Aimee and I experience Mexican medical care

It was Friday the 30th of March, 2020 and two things of note happened that morning.

The first was the government announced that the US/Mexican border would close at midnight that night. This prompted the second thing, which was for everyone we had been travelling with for the last 3 weeks to pack up their things and leave. We knew from the previous evening that Rachel and Ola had decided to head back up to the States, and with the announcement that the border was actually going to close they were now followed by John, Ina and Danny in their 20-hour trip to the border. It was tempting to follow the sudden rush to leave the country, but we had drawn up a list of pros and cons, and we felt like it didn’t make any sense for us to leave.

It was therefore not long before we waved goodbye to our friends and were suddenly left, just the two of us and a near empty beach. It was a strange feeling after spending so long travelling together, and we were sad to see them go. It’s was also nice to have had a bit of a ‘safety net’ that comes from travelling with other people. I don’t mean in terms of the ‘dangerous Mexico’ everyone keeps referring to, but in the sense of supplies or any potential car issues, it’s nice to know there are people there who can help you.

This left the two of us standing on the beach, mid-morning feeling a little lost. It’s very different travelling on the road in a group compared to as a couple and it felt like we needed some time to adjust back to what we were used to. We decided to spend one more night at La Pastora, before deciding where we would head next. It was strange how things felt different now, the beach had really cleared out.

The previous time we had been at La Pastora, I had really enjoyed the spot, but now it didn’t seem so appealing. we were camped next to some irritating dogs, one of which wouldn’t leave Aimee alone and kept barking around the van and the other which was borderline aggressive. It had chased her into the bush the previous night and I nearly had a heart attack as I saw it wrestle something in its mouth accompanied by some nasty snapping noises. I was about to run in attack it, when John called out that Aimee had run out and was under the camper, fortunately all the dog was killing was a piece of tree. It still made us worried about letting her out and we were constantly watching to see where she was.

There were a few other factors. Earlier that morning, a Mexican lady had come over and had a massive go at us all as we sat outside in the morning sun. She wasn’t happy that we had watched a film (too loud), that we had pets (too messy) or that we were camping here at all in fact. She accused John of going to the toilet in the bushes without burying it, before rounding off her little shouting episode by telling us we weren’t welcome in her country. While I do take her point that it’s horrible if people leave the beach a mess and don’t clear up after their dogs, I don’t think she was really having a go at the right people. Nevertheless, it somewhat soured the atmosphere of that camping spot.

By the time the next morning came, we had somewhat acclimatized to being just the two of us again. We spoke to the guy in a camper near us, and apologised for keeping him awake the other night. He was perfectly pleasant and responded, “It was my fault for not being tired enough to sleep”. While I don’t think he can really be held accountable, it was good to know that our neighbours didn’t all want us to leave.

The guy who owned the aggressive dog came over and had a very suspect conversation with Lee, while I eavesdropped from inside the van. He passionately explained how all women are crazy and controlling, especially at that ‘time of the month’ and how hard it is for him to deal with that. Poor little darling. We later overheard him having a rather angry conversation with his wife, who he had known for two weeks before they married apparently, that ended with him shouting, “It’s not my fault I’m angry, the weed down here is terrible! I’m not getting my proper medication!” At this point, we decided we might leave our neighbours before we got further embroiled in their politics, and head to a different beach.

Our vague plan was to work our way south, drive around through Cabo and come up through the central mountain road we had missed the last time. This takes you to Santiago which has some nice hiking and some good hot springs. we would then head slightly further north and spend some time in the Bay of Conception. We were now in no rush to complete this trip and therefore headed into Todos Santos at a leisurely pace. We filled up our growler again at the brewery and made good use of their Wi-Fi at the same time.

We then went and bought some B12 shots for me at the pharmacy. Something I hadn’t done in America as it was way too expensive, costing $150 just for a consultation before you have even got your medication. I had been trying to make do with over the counter supplements, but they are not nearly as effective. We had heard that Mexico is very different for buying prescription medication, and this is indeed true. I walked into the pharmacy and explained what I wanted, the guy behind the counter nodded and went off to the back. He came back with a box and told us it was 480mxp (about $20) for 15 months’ worth. They also came with the needles in the box, it’s a do it yourself job. He didn’t even take my name, it was like going into a supermarket and buying a packet of crisps. Feeling pretty happy that I had got some so easily, but then a little apprehensive that I was going to have to inject them myself which I had no idea how to do, we left.

In the likely event, that we were know going to be here sometime, we also made Aimee an appointment to get spade at the vets. Her appointment wasn’t until Monday, so we needed somewhere to stay that was close. We decided we would go back to San Pedrito and spend some time there.

Arriving at the beach, we managed to get one of the good spots in the trees that border the back of the beach. Nice and level, they are the perfect size for a single van. We had one ‘neighbour’ parked next to us in a Mazda truck. He introduced himself as Shane, and had already been there a little while. He explained he was waiting for some papers to be sorted so that he could fly over to China and teach English there, which was probably very, very bad timing giving the current situation.

We sometimes feel like our camping set up is basic compared to other peoples, just because we are so restricted on space. Shane was taking basic to the next level. He slept in the back of his open bed truck, under the stars. He cooked on an open fire every night and had very little else with him, save some water, groceries and his bike. While I admire anyone who can live like this, I like my creature comforts a little too much to be able to manage like that.

Sunday morning came, and the weather had picked up again into a proper scorcher of a day. Lee had managed to buy a leash for our free surfboard, but had yet to actually trial it in the sea. I tried to fix our shower for the umpteenth time, still not convinced I had the right kind of silicone to make it work this time either. I also shredded the exterior of this coconut in the hope we could use it for our compost toilet.

I managed to get my hammock set up with some jiggling around of branches and supports, meaning I was able to chill out in the sun. All things considered I was more than happy to spend some time like this.

That evening, we took away Aimee’s food and water in preparation for her operation the following morning. I think the combination of this, and her coming on heat again made her an absolute nightmare that night and we were both definitely feel a bit sleep deprived the following morning. She had to be at the vets by 9.30am, so we packed away our stuff and set off. Shane kindly left his bike in our space to reserve it for our return.

After dropping her off at the vets, we had a good 3 hours to kill until we could pick her up again at 1pm. We headed back to the brewery, now shut down for at least a week due to Covid-19, we were happy to see we could still jump on the Wi-Fi parked up outside. I set about downloading us some more TV shows to watch, and we both took the time to catch up on some blogs while we waited. A lot of the town was now shutting down due to the virus.

Just before 12pm, the owners arrived. They were completely unfazed that we were outside stealing their internet, and we talked for a while to Liz through the metal window bars. Her cat was not impressed by the lack attention, and looked and sounded very much like Aimee would have in the same situation. Wandering around the floor howling, until she was picked up. Liz gave us a free drink to enjoy, and explained that would still be opening periodically for people to refill their growlers, even though the brewery itself wasn’t actually open. Despite the fact that the number of cases here seems to be very low, they wanted to do their part in preventing the spread and make sure that their workers and families were not unnecessarily exposed to the virus.

Sure enough, it wasn’t long before someone turned up for a refill and with all these distractions, time flew by. It wasn’t long before it was 1pm, and time to go pick up our dozy little cat. She was in her bag, which she had peed in. The vet showed me that, while she wasn’t really awake, she was responsive (just) and explained we needed to keep her out of the sun as it would hurt her eyes. He also confirmed that she had been on heat, so we felt vindicated in our decision. There is no way we wanted to put ourselves, or her, through that every two weeks.

We the loaded her into the back of the van and headed back to San Pedrito. I felt it would best to get the rough dirt track over with while she was still dopey and let her recover in peace and quiet on the beach.

Having had out two boys neutered in England, we knew what to expect to an extent. However in England it is a little different. You drop your cat off first thing in the morning, and then normally pick them up late evening. The vet makes sure they’ve had something to eat and are basically normal, if a little delicate by the time you get them back. Here, we got Aimee back still incredibly doped up, meaning that we got to see her come round from the aesthetic. This is quite a scary thing. We watched her stumble about, unable to properly co-ordinate her limbs with making some rather weird mewing noises. her eyes glazed over and she lay there with her tongue hanging out, to the point where I had to keep check she was actually breathing. Having watched one kitten die, watching another wake up from this was unpleasantly similar. Within a few hours, she was looking a lot more Aimee like and managed to eat some food without throwing it up everywhere.

Feeling a little less worried, it was now time for to stop putting off my B12 injection. I had nominated Lee to do it, and had done some online research into how and where to do it.  Having pick my thigh as a good spot, I handed him the needle. There is something a little daunting about sticking an inch-long needle into yourself, so I’d rather not do it myself. I was also expecting it to hurt quite a lot, B12 being quite a painful shot. Back in England, I’ve had a variety of doctors administer one, ranging from painless too downright painful. I’m happy to say that Lee did pretty well with this though, and I barely felt it at the time. He managed not to hit anything important that shouldn’t be hit with a needle, like nerves or blood vessels and after being about 4 months overdue this shot, I was quite pleased to finally have it sorted!

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