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A Cautionary Tale...

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A Cautionary Tale...

Post by ltollefs on Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:10 pm

This is Mexico. If you're not dealing with corruption or criminality, you're dealing with an admixture of indifference and incompetence, and to add a little colour to your day, if you're dealing with a professional (used here lightly), arrogance.

18 months ago I was hit by a car while I was out riding my motorcycle. My injuries were many. If I were to relate here all the bullshit (catch-all phrase for adjectives listed above) my wife and I have been subjected to over the past year and a half, you would likely dismiss my story as a complete fabrication, but I’ll try and give you a taste, anyway.

Next week I go into surgery to repair a still-broken humerus that two surgeons had previously declared healed. One surgeon even had the benefit of examining the bone directly while doing an exploratory on my radial nerve. He declared the bone healed; It wasn’t and still isn’t. The other surgeon is a senior member of orthopaedic surgery at a noted hospital in Guadalajara. This same surgeon somehow failed to identify that the plate securing my not-yet-healed femur was in fact about to fail. Which it did, catastrophically, not 3 hours after he had examined the leg and looked at my most current x-rays. This little oopsy put me in a wheelchair for (another) 3 months. Again, this same surgeon, who inadvertently let slip that the initial assessment of my injuries was done somewhat lackadaisically because I was not expected to live (imagine hearing that from your doctor?), refused to operate on my clearly-in-need-of-repair left knee because I was “too old.” I was 59 at the time.

What I have shared here is by no means the extent of incompetence and indifference that I have experienced over the past 18 months, which includes almost being killed by an injection of a medication that reacted badly to medications already administered (the prescribing doctor apologized, so its OK). I could continue, but I’m sure you get the picture.

In another post, Spencer indicated that those in the medical profession here will cover for each other. I can attest to this. But the legal profession has it’s problems too. In addition to doctors side-stepping the mess made by their predecessors, my wife and I discovered that my lawyer (not Spencer) was discussing my case with his friend, who happened to be my, former, physiotherapist. Seems there are no secrets in Mexico.

If you find yourself in need of a surgeon, get as many recommendations as you possibly can. DO NOT let your health insurance broker make these decisions for you. While in the hospital, DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING, excepting the waivers required for surgery, until you have conferred with your lawyer. These people are your friend, until they are not.


Last edited by ltollefs on Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by CanuckBob on Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:19 pm

I believe your story and have seen others in similar situations. I have always laughed when people declare "how superior the medical system and practitioners are in Mexico compared to the US or Canada"...….total hogwash. Yes, the doctors here seem more amiable and caring but I certainly wouldn't say they are more medically qualified than those NOB. There is a lack of accountability and repercussion's in just about everything in Mexico.

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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by ltollefs on Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:50 pm

Exactly right, Bob. Ten years ago I had a heart valve replaced. My surgeon, Dorothy Thompson, had the bed-side manner of an SS stormtrooper, but she tolerated nothing but perfection from herself and her support staff. I miss her scowl.
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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by Carry Bean on Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:54 pm

Wow! That is some story! I’m so sorry you had to deal with all that and STILL have to deal with it. Best of luck getting patched up. And we don’t heal nearly as well as we did 30 years ago which doesn’t help.

I am currently pretty fed up with some legal “help”
I recently paid too much for considering what was done or NOT done in my case.

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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by gringal on Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:09 pm

I've had bad experiences with docs in the States who wanted to operate unnecessarily as well as docs here in Mexico of the same persuasion.
Experience:  three orthopedic surgeons here wanted to do old fashioned, uncertain outcome, expensive and with long recovery traditional spine surgery. A friend referred me to a neurosurgeon in Gdl who fixed three failed discs with a local anesthetic, an overnight hospital stay, and with me walking the next day. That was about 7 months ago. A friend with back problems was persuaded to do the traditional surgery and although it was successful, he had a long hospital stay and 6 months physical therapy before he could go back to golfing. I'd say it's a matter of self defense and plain luck, in both countries. Suspect

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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by Trailrunner on Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:42 pm

Sorry, Itollefs, for having to go through all this. You are right. I've see both brilliant and deadly medicine practiced here. I've seen too many people die before their time due to bad diagnoses, no diagnoses, bad treatment plans, no treatment plans, and clinics that will sit too long on pts that are critical and way over their abilities to treat rather than sending them up to Guad for higher level difinitive care.

Some of this should change when the new hospital opens but until then if you are, or even think you might be, critically ill - get out of here. Go to a real hospital ER in Guad.

In a situation like the OP, however, you're at their mercy.
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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by ltollefs on Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:51 pm

My current surgeon is involved with the new hospital currently being built in Riberas. Once it is completed, he will be moving his practice from Guadalajara to this new facility. This is good news as he's an excellent doctor (he said guardedly). No more trips to Guad.
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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by Trailrunner on Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:10 pm

If you're talking about Dr. Gonzalez, I wholeheartefly agree!
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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by MexicoPete on Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:08 pm

There are now two Dr. Gonalez's working at Clinica Maskaras, Father and son. Apparently the son comes on Wednesday and the Father on Friday and/or Saturday morning.
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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by Trailrunner on Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:33 pm

Is the son an orthopedist too?
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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by ltollefs on Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:36 pm

I am referring to Dr. Gonzalez Sr. You can tell a lot by how the nurses regard a doctor and the nurses I've encountered regard him very highly. As do I. Yes, the son is an orthopedic surgeon as well. The nurses will have to speak for themselves.
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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by Trailrunner on Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:42 pm

I've worked with him too, he's great. And an excellent ortho. You're in good hands.
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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by MexicoPete on Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:46 pm

Yes, Trailrunner, his father told me that his son is also an  orthopedist and that he did advanced medical schooling in Germany.

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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by Trailrunner on Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:58 pm

That's impressive, I look forward to meeting  him.

Dr. Garcia will be moving down too when the hospital opens. He has a cardiologist son who studys and practices in the US, Paris, and Mexico.
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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by slainte39 on Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:07 pm

Ross, the son of Jorge Alvaro, of the father/son Gonzalez family specializes in spinal problems.

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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by slainte39 on Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:10 pm

Trailrunner wrote:That's impressive, I look forward to meeting  him.

Dr. Garcia will be moving down too when the hospital opens. He has a cardiologist son who studys and practices in the US, Paris, and Mexico.

I would recommend Dr. Hector Briseno, of Quality Care.  Both good, but after experience with both, I'll take Briseno.

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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by oncesubtle on Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:22 pm

So I go to see the pro from Dover heart doc. from Guadalajara who blesses Lakeside with once a week visits to see cardio patients. After a check up he tells me I have a 90% blockage and need a stent asap! He checks his schedule and fortunately has an opening for the next Monday a.m.. So the next day I fly to San Diego to see my cardiologist Dr. Richard Schatz, who is the the co-inventor and patient holder of the coronary stent, and a long time family friend. After reading the test results he tells me I'm fine and to go home and enjoy my retirement.
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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by Gamina on Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:28 pm

Fake stents is getting to be big business in this area. Or so I hear.
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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by Carry Bean on Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:34 pm

Glad I don’t have a heart. pirat

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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by gringal on Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:50 pm

oncesubtle wrote:So I go to see the pro from Dover heart doc. from Guadalajara who blesses Lakeside with once a week visits to see cardio patients. After a check up he tells me I have a 90% blockage and need a stent asap! He checks his schedule and fortunately has an opening for the next Monday a.m.. So the next day I fly to San Diego to see my cardiologist Dr. Richard Schatz, who is the the co-inventor and patient holder of the coronary stent, and a long time family friend. After reading the test results he tells me I'm fine and to go home and enjoy my retirement.

Sounds like we're back to self defense, luck, and second opinions. The doc I think you're referring to is highly praised on these web boards, especially TOB. Who to trust? Rolling Eyes

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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by Carry Bean on Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:48 pm

The only negative I ever heard about the cardiologist, Dr. Briseno was from MC.  Rolling Eyes

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Re: A Cautionary Tale...

Post by lakeside7 on Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:26 pm

oncesubtle wrote:So I go to see the pro from Dover heart doc. from Guadalajara who blesses Lakeside with once a week visits to see cardio patients. After a check up he tells me I have a 90% blockage and need a stent asap! He checks his schedule and fortunately has an opening for the next Monday a.m.. So the next day I fly to San Diego to see my cardiologist Dr. Richard Schatz, who is the the co-inventor and patient holder of the coronary stent, and a long time family friend. After reading the test results he tells me I'm fine and to go home and enjoy my retirement.

So it would be great if you could fill in the blanks..like was this recently and who was this (in)famous doctor you saw in Guad.

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