Monday, May 18, 2009

"Hell-hot" in Merida

Here it is only mid-May and I’ve already had my fill of temperatures in excess of 100 degrees fahrenheit. I’ve lived here for 14 years, but for some reason, have never gotten acclimated to the Yucatecan heat. And, I moved here from Florida! You’d think it wouldn’t be so bad to get accustomed to it, but I just have not. It seems each new summer is hotter than the one before.

I do manage though. I plan all “outdoor” activities in the early morning before the sun is full or early evening after the never-ending ball of fire starts to gradually fade away. The hottest hours of the day seem to be from noon until around 3 or 4. Normally, I try to be indoors, preferably at home, but on occasion I do venture out to shop. If I do go out in the hell-hot heat, I make sure to use the air conditioner in my car and I only go to air conditioned stores. No exceptions! If I’m home, rest assured that I have my air conditioners and fans on to keep cool. I also do siestas - a great Mexican tradition!

I try real hard to keep myself well hydrated by drinking plenty of liquids. I can’t always do the multiple glasses of water thing, but I do drink other beverages, some carbonated, most are not. And here’s a word about a nice cold, refreshing, delicious, wonderful, can’t live without it, beer. Beer is a diuretic! Yes, it will make you urinate more and perspire more, and you will loose as much liquid as you have taken in and then some. Not a good choice, but hey – I’m not perfect!! And, I’ve never seen a death certificate that says “died from drinking a beer”.

If you have to be in the sun, be sure to use a good sun screen to block those sun's rays and prevent skin cancers, especially melanomas. Force yourself to drink copious amounts of liquids, even if you don’t feel thirsty, to avoid getting dehydrated. Melanoma and/or dehydration can kill you while sun screen and liquids could save your life.

If it sounds a bit like I am preaching (even if to the choir), that would be because I am.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

H1N1 Swine Flu: A Personal Scare

After spending six weeks in Florida for medical problems unrelated to the flu, I finally decided to return home to Merida on April 14. I flew my usual route from Tampa, Florida, to Houston, Texas, and then on to Merida.

While at the Houston Airport, I did notice lots of folks coughing, sneezing, texting, talking, more coughing, chasing kids with runny noses, sneezing, and of course talking loudly on their cell phones, sharing their individual calls with everyone around them. On board the plane, there remained lots of coughing and sneezing but there was a reprieve with the cell phones.

After I got back, I started with a dry cough that led to full blown flu symptoms. The Swine Flu was just making headlines and they published the symptoms. Cough, headache, ache all over, temperature, nausea, vomiting, etc., and so on. Good Grief! I had each and every symptom. I fought it for three days on my own and lost the battle.

I first went to the Emergency Room at Clinica Merida and saw the Doctor there. He immediately ordered a series of three breathing treatments, 30 minutes apart and then, a chest x-ray. He told me I had something going on with my lungs, an infection, and gave me three medications to take. I had absolutely no confidence in this doctor or the medications he prescribed. I did get the meds, used them as directed for two days and felt absolutely no relief.

We called Star Medica, explained my symptoms, and asked to see a specialist. They immediately set me up with a doctor who specialized in epidemiology, Public Health, and in addition, was a medical doctor. I went to see him and he immediately put me in the hospital. I needed IV antibiotics to fight the symptoms I had plus regular breathing treatments and oxygen 24 hours a day. I had left lower lobe pneumonia and bronchitis.

The test kits for the H1N1 virus were just received from the CDC in Atlanta the afternoon I was admitted, and I had a nasal swab, throat swab, and blood work. The results showed that I did not have the H1N1 Virus! I thought for sure I did. This “quick test” is not 100%. My lab work and such were forwarded to Mexico City for final diagnosis.

The doctor and hospital far exceeded my expectations. Absolutely everything was just wonderful. Clean, modern, efficient, helpful, sympathetic, and caring treatment like I have never had before in a hospital. I would highly recommend the hospital and the doctor I saw, who is now my primary care physician. (Dr. Jorge Teyer)

And, my hat is off to the Mexican Government for their swift reaction to the possible pandemic of the H1N1 Virus. Schools were immediately closed. Public gatherings were cancelled. Offices and banks were closed. People were advised to stay indoors. Sporting events were allowed, but no spectators. Protective masks were handed out. And just about everything was cleaned and disinfected. I was pleasantly surprised at the fast action from the Government. In addition, after I was discharged from the hospital, two nurses from the Government showed up at my home with an informational sheet on the flu, and a 5 day supply of Tamiflu, one of the two medications that are used to fight the H1N1 Swine Flu Virus. This was free of charge!

There are really two little morals to this story. First, if you do not have confidence in the hospital or the doctor you are seeing, change hospitals or doctors. Your initial instincts are usually correct. And second, if you are sick, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Don’t wait like I did thinking you are the toughest guy on the block because you’re not!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Merida Mikey on Remembering Names

I’ve always been one of those people that hardly ever forgot a face, but often have one hell of a time remembering names! I’ve never been able to figure out why, but that’s just how it is. So, if I’ve ever forgotten your name, please forgive me!

Actually, some characters we meet are easier to remember than others. For example, these two characters are easily recognizable and named by the majority of the people on this planet!

(If you get their names wrong, sign out of this blog NOW!)

Of course, that’s Mickey Mouse and his main squeeze, Minnie. They’ve been living together in sin since around 1928. Personally, I don’t see Mick’s attraction, but have concluded he must have a foot fetish (and her, too)! I don’t think that’s how Walt Disney wanted us to view this common law couple, but that’s how I see it! And thank God Mick’s not allergic to polka dots! If I were the wardrobe police, I’d arrest the little rodent!

And how about that Snow White!?! Now there’s something to ponder. Living alone in the woods with 7 dwarfs (dirty old men all of them, for sure)! What the hell is so “Snow White” about that? I think Walt Disney wanted to entertain not only the darling little children with this fantasy, but us adults, too! (Thank you, Mr. Disney.)

While Snow White is almost as recognizable as the common law rodent couple, the 7 dirty old men she lives with in the woods are a bit more difficult. Can you name them????? I can (because I looked some of them up on the net)!

Here’s a bit of a teaser for you. Here’s a picture of Snow White and the 7 dwarfs:

(I wouldn’t vote for any of them, nor would I buy a used car from any of them!)

And here are their individual pictures. Now, get a piece of paper and a pencil, number from 1 to 7, and see how many you can name! (HINT: None of them are named “Sleazy”, so don’t even go there!)

If you get them all correct you win a free trip to Dizzy World to hang out with the Rodent and his Squeeze and dine on Velveeta cheese sandwiches. If you don’t get them all correct, you have to sign a blank check, send it to me and I’ll fill it in!

(WARNING: If you look them up on the net prior to taking this test, your computer will crash, your sex organs will shrivel up, the fleas of a thousand camels will infest your armpits, you will have 7 years of bad luck, and be forced to hang out with The Rodent and his squeeze and shine their shoes, iron her polka dot outfits, and eat Velveeta cheese sandwiches!!)

Get ready, get set, go:









Scroll down for the answers!

And the answers are:

#1 - Dopey: the youngest, sweetest, and silliest of the seven, and the only one to be completely bald and beardless; wears a too large lime green tunic and purple cap.*

#2 - Grumpy: the grouchiest and most curmudgeonly of the group, though even he is supremely devoted to the beautiful Snow White; wears a red tunic, long white hair and beard.

#3 - Doc: the only one of the dwarfs to wear glasses (so presumably the most intellectual); wears an orange-brown tunic, long white hair and beard.

#4 - Happy: the most rotund of the dwarfs; wears a brownish two-tone tunic, yellow cap, long white hair and beard.

#5 - Bashful: evokes his bashful nature through a classic pose of shyness (hands clasped behind back, shoulders slightly raised, eyes upturned); sometimes difficult to distinguish between Sneezy and Sleepy; depicted in purple tunic and magenta cap (on video), as well as long white hair and beard.

#6 - Sneezy: frequently shown with one finger underneath his nose, as if trying to stifle a sneeze; sometimes difficult to distinguish between Sleepy and Bashful; wears a yellow-brown tunic, long white hair and beard.

#7 - Sleepy: perhaps the most difficult to differentiate between Sleepy and Bashful, though he wears a perpetually sleepy looking, heavily lidded expression on his face; wears a brownish tunic, green cap, long white hair and beard.

NOTE: Keeping track of all seven dwarfs is actually quite simple once you have mastered this simple mnemonic device: two S’s, two D’s, and three emotions. Two S’s: Sleepy and Sneezy; two D’s: Dopey and Doc; and three emotions: Happy, Bashful, and Grumpy.

How’d ‘ya do? Do I have a check in the mail???????