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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Our Mexican Adventure-concludes.

Well this isn't the next post on Blog I envisioned a few weeks ago. As some know I had a heart issue that sent me to hospital for 3 days in Dolores, then on to a cardiologist in Queretero, the next week. Had several EKGs, and checkup that showed an arrthymia, was causing heart to beat about 120- 40 beats a minute.
Was put on medication, helped control it, and allowed me to function, albeit at a reduced pace.
The HLC heart Dr was good, just a translation issue. I sent the EKG and report to my cardiologist in St. Louis. He agreed with medication, Mexican Dr had me on. Then we arranged to come back for an echo cardiogram in St. Louis. This Dr here had done my angioplasty with stent in 06.
The bottom line was with this condition it recurs a good % of time and we were over 2 hrs from cardiologist, and he told me I needed to go home for echo test. So we headed back to St. Louis with skeleton of bare necessities, depending on what test showed & our feeling at that time.
We decided to bring with us as much as we could fit in car, and that we might be gone up to 3 months.
Elaine packed up house, with Rosario, to prepare as if we would not be back. I hoped that we might be able to return. was very hard to give up our "dream", that only began 8 months ago, and was in planning for 2 years. But agreed to leave if that was going to be best course over long run. But held out hope that Dr would say it was just a little blurp on the radar screen. I had changed my diet to a healthy one, and lost 20 lbs. Medication helped keep BP/ heart rate 135/84/84. Normally heart rate is mid 60's.
  Stopped here for a late lunch, I think in Oklahoma on way back. So had the echo test, and have scheduled for tomorrow a cardio-conversion procedure, they electro shock heart to try to get into right rhythm. Dr said he felt like because we came back soon after the arrythmia started, there was a high rate of success. But when we got back to almost sea-level. I felt it much easier to breathe. Before I was panting at the simplest of tasks, due to altitude. So from the Cardio Dr here, and the easier breathing here. it looks like we have had decision made to stay here.  I'm glad that Elaine gave me her input, and her perspective, on what position she would be in if something happened to me, while we were in Dolores. She knows how much I wanted to stay, and see thru our original plan, but also knew what could happen if we had a repeat of the previous situation. When I was in Hospital in Dolores, there was no cardiologist, there was an experienced internist. He gave me some medicine that was the correct protocol, but didn't bring my heart rate down much, The hospital was run like a prison, they wouldn't allow Elaine to bring in food for me. They said there food was fine. Here I was a heart patient and they fed me, a small salad, 2 fired tortillas, beans and rice! Not exactly a heart healthy fare. When I questioned them, they said they have very good food!. They were insulted that I suggested there food was the best diet for me. So I asked 1 Dr. who spoke some english, if I could bring in laptop, so I could commuicate with DR. So thy relented for that, before they would not allow Elaine to bring in even water to me much less some fruit & veggies. So I had an aircard I plugged into laptop, and started googling the medical condition I had, and recommended treatment. I read from Mayo clinic website that using a beta blocker was suggested to bring heart rate down. So I got the younger Dr to help me communicate with the Dr in charge, and after some hurt feelings he agreed to give me a beta blocker in IV I had in. That broght heart rate into 90s. Then I showed him using a translation app, that the dosage could be upped to 10-15 mgs. He asked how old this information was? I showed him it was the lastest from Mayo Clinic. and he agreed then to up dosage. That brought the rate down into 70s by sunday and he released me. Had come in on friday. Had much support from our Cobe, Bro. Feid, and a Bible study the 1st night as we checked in to ER. But itt was almost ironically funny, here I'm in the ER, they get us a room, and even made special consideration for Elaine to stay there, but they never put me on a monitor the whole night. To keep heart monitored!  After awhile, Elaine & I looked at each other, and just tried to sleep. We couldn't believe the lack of training, or ability to hook me up to heart monitor. Thats when my wife began to see, that staying may not be an option. When the next morning came the internist Dr directed them to hook up the heart monitor.
So as it turns out, my sons condo opened up, his renter for last 5 years gave him notice she was leaving by July 1. It is a 2 br. 1 1/2 bath ground floor condo. We had stored at our kids places a lot of our old furniture, tables, so we had  much that we needed to at least move into condo for awhile. We didn't know for how long, and still don't but it gave us our own place to live, while going thru tests and the time it will take for Dr to do followup at 30 and 90 days. We are in my best friends congregation, Pacific, MO. close to our kids. They all pitched in to move us in, I supervised for the most part.
Here is the place we are as of now.

Elaine & I & Austin having our dinner.

                                                     My new office.


                                                          The kitchen

new dining room, going to miss our hand-made tables from Luis, and chairs.

                           Elaine's desk, her mother Evelyn's       that Janine "loaned' to us.

Living room, with chairs from Stacey & Jared.
So we will try to make adjustment to the new circumstances, and for now have to end "Planks Mexican Adventure". I must say we are glad we did make the move to Mexico, and to find warm friends, and 1 of the most spiritual group of people to be around, at meetings and field service, has been the best of experiences. The level of spirituality in Dolores will be missed more than I can say. We have not experienced that level of spirituality since being at Bethel on a scale that Dolores Hidalgo has. The comments & preparation for meetings was outstanding. Every morning we had a brother who would conduct the mtg for FS with well thought out comments and encouragement.
The sisters comments and talks & demos were superb. As I said it was like being back at Bethel.
But we look forward to the next chapter of our life, and while we will never forget our experience in Dolores Hidalgo, we will try to bring with us an encouraging spirit to our new congregation, and join them in preaching the good news.
Tom & Elaine.


  1. Sad you had to leave Mexico but happy to have you here. Now we are pressured to up our level of spirituality! We will do our best:-)

  2. Awh sad you had to give up your dream (we sure know what that is like, if not for the same reasons) however it sounds like the best thing at the moment.
    Thinking of you all the way from New Zealand!
    Sigan adelante amigos!

  3. Tom, I am so sorry about the turn of events. I truly have enjoyed 'hearing' your experiences in Mexico. Thank you for your time and the adventure.

  4. So you are back in the USA and missing Mexico! What a great experience you will never forget. We must take care of ourselves though and you hae made the right decision for the best healthcare. Elaine, Jean says she still has your pictures and grandmother's mirror if you would like to have them back ....... we'll even bring them to you! Sure do appreciate your e-mails. Tom, you have become quite a story teller and writer! See you soon.

    Love from Seth & Jean

  5. Dear Tom and Elaine... I have told so many people about you and your grand mexican adventure. It is as if Lorraine and I had our own adventures by proxy through the one you enjoyed. How great it is that you followed your dream. Now that our paths are closer, perhaps they will someday intersect. What a hoot that you had to become your own doctor and research your own treatment there in mexico. I'm just glad that you are back on the path to recovery and have so many stories now to tell. Love from Tom and Lorraine Bowen