"The Systems broke!" That's the reply I get from my family when my elderly mom needs medical attention in Canada. It's long been known that the wait times for surgeries in Canada are ridiculously long, so much so that people simply cannot wait any longer. In extreme cases it's either die or find health services elsewhere.
I've written about my dad who (in extreme pain) called me saying he needed a hip replacement. The hip joint was completely worn out and it was literally bone on bone. Within two weeks I had him down here, and at 89 years of age, had his hip replaced in one of the boutique hospitals in Guadalajara.
Now, just recently, my best friend (who is only 57 years of age) was forced to come down and have back surgery to correct debilitating pain from working in a desk job for his whole life. Recently retired, he could not even walk 2 blocks. Hounding the Canadian Medical Care system he finally got an MRI of his back because of a cancellation. His appointment just to meet with the doctor after that was months down the road. In the meantime his quality of life and the pain killing drugs he was forced to take just to maintain the bare minimum of normal existence were taking their toll.
In British Columbia, private clinics do not exist so he was exploring his options to go to Alberta. This too, proved to be difficult and expensive. I offered the same Medical Concierge Service to my friend that my dad had used. Within a month, after doing his due diligence by interviewing past clients who had the surgery, and the surgeon, he was in Guadalajara and getting it done. To give you an example of what it was like for him, and in case you too are considering leaving Canada to get health assistance, here are excerpts of some of his emails to friends and family.
Off to the Medical center for 3 pm. Met our medical consultant, Lori, and then off together to meet Dr Georgy Daneri for a review before the surgery tomorrow. Then I meet with another doctor for a cardio exam and lots of questions.
Then I paid upfront for the surgery staff. Then off to Admissions to get admitted and get into my room.
More doctors and more questions and more forms.
Then had a shower and waiting for my choice of dinner (chicken and pasta). This whole medical centre is very large, and it’s all private, so hopefully the food is good for the $$$ it costs 😃
They came and put in an IV, and apparently I have to wear compression socks too for the surgery come morning time.
They will come get me about 7:15 for surgery at 8.
It will take one and a half to two hours and then I’ll be in the recovery room for about an hour and a half and then back into my suite. And they say I should get all the feeling back in my legs after the surgery within about 3 to 4 hours, after having been numbed by the anesthetic for surgery.
It will be about a 2 inch incision and they will put in dissolvable stitches. And after the surgery the thing that will probably hurt the most is just the incision itself, but it may not even be that bad, and all the pain should be gone within a week or less.
After I have dinner tonight, I won’t be able to eat or drink anything past 10 PM in preparation for the surgery tomorrow.
Had a good nights sleep last night. They were a little late taking me in this morning. Left the room about 830, then went to a transfer room, so probably didn’t start surgery until 9 o’clock-ish.
They started to prepare to give me anesthetic in my back, and frankly, that’s the last thing I remember. And I woke up during the surgery and was awake for a while, just remember feeling them banging away on my back. Felt like they had hammers and chisel, so, but I am sure it was something a lot more delicate. Didn’t hurt, but could feel the impact. Then I fell asleep again, or passed out whatever from the drugs. Then when I woke up, I was in the recovery room and they wheeled me up and brought me back to my room.
I didn’t talk to the doctor or the staff yet, but I guess they came by when Lavonne was here and said everything went fine. They did a two level disc fusion, so a total of 3 screws on each side or six screws in total. Two above two in the middle and two below.
They’ve already brought me my lunch and giving me some pain meds. I didn’t feel in pain at all when getting here, but my whole lower back felt extremely stiff and just slightly sore.
My lower limbs are starting to get feeling back in them. I was able to move my legs slightly in the beginning, but not my toes. However now I can wiggle my toes a little bit and the feeling is starting to return.
All seems really good so far. So we’ll see how the next day goes
They say I could be discharged on Saturday, but they will determine that later. But it’s unlikely I would stay past Sunday. After I get released, Lori will take me to get my medication’s and then drive us back to the hotel. At that point I’ll pay for the hardware installed and the hospital stay.
Well, last night went ok. In a fair bit of pain and wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to sleep or not. But then they came and I think they upped the painkillers a little bit, so I did get about five hours asleep.
I was able to get up in the morning, and once they put the corset on, I got out of bed and walked two laps around the floor. Then mid morning, they brought me breakfast. And I went and walked for more laps.
The surgeon came and saw me and asked me a bunch of questions and thought I was doing quite well. He told me I could go home this afternoon.
I walked six more laps around the floor. Then I got dressed and had lunch. The consultant came at 2:30.
The consultant has already obtained all the medication‘s and bandages that I need. I do need to get an antibiotic injection five times. So the doctor is going to visit my hotel for the first one tomorrow. And the second one on Tuesday will be done by the surgeon here at the hospital. And then I’ll have to do the other three myself. In the butt. 😫
I’m feeling a lot better now, some 27 to 28 hours after the surgery. And it all gets better from here. I do have quite an assortment of drugs to take over the next 1 to 2 weeks. And I have to wear this corset for a month, so I remember not to bend at the waist.
Hopefully no issues, because everything is looking very positive.
Everything has been excellent. Nothing but good to say about the consultant, Lori, the surgeon, his staff, and the general hospital staff. They’ve all been very attentive, helpful, and polite. If I had to do this all over again, or recommend it to someone else, I would say 100% absolutely.
So there you have it. First hand accounts by people who came to Mexico from Canada to get surgeries and a better quality of life. What's stopping you from a better, pain free, future? Life's too short to wait around.
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