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Polly and Husband’s Latest Adventure
email this pageprint this pageemail usPolly G. Vicars - PVNN
June 04, 2010

Healthy food and plenty of it

Dr. Angelica, Martha and Dr. Castañeda visited often and even brought chocolates

Carl, Irene and Husband visiting me

Melchor brought Husband to visit every day

Elia, Iris, Aurelio and Carmen

Tonio made the X-ray that showed Husband's problem

Then Husband was served this bountiful lunch
Husband and I have just gone through what some would call an ordeal, but what we call an adventure in love, caring and healing. Here is the story. In the last few months both of us have had some minor health problems, most due to many years of smoking, albeit thirty-five years ago.

Emphysema, bronchitis and atrial fibrillation have sneaked into our lives after my 78 years and Husband’s 81 years of excellent health. You know they say that couples who have been married a long time, begin to look alike, but in our case we just developed the same health problems, with Husband having the unique problem of spinal stenosis giving him much pain in his leg and back.

Our family doctor, Internist Dr. Jamie Castañeda, our Cardiologist, Dr. Leslie Swindle and our Orthopedist Dr. Jorge Villanuevo have been taking very good care of us keeping us on our feet, more or less. But last week everything came crashing down on us.

First I developed an acute case of bronchitis which I tried to ignore until I was so far into it I couldn’t stop coughing and could barely breathe. Off to see Dr. Jamie who immediately signed me into CMQ Hospital here in the Romantic Zone. Husband was suffering terribly with the pain from the spinal stenosis causing several scary falls, so sick as I was, I knew I had to make plans to have someone stay with him, to see to his daily needs.

I have often written about the incredible friends we have here in Vallarta and I knew that I could count on all of them. But there is one special friend, the first one we made after we moved to Vallarta in 1988, Melchor Cortes Cortes, our wonderful Spanish Maestro and the closest thing we have to a son. Sure enough Melchor made plans to spend each night at our condo with Husband and see that he was safe and secure. Other great friends Mary and Alfredo Franco, Irene and Carl Johnson stepped in to take him to dinner, bring him to the hospital to visit me, and my worries about Husband abated.

Being in CMQ hospital in Puerto Vallarta is the closest thing to a stay at a luxury spa - with the added IV drip, oxygen, vaporizer, antibiotics, etc. The doctors, nurses, aides, cleaning staff, security, cooks, receptionists all make up an incredible team of caring individuals who absolutely devote themselves to each patient.

Need an extra bottle of water? Touch the button and someone will be in your room almost before your finger stops pressing. Need a smile and some comfort? Some member of this staff will be passing by and stick a head in the door to give you a smile and a word or two of encouragement.

For expert medical care, Dr. Jaime is the finest doctor we have ever had. He had saved Husband´s life a few years ago when we thought for sure he was a goner, and now he was in and out of my room making sure that everything was being done to get me over this severe case of bronchitis. So if any of you need hospitalization, you can’t do better than CMQ. It stands right up there with the best hospitals in the states and I feel sure it is the finest here in Puerto Vallarta.

But it wasn’t just the doctors and hospital staff that made this an adventure in love and caring. Our friends, Gloria, Felipe, Martin from the staff of Condominio La Palapa where we have lived all these years, were the first to come bringing flowers and those wonderful smiles and hugs (although through medical masks). My great computer Guru, Ivan Alcántara, Ana and daughter Andie visited with more flowers. Good friend Judy Galeana sneaked in more flowers and Martha Castañeda (Jaime’s lovely wife) came bearing chocolates.

Of course Melchor and wife Martha came to see me as well as took care of Husband. Cheo, our former boat Captain surprised me with a visit as we hadn’t seen him for several weeks, Teresa my masseuse came and gave me a fantastic massage. My dear friends Mayo Warren, Mary and Alfredo, Irene and Carl took turns visiting and Los Bambinos came with guitars and serenaded me (and much of the hospital staff) several times during my seven-day stay.

Of course I had my wonderful I-Phone with me not only for telephone calls but sending and receiving emails to and from friends. Marcelo Mico, our Pilates master emailed me daily, keeping my spirits up. I also could watch the opening rounds of the French Open Tennis Matches and see my favorite Rafa Nadal win match after match. No matter how sick I was, I think they would have had a hard time keeping me there if they didn’t have tennis on the TV.

My heart swelled from all of these people who made time in their busy lives to call, to come to visit me and knew that there was no way that I wasn’t going to get well! I felt like the luckiest person in the world to have all those friends, young, old, Mexican, American engulfing me in their love!

Meanwhile Husband was depressed that I was in the hospital and the pain from his spine was bad. On the day the doctor said I could go home, he had an appointment with Dr. Villanuevo, the founder of CMQ, to have a cortisone injection in his spine to ease that pain.

Melchor brought him to the hospital early in the morning on May 25, and the injection was absolutely successful. The pain was gone! But when they brought him down to my room where I was getting ready to be dismissed, he looked horrible and could hardly breathe. We put him right into my bed and Dr. Jaime came running and told us he had to stay. His bronchitis and weak heart had almost incapacitated him. So he began to get the spa treatment - IV drip, oxygen, etc. He responded, I went home and left him there in the same good hands that had made me well.

Those of you who know us, know that everyone loves Husband whom they call Humberto. So his room was filled with friends and staff giving him care and love. The highlight of his adventure was when Los Bambinos, Carlos, Lazzaro, Immer and Giorgio came to sing Elvira! Of course Husband did his part with "Mau Mau" and the whole hospital had a ball! I told them we should put a banner out saying CMQ Hospital - Musica en Vivo!

On Saturday Dr. Leslie, who was filling in for Dr. Jaime who was in Guadalajara, came and gave Husband the green light to go home. So we spent a fantastic weekend eating pizza in bed, watching Rafa win and rejoicing that we were both better, were together in our beautiful condo by the sea and that we lived among people who make even the hard times in life a loving adventure! I guess the Beatles said it best, "All you need is love, love. All you need is love!"
Polly G. Vicars and her husband of almost 60 years, Hubert (a.k.a. "Husband") retired to Puerto Vallarta in 1988 and soon became active members of several charitable organizations. Polly is the author of "Tales of Retirement in Paradise: Life in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico" [a sell-out!] and "More Tales of Retirement in Puerto Vallarta and Around the World." Proceeds from the sale of her books go to the America-Mexico Foundation, a scholarship foundation that is their passion.

Click HERE for more articles by Polly Vicars, or click HERE to learn more about Becas Vallarta and the America-Mexico Foundation.

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the included information for research and educational purposes • m3 © 2009 BanderasNews ® all rights reserved • carpe aestus