned, but we were anxious to get back home to our new normal. And yes, we cried when we said good-bye to everyone.
Don’t get me wrong, there were many emotional highs and lows along the five weeks, but we’ll talk about that in another post…
You can email Rich and Laurie at firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Andrews Clinic, Tijuana, Mexico US#(619)730-0787 -or- email@example.com (oh yeah, and more often than not, Dr Munoz will answer the phone… when does THAT ever happen, a DOCTOR answering his office phone? Love that man!)