My Mexican Trip was a TRIP...Followed by a Bridge Nearly Too Far!

Lovely spot to fix the old Ivory Castles.

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The Pearl of the Pacific:  La Paz MexicoI had the option on the rightAnother victim of obesity and gravityDon't look bad, do I? (ahem).
The Pearl of the Pacific:  La Paz Mexico
The Pearl of the Pacific: La Paz Mexico
I had the option on the right
I had the option on the right
Another victim of obesity and gravity
Another victim of obesity and gravity
Don't look bad, do I? (ahem).
Don't look bad, do I? (ahem).

The elderly should take extra care in Mexico


There can be little doubt that, for a multitude of reasons well described by a thousand writers, Mexico is a wonderful country to visit.
But perhaps less well documented is that this huge nation can also be hard work, even dangerous; can present challenges not found elsewhere, at least in the so called First World lands.
Take just walking around for instance. Those tourists used to the level pavements (sidewalks) and smooth roads of, say, the USA and the UK, need to adopt extra precautions and dexterity when perambulating along Mexican highways and byeways. Or they may find themselves - without even the excuse of too many (or any) tequilas - flat on their faces in the dirt or the hard gravel surfaces with painful leisions to their tender carapaces.
My bete noir was found when attempting to cross the road along the lovely Malecon in La Paz, Baja California, in front of the now defunct Carlos and Charlie's. It was a ten-inch-high curb with a half-inch abuttment on top which seized my flip-flops in a loving embrace long enough for me to tilt beyond the verical and dive gracelessly into the road in front of passing traffic.
Now, tilting beyond the vertical will not challenge the young and fit. They even seem to enjoy it as they bounce back upright from any surface. But the old and portly will find it an angle and collision hard to recover from. In my case, six feet of obesity at around 260 pounds had little chance - Buckley's we call it in the UK - and I was very lucky not to get run over as well.
Shaking, torn pants, bloody knees wrists and left arm, I tried to stem the flood with a hanky as a taxi bore me to the nearest clinic. Road rash, also called road burns are awful wounds that cause weeks of agony and refuse to heal. This especially on the knees as they crust over at night and crack anew the next day as you try to walk. Diabetics like me will also find it very slow to heal properly, the result being, from the very first day of my trip to La Paz, I could not walk at all for a week and then only with a limp for another several days. All endured with no TV and no books in a cheap hotel. Now home, five weeks after the accident, my right leg is still painful and scabbed!
Luckily, Mexico has a national chain of Pharmacies called "Farmacias Similares," They make available at reduced prices medicines, etc., containing the same drugs as the brand named products, but at much cheaper prices. They also incorporate a small surgery manned from 9 am until about 9 pm with an skilled doctor-in-training. OK, it's not the Mayo Clinic, or even the NHS, but the doctor charges currently 50 pesos (less than $3!) for a walk-up interview, including emergency repairs, and the medicines he prescribes from next door are reasonable and geniune, as they are government controlled (and owned).
I made a friend of the doctor in my local clinic - luckily one block from the hotel - and he treated me for my scrapes and bruises as well as an ear infection; also supplying advice to why I had such a limp weenie! (Yes, diabetes, age, overweight, ah, me!).
Then...
A Bridge Nearly Too Far!
One of the reasons I took this trip to La Paz was to renew my dental bridge over my bottom teeth (no, in my mouth, not my bottom)
Hands up those who have had a full dental bridge removed, one that is still firmly affixed?? I grieve for you.
The original item was fitted in 2003...13 years ago. It took one hour, twenty minutes to remove, one hour of which I was in agony as Carlos - whose sadistic tendencies were not clear before - went through 5 diamond tipped drills while smoke arose and I was peppered with foul tasting dust, trying not to choke or cough. After two rest breaks, the steel and porclain bridge finally gave up, extracting one of my sound teeth with it, all without anesthetic! I swear! The glue dentists use these days must have been trialed in the Moon lander - perhaps to hold the wheels on!
Then the huge disappointment. I could have no implants to replace upper denture, as with diabetes the work could not be guaranteed more than 12 months.
So my anticipated 7 weeks of fun and sun was cut to one month and I came home this last weekend.
I still love Mexico, especially La Paz and will go back, but after a couple of years rest, thank you. And, good advice, don't walk around Mexico in flip-flops if you are over 50, their ability to trip you can be lethal (look on Google).
Note: The highlights of my trip were good food in Mexico; the climate and friendly folk of La Paz, and the great service and aircraft of Aeromexico. The new Boeing "Dreamliners" they run internationally are very roomy and comfortable, even in Tourist Class, and even for large people - not many airlines can say that these days. Even airport security has eased off somewhat, thank goodness.
I do recommend Carlos Luna Capellini of La Paz, Baja California, as a good dentist and a great human being, despite some of what appears to be negativity in this article. After all, it was his original bridge-work that was still sound after 13 years (I changed it because the gums had retreated from below the bridge crowns). He has a web site on Google, etc.

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Comments 12 comments

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 6 days ago from Rural Arizona

Bob, so very sorry to hear of your multiple and painful misfortunes on your trip to this beautiful location. You did a great job expressing what most of us already know, these golden years are not that golden.

Hope you heal up soon and have no more problems this coming year.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 6 days ago from North Texas

Not sure I'd want to consult a doctor who charges less than $3 for his time. Could be more than s/he's worth. I may already know more than s/he does about the issue at hand. ;)

Flip-flops are lethal at any age. They easily catch on things one may not even notice, and then of course one's attention gets more focused. Given the complications diabetes can so quickly and easily add to cuts and bruises, you really should be more careful lest you never be able to walk again, or end up doing so with benefit of a prosthetic. Diabetes shouldn't be trifled with.

Seems to me getting up in age has enough negatives without adding all these health issues, etc. Most people say aging is preferable to the alternative, but so far we have no scientific proof of that.

Glad you were able to enjoy yourself despite the little snags here and there, and presumably you are well enough to write a few lines, since you've done that. Never doubt that I always wish you only good things and the very best. Good to see you here and enjoyed reading your latest effort. Take care . . .


diogenes profile image

diogenes 6 days ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Mike (Old Poolman). Yes, it takes a fall like this to make one realize his limitations. We are the same age nearly.

Bob


diogenes profile image

diogenes 6 days ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Misty sweetie: I deserve the condemnation I suppose. I didn't know previously flip flops were so dangerous...I do now, but I kept on wearing them, nothing like them in the heat and beach conditions. But I stepped as high as a Texas trotting horse (or whatever the beasts are) afterwards (as soon as I could walk again).

Hope all well wid ya

Bob xo


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 days ago from Somewhere in the universe

The older we get, the harder we fall. I woke up to a new bruise between my toes this morning. I have absolutely no clue as to how it got there.

There are towns in Mexico that cater to the elderly now. Better than a nursing home in the USA I dare say. I will be checking them out soon!

Sounds like a good and bad trip for you. I hope everything is ok in Merry Old England! Take care!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 days ago from Southern Georgia

Yep, those damn flip flops seem to catch on anything, Bob. There is a time when us old folk just have to give up being cool looking ya know. :P

Enjoyed the hub as always!


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 days ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Lela...the old man wasn't sucking on your toes, was he!?: UK stinks, the lucky folks are born US, Oz, or NZ (or Canada i suppose)

Bob x


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 days ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Randy...can't wear em down in snake country either! They are soo convenient though.

Bob


Genna East profile image

Genna East 39 hours ago from Massachusetts, USA

Hi Bob...

I haven't been to Mexico in some time, but I remember the country well. The last time I crossed the border was at Nogales; the poverty there was shocking. There are such beautiful places in this country, but it has changed over the years. I'm so sorry you had such a misfortunate experience. I tossed away my flip-flops last summer after tripping on the a couple of times, so I know how easy falling can be. Funny...when I was younger they didn't seem to be so hazardous. Thank you for this read; you still wrote of your trip with humor, humility and colorful realism. Tome el cuidado bueno de usted. :-)


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 39 hours ago from Somewhere in the universe

Bob, you may need to graduate to Crocs now, eh? I have and they are as comfortable as flip flops.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 38 hours ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Genna: La Paz is pretty special. It won't be so nice for much longer as creeping commercialism has crept! And Mexico is no bargain any more, especially medicines...no more easy going farmacies.

Still, it's way up on the totem pole for me compared to the UK, a sad place if ever there was one.

Gracias por las palabras tan amigables, mujer simpatica. R x


diogenes profile image

diogenes 38 hours ago from UK and Mexico Author

I have crocs, Lela, but too bulky for my carry on luggage.

R x

(PS Don't drive in them!)

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