Mar 1, 2008 - Mazatlan - The Eileen broken back saga continues... Today got a second opinion that was just like the first one. Also, got the name of another surgeon, we go to see him this afternoon.
Mar 5, 2008 - Mazatlan - Eileen had her back surgery yesterday at the Clinica Del Mar. It is a very nice facility. The doctor did an excellent job and Eileen is doing just fine. She should be out of the hospital maybe tomorrow.
Mar 6, 2008 - Mazatlan - We had a friend of ours, here in town trying to find us a place for Eileen to stay once she got out of the hospital. His name is Heriberto. A nice fellow who does different things around the area and also works for the folks who own Club Nautico, which is where we dock our dinghy. Anyway, he found a nice little place that was very cheap, but in the end the place ended up being full. All this time we were running around town, with the whole family in the truck. Heriberto (pronounced Ediberto) had already had a long day and had gotten a flat tire, otherwise we would have been making the trip much earlier in the day. In the end Heri's wife Juanita suggested that Eileen just stay with them for the time that she needs to recover. It was a sincerely generous offer on their part, and we accepted. Eileen is staying one more night in the hospital before we descend on Heriberto and his family.
Mar 8, 2008 - Mazatlan - Last night was our first night at the house. Everyone made us feel right at home. Eileen finally had a night of uninterrupted sleep. So she felt pretty good about herself this morning. Adrian had gone off to do a sleep over at 4-Pack. I am hoping to have Adrian stay with Eileen tonight, and maybe I'll stay on the boat.
Mar 11, 2008 - Mazatlan - Blah Blah Blah
Mar 12, 2008 - Mazatlan -
Mar 16, 2008 - Mazatlan - At the risk of being incredibly boring, I am using my email updates for the web site. Saves time and effort on my part. Rumor has it, there's been a general rebellion with Jamie's short and sweet reports. So here goes, general summary, what I recall of the past few weeks since I have been living with Heriberto, Juanita, David and Esmerelda.
I can walk around in the house, get up from the bed on my own and I even touch my toes. Of course, I wasn't that active the first few days home from the hospital. I have really been getting the red carpet treatment here at Heriberto and Juanita's house. We are fully immersed in the Spanish experience since only Heri (pronounced Eddy) speaks English and he works all day. Adrian has a few great word lists and is picking up 4 or 5 words a day since we've "moved in".
And talk about fantastic food. First of all, the hospital food was amazing. Everything was fresh cooked to order. Papaya and melon in yogurt, quesadillas and juice (fresh squeezed) for breakfast, fresh catch fish and veggies for lunch, etc. It's even better here with Juanita in the kitchen. Fresh fruit daily, soups, chicken, all with a Mexican flair or unseasoned and still the best. She made home-made empanadas, a corn flour based pastry which folds over meat and cheese and is then deep fried. Oh, please, stop my heart!
Of course, I am unable to lift or twist or move quickly, and for the first week I couldn't walk very far without getting pretty shaky, but recovery is going well. The main thing is that I have no leg pain anymore. Occasionally I feel a twinge because the nerve is still decompressing. It was smooshed in half by the disc, so it'll still show itself once in awhile. It's been two days since I've been aware of any achiness in my leg.
On the 13th I got the stitches out (there are only 5) and I finished with the antibiotics and pain pills. I had to continue the muscle relaxers and another pill to prevent ulcers from all the meds I've had to keep popping.
I am really able to tell you how it feels. I start walking on Tuesday (day after tomorrow) and physical therapy sometime after April 3rd. The 3 cm cut in my back is nearly healed. It is VERY itchy and drives me nuts. I have no real pain. The muscles are a little sore when I do something new, I get a twinge if I move too fast or too far. I have to be careful not to open the incision. The butterfly bandages they applied after removing the stitches are still attached. That's it. When they fall off, I should be pretty well healed.
I am reading tons of books. I have had nearly daily visits from my die-hard friend Frederique who sacrifices much of her personal time to the bus ride. Adrian stayed with me all last week for school and went to the boat or with friends over the weekend. Jamie stays most nights, weather permitting. He's attending to a few minor details on the boat before he goes back to work.
The job search is hot. I'm sure he'll have something he wants soon. There are also some great boat delivery opportunities right here. Maybe he won't have to leave?? As for me, I'm here until May to complete rehab and heal. My sister Rhonda will be coming in April for a couple weeks, that will be awesome since I'll be able to get around by then and she'll be able to give us a hand if Jamie's not here.
General feelings: we're bummed that the South Pacific is out this year. However, pain and paralysis were certainly the lesser choice. We're looking forward to spending more time in Mexico. In spite of the lumps we've taken, I can't imagine a better place to be to recuperate. The other question I've been asked is whether or not going to the chiropractor made it worse. In my case, possibly, but not likely since there is little twisting of the spine when the lower back and hips are manipulated. It alleviated the pressure and pain temporarily, allowing me to function until the disc moved back in it's place compressing the nerve. Would I do it again? No. Knowing my back condition, I would always get an MRI if I have leg pain. Normally with sciatic pain, a doctor will give you pain meds and anti-inflammitories for a minimum of 6 weeks to see if it alleviates on its own. Often a mild hernia will heal. In my case, it was a gross hernia. They'd have done surgery right away two months ago. If you consider the disc as a jelly donut, both the filling and the dough were crushed and pressing into the nerve, so the outer ring couldn't be saved during surgery. Both had ruptured. That's it, in a nutshell.
So, end of saga. It's over soon. We'll keep on keeping on.
Mar 17, 2008 - Mazatlan - Today the wind started to pick up and blew strong throughout the night. We only had to do one rescue at about 3 am the very large and heavy "geisha" was drifting away. These poor folks had earlier been towed into the harbor by the port captain, after suffering some serious damage outside the harbor. It only took three dinghies, but we finally got them reset.....to be continued...
Mar 18, 2008 - Mazatlan - This morning we got a team of dinghies together to move Geisha again. She had dragged a little close to the break water during the night, so we moved her out in the middle with a lot of chain. I went to see Eileen in the afternoon. The wind was still blowing today, and when I rounded the corner on the bus, my heart absolutely sank... the FLying Cloud was not where she should have been and there was a team of dinghies surrounding her. She had just started to drag her anchor just a few minutes before I got there. The guys were able to get her stopped by the time I got to the boat. Then we went ahead and motored back up where she was originally, and reset the anchor. I am extremely grateful for the help that we received to save our home. Special thanks goes to Sweetie, Festima Lente, Tigger, and Aka. Hope that I didn't miss anyone. Just after dark another boat dragging drama started. Nancy on Festima Lente noticed that the boat Jero was drifting toward the break water. By the time we all arrived she was on the rocks, but still floating. We made several attempts to free her with the dinghies, but we just didn't have the weight. Finally the smaller Navy boat that hangs out at the harbor entrance came over the give a hand. They had enough horsepower, but ended up on the rocks themselves in the process. I was able to pull the Navy boat off the rocks and then they went to retrieve a larger vessel to try to free Jero. They came back with a huge shrimp boat that had big hawser. We eventually got her hooked up and with almost no effort Jero was off. Then we drove around and had to anchor three separate times before the hook would set. It was another exciting evening in the old harbor. Tomorrow is our anniversary. Not sure what I am going to do if the wind keeps up...
Mar 22, 2008 - Isla Isabella - We took off fishing a couple days ago. Scott Jamie Adrian and Saylor. Today bagged huge amber jack named, Tango. This started off the trip with a bang! Scott has got a couple of nice snappers on this outing, as well.
Mar 23, 2008 - Isla Isabella - Took a hike into the crater at the center of Isabella. Saw lots of boobies, and frigets. The lake at the center was super green. Scott and I went fishing in the afternoon. Bagged the biggest fish we have ever taken. Scott got a Dog snapper that weighed in at 20 lbs. 2' - 8", named Viagra, Jamie took a dog snapper weighing 40 lbs. 3' - 6", named Uranus. We gave away fish steaks to everyone in the anchorage. Went to a pot luck on Beach Access.
Mar 24, 2008 - Isla Isabella - Today we massacred the snappers, we took two huge ones in the morning, which we took over to the fisherman at the fish camp. They gave us some fillets from one of them. We agreed to bring them some more fish in the afternoon. Scott and I bagged a pile of huge dog snapper. The total of which was probably around 300 pounds of fish. We took seven fish over to the camp this afternoon. Everyone was super excited and we have contracted to help them out in the morning to get a few more. They also invited us to come over for a lunchtime BBQ tomorrow. During the hunt Scott turned his spear into a pretzel, but forged on successfully with his small gun. I had a couple that really gave a fight. Fortunatly, I had my float line and deflateable fender attached, so I could let they run when I got tired. It was all very exciting. We plan to head back to maz tomorrow afternoon.
Mar 25, 2008 - Isla Isabella - No luck killing fish today. Scott managed to bag a nice Sierra though. We had an awesome BBQ with the locals at the fishing camp. They estimated that after they had cleaned all the fish we gave them, they probably had about 100 kilos of saleable fish. After the BBQ we got the boat ready to leave for the return passage to Maz.
- Mazatlan - Arrived back in Mazatlan this morning to some fog and lots
of ships waiting outside the harbor entrance. We snuck in behind one of
the cruise ships, and parked in our old spot near the Titanik. Went to
visit with Eileen and try to get a job.