My Unforgettable Birthday. Featuring “Dr. Handsome
One of the things that gives San Miguel its charm is that it’s a very old city and all the streets are cobblestone. Great for aesthetics; not so great for walking. And there lies the problem. That is to say the problem became me, lying on the quaint cobblestone street. Have you ever had that experience where you were walking in one direction and the next thing you knew you were down for the count, facing the opposite direction? I went down hard, and while at first I thought everything was probably fine, by the time we got home I was really in pain. Miraculously, I hadn’t gotten a scratch, but I had definitely done some damage, and I knew it.
So on the day before my 70th birthday, while on a much-anticipated trip to celebrate it, I found myself in bed, basically unable to move, really freaking out. Fortunately I have a good friend, Lisa O’Leary, who spends a great deal of time here, and when I contacted her she said, “My doctor makes house calls.” By that afternoon Dr. Martinez was at our house checking out what I could and couldn’t do. He told me I needed to get an X-ray on Monday, as I possibly had a fracture. He left me with some pretty good pain pills and the plan to visit again after the X-ray. Now that the plans were made for my big birthday,
I had to make a decision as to how to deal with my mind and emotions. I was pissed, but I didn’t want to be depressed. So, I decided that I was going to keep a good attitude and to believe that I would get through this ordeal and manage to live in the moment and believe for the best instead of the worst. I refused to have dark, negative thoughts about my circumstances or my body. That decision was made on Sunday afternoon, while I still couldn’t get from the bed to the bathroom without help from Fred. (Who, of course, was a knight in shining armor).
So, on July 1, my 70th birthday, I found myself in a little clinic in Mexico getting my pelvis X-rayed, while Fred was buying me a cane. After he looked at the results the radiologist gave me a big smile and said, “You don’t have a fracture.” Wow! That was such good news that the fact I was walking with a cane seemed trivial.
And I meant to tell you, Dr. Martinez is known locally as Dr. Handsome. (My friend Lisa told me this). He sort of has a movie star thing working. So, Dr. Handsome came back to the casita, looked at the X-ray, and said he thought I’d be fine in two or three weeks. I needed to take it easy-that won’t be a problem-but that I could take taxis about and moving around a bit would be good.
So, I’m still taking the pain pills but I am very happy. (Possibly a connection between those two facts). I plan to enjoy the rest of my time in San Miguel. I have learned a lot from this experience, mainly how very important it is to be thankful every day for excellent health. When Dr. Handsome looked at my X-ray, he asked me how old I am. When I told him it was my 70th birthday, he had the right reaction. He said he thought I was in my 50’s (bedside manner is alive and well in Mexico), and complimented me on the health of my bones. He said that if I weren’t in good shape the results of the fall could have been much more serious. I also need to tell you what this episode cost: 2 house calls, one on Sunday, medication, X-ray=$125 US. Try that in the USA.
I plan to spend the rest of my trip just enjoying being with Fred, taking taxis to restaurants, coaching Fred on cooking good meals at our casita, and sitting in the Jardin, watching the world go by. We are invited to a 4th of July party by Lisa and I am planning to taxi there, too, and spend most of the evening sitting down. I am going to slow down, enjoy my days, one at a time, and do some of the reflecting that got postponed.
So, birthdays come and go but one thing is for sure, my 70th will definitely be the one that I will never forget.