Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Nobody Leaves Without A Mention

Our good friend Norma always tickled us when she said Croft had many imaginary friends.  Imaginary friends are our blogger friends.  People, many of which we have never met and most but not all are Rver's.

Well, I had the great opportunity to make contact with "Our Awesome Travels".  Suzie and George full timed for 14 years.  Imagine that.  What a life that must have been.  George discovered this last year that he was sick.  

He spent the last couple of months in a wonderful hospice in Canada where his wife Suzie, family and friends stopped in daily to visit him.  He always had a smile on his face and was given the royal treatment.  He had wonderful meals and snacks every day and also had a beer or two as a relaxer. 

I admire his strength, and ability to spread that smile all those days that he probably didn't feel very well but did what he had to do for himself and his friends and family.

Goodbye George.  You always had wonderful posts, great cookouts, and some wise words. Blessings my friend.  Enjoy the eternal fulltiming. 

Saturday, January 11, 2020

IMSS ISSTE INSABI - A Visit To The Doctor Today

Apart from being sick, the above title is all the rage with ex-pats as our illustrious president decided to cancel the program Seguro Popular which was designated for the poor but many ex-pats found a way to get into the system.  How did they do that?  It is open to the public but was intended for the poor and those who were not formally employed and registered with the government to pay their fair share of taxes.  Many ex-pats got in on the cheap by using facilitators or as we call them in Mexico, coyotes.  Facilitators have contacts in government offices and use those contacts to get things done.  Many ex-pats shy away from doing it themselves for lack of the language and knowing how the system works.  That said, all of those services are free from the government and no one has to pay to do the paperwork.  

IMSS is the national healthcare system that is available for those who are registered workers be it in a company or independent but they pay taxes.  It's a huge system that cracks under the weight of millions of "derechohabientes" and their families.  In the case of a worker, be it a professional or blue-collar worker, they receive healthcare benefits via their employer which is required by law.  Along with the registered worker are their spouse, children, parents living in the same domicile and sometimes, disabled family members. Because I am an independent worker, I pay 10,000 pesos or $500 U.S. per year.  

Most but not all of the hospitals and facilities are in disrepair thanks to the IMSS workers union which makes it impossible to fire a person who reports to work but does nothing.   As of this year, there are no medications or very little, no supplies, as for chemo treatments forget it.  The president disqualified the providers because he said it was a monopoly(there were three major suppliers who submitted legitimate bids each year) doing this before finding replacements.  He went as far as to send a delegation to France to find cancer medications for children only to save 17,000 pesos, or roughly $1700 U.S.  Some children didn't make it while waiting for the medications.  

OTOH, there are good facilities and one of them is in Ajijic.  Also, specialty hospitals for cancer treatment, preemies, transplants (Mexico last year alone did 1600 kidney, 1300 cornea, 40 liver, and 23 heart transplants), dialysis, and bypass are top drawer facilities.  One of the issues is that the facilities are overrun with family members.  They are jammed packed with people waiting to visit relatives and they bring the whole family.  It's overwhelming in addition to unions and corruption.

Now to my visit this morning.  I have suffered from a severe head cold for six days going on seven.  I try to handle these events on my own but I guess old age is kicking in.  Funny, last six years I worked with 160 children ages 2 to 6 without any issues.  I decided it was time to get this fixed and go on.  I was missing the gym and when I went I was very limited.  

This morning was the day and off  I went.  The office is five blocks from the house and I arrived just after nine a.m.  Concerned that I was from Monterrey and not a local, they took me right in.  I have my carnet (an official booklet that records my visits) and I handed it to the nurse.  She asked me to take a seat and she would call me.  There were seven other people waiting and it was pretty quiet.  It is a nice facility, it could use some TLC but when you ask a union IMSS worker to paint they just slop it all over and it looks like shit.  Sheetrock ceilings need replacing in some areas but overall it was in good shape.  

The doctor called me and in five minutes he examined me and said my throat was very swollen, no congestion, but lots of guck.  He ordered a shot to reduce the inflammation, gave me antibiotics, pain medication, and two liquids to take for the next two days.  One is an expectorant and the other is cough syrup.  The total cost of treatment and medications that are good for two more years, ZERO.  I was in and out in 45 minutes.  

As for the new program INSABI, people are already reporting that they are being charged thousands of pesos for treatment and there are still no medications or supplies.  Typical of this president.  Instead of improving an already existing system, out of vengeance for his opposition, he has to relabel, recreate and remake it all with his mark on it.  Well here we are, now there is no reliable healthcare for the poor and indigenous.  Bless you, AMLO.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

I Think It's Time To Go Home Now

It's been a long two and a half months.  I've given notice that I will be leaving SMA on the 20th of January, which will make it a little more than ten weeks here.  

We've made the decision to get an appraisal on the house and put it up for sale.  Not much can be done if you don't have cash in hand and here in San Miguel money talks.

We're not sure what to do with the cats just yet.  We can't take them home but here there are some good home options available, or catteries as they are called and we are checking on them.  I've notified a relative so things are in the works. 

I just didn't know how long this would be and it has extended much more than we had planned.  We're not bailing ship but rather looking for alternatives until the owner can come back to SMA.

We need to also use our Aeromexico miles for a trip to Spain that is long overdue.  Too much time here to think about what to do, how to do it and when to do it.  

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year 2020

To all our friends, rvers, and family we wish all of you a wonderful new year for 2020.  We look forward to some new adventures, major life changes and of course, good health and lots of wealth.  

We spent a very lovely evening.  We went out for dinner to the Trattoria Italiana on San Antonio.  I'm sure most people know where the place is.  It is on the fork in the street heading down the street from the Mega or La Comer to centro.  We didn't have a long wait and the food was very good.  Carpaccio de atun, a salad, fettucini alfredo and a small pizza de cuatro quesos.  We also ordered a bottle of wine and to our surprise, the bill was very, very reasonable.  Barbara had dinner with us.

We went home and sat on our rooftop and watched the fireworks in the Parroquia.  Believe it or not, I stayed up until 1 a.m.  For me, that is a real challenge.  I was also reminded that when we lived in the city, I was a pretty good runner, running 10K every morning before work.  On New Year's Day I would go out at 6 a.m. to start off my year.  My oh my, how things change.