I speak

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I am glad I had Emergency Surgery in Colombia!

Tuesday, September 28 was day four of my visit in the Clinica de Hospital. I began dreaming of how wonderful the hospital breakfast would taste as it was wheeled down the hall and delivered to everyone else. I only had 15 hours sleep since being admitted, and counting the two days at home before admission I was growing weak without eating and drinking for 6 days. Because of the horrendous constant pain, I hardly noticed the hunger pangs. Ice chips would have been nice but were not offered. My only complaint during this entire 9 day stay would be bring on the ice chips. The doctors checked with me every morning and evening, and this morning they had ordered a tomography. The test was quick and I was more than happy to drink the two cups of contrast medium down. It was the absolute best barium and iodine I had ever enjoyed. I highly reccommend it if you have completely food and liquid fasted for 6 days and nights.
Pain PaIN PAIN!!!!!! I could not tolerate it. Medievel torture may come close to describing it. The constant stabbing from the side and back of my upper abdomen made every move agonizing, every position sitting or standing unbearable. That afternoon, Dr. A, my English speaking Urologist explained my test results. The collection was a 10 cm mass on my kidney. It was blocking half my large intestine, and they recommended a further test involving a puncture to obtain a biopsy. He explained the possible results ranging from a cyst to a malignant tumor. I refused to allow that word to even be considered. I seriously explained to everyone it was not allowed to be mentioned, because I did not want to speak it into existence. My dear, amazing Mommy in Pennsylvania was so worried she hadn't been eating or sleeping either. Thank you to her wonderful partner Carl who had the wisdom to have a doctor prescribe her anti-anxiety medication. As for my Daddy in Ecuador, he planned to immediately fly in to see me. His concern for me elevated his blood pressure and along with the headaches, his doctor recommended he not travel. Both my parents expressed feelings of helpless and fear. It was the first time I felt afraid through this process. Knowing my parents, my pillars of strength, my mentors, my caregivers and creators were terrified, was my low point. I cried so long and hard, from this mental anguish and physical pain I was given the highest allowed dose of morphine. I slept two hours before I was in pain again. I remember asking God several times if my life was really meant to continue. About that moment he would send a bird singing to me, or a child laughing down the hall, or a staff member with a smile coming to see how I was. My sleep deprived and distraught husband and I hardly slept that night. I began to look forward to the procedure tomorrow, even with my surgery phobia. Just a puncture. It did not even sound good.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Latin America draws Millennials and Baby Boomers

More and more Americans, especially the 'Baby Boomer' retirees are rethinking and relocating to Central and South America, and never looking back! With considerations such as difference in language, away from family and friends, and cultural contrasts, it must have a great deal of advantages. Here are a few from latinworld.com.:
-Cost of living is much lower. From rent/housing to food and services, you can expect around half what you spend in the US. Maids, security, and groundskeepers are an affordable amenity and are appreciative and hardworking.
-Stress free and relaxed way of life. In Ecuador, they told us "relax", and in Panama "take it easy". Here in Colombia, its "no problem". They actually tell you to be "tranquilo", a gentle reminder of where you are, and are not! Siesta, a two hour lunch break to eat and nap off your meal a bit before returning to the grind is taken very seriously! Well, that's probably the only thing that is!
-Unique natural environments. Each country offers a variety of Eco-scapes to choose from. Icy glaciers in Chile, Rain forests in Colombia, World class surf in Ecuador, Shopping in Panama, Offshore deep sea fishing in Costa Rica. These are just the activities I have recently ventured to. You'll easily find your favorites. latinworld.com covers tons of info and questions for newbies.
-Fiestas, Fiestas, Fiestas!! Here in Colombia, almost every other Monday is a national holiday. At Christmas, schools have a six week break and another break for summer. Nightlife and clubbing is very common in even the smallest towns, and starts when you get on the bus-lights, music, beverages, all can be enjoyed as your riding to your fave hot spot!
-Business and Investor Ready. Many governments foresee the trends already happening and have implemented fewer laws and less requirements for prospective business owners and investors. Panama has opened its borders allowing foreign nationals an "Immediate Permanent Resident" status. Find more info at sovereign-investor.com.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

American Medical Tourism Rep Undergoes Emergency Surgery in Colombia


Three days after surgery
I was admitted on Saturday, August 25. I had not eaten for two days and only sipped water and broth. The pain had increased from about a 6 (scaling from 1 to 10) to about an 8 overnight. Doctors and nurses checked on me about every 2 hours, and added severe dehydration to my symptoms. My lips and mouth were completely white from what everyone said-mirrors were not in my vocabulary at that point. That weekend was one I wish never to relive. Before the pain medication wore off, I was literally crying in agony. The doctors were not certain about my diagnosis and mentioned several ranging from kidney stones to a bowel obstruction. All equally as frightening and painful to me. Finally Monday arrived and I was quickly taken to get a sonogram. Although four very pregnant women were waiting ahead of me, I was taken right away to the exam table. The technician was as gentle as he could be, and when he captured the image of a large mass at the top left of my abdomen, he showed it to me on the screen. He didn't make me wait hours for the doctors to read the results and share the same information. Although I was shocked and disturbed, the tech was comforting and assured me I had the best team of physicians working on my case. Everyone shared this same sentiment with my husband and I, and it was true as we soon realized. But the waiting game wore on all of us. My family in the states and my father in Ecuador grew concerned as my pain severity was evident over the phone. My husband was staying strong for all of us but after weeks of seeing me in pain he could not sleep or eat.
Which made two of us. I was not even allowed water so of course it was all I thought about. Watching the Food Network was definitely out. Sleeping came about an hour and a half at a time until the pain woke me. I wrote in broken Spanish to Ledys, my favorite nurse, I never experienced pain this severe in my entire 44 years. And I have given birth 3 times naturally. My youngest was born 9 1/2 pounds. I am about 5'4" and 125 lbs. Yea, I know what pain is.

Monday, September 24, 2012

CNN: Latin America is the Future

The Mellennials are targeting Central and South Ameria for good reasons. They see a future full of prosperity, in countries changing policies to entice potential businesses as well as implementing changes in elementary school curriculum's teaching different levels of English classes. Governments welcome tourism and many have strategic marketing and advertising in place to familiarize and promote their countrysides. As we have seen here in Colombia, the reasons are many. And like their slogan says, "The only risk is wanting to stay". Its true. I am proof!
Find the article at this link- just click on it. --->>http://business.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/14/millennial-david-lloyd-why-the-future-is-latin/?hpt=ila_r1

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Colombia Now Third Largest Latin American Economy, Second in South America

Colombia has surpassed Argentina and is now Latin America’s third largest economy according to outgoing Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry.  It means the country is third in the region behind Brazil and Mexico having overtaken oil rich Venezuela two years ago.  ‘Colombia is going forward with great momentum. We are doing well and moving forward,’ the minister said. ‘I can make the announcement that I retire leaving the Colombian economy as the second biggest in South America, and the third largest in Latin America,’ Echeverry declared.  According to Latin American experts it is Brazil and Colombia that are receiving the most interest from multi-national companies keenly looking to Latin America for business.

Wall Street Journal Calls Colombia "New Latin American Tigers"

According to the Wall Street Journal, Colombia's improvement of security conditions in the past years has been conclusive for the outstanding increase in foreign capital investment in the country.  The recently published article in the Wall Street Journal Americas, one of the most influencing economic media worldwide, has ranked Colombia and Peru as the “new Latin American tigers”, countries that given their current economic conditions, have become the new core for foreign investment in the region.  For more information check out Colombia's Proexport website.