Category Archives: Guest Blogger Adventures

National Wellness Month

healthAugust just happens to be National Wellness Month. I talked a bit about self-care last month and I’ve chronicled my own challenges with health issues and navigating the Mexican healthcare system over the years, so I won’t rehash that. However, I’d like to share some statistics to emphasize the importance of adequate health care for women, no matter what country you live in.  Women’s symptoms are systematically dismissed by doctors resulting in poor prognosis, unnecessary suffering, and early death. 

According to the World Health Organization

  • A thousand (1000) women die every day of the consequences of pregnancy and childbirth.
  • A female in a low-income country can expect to live 24 fewer years than a female who lives in a high-income country. 
  • One-third (1 / 3) of all female deaths are due to stroke and cardiovascular disease. 
  • More than four million girls under the age of five die from preventable communicable diseases every year. 

bonnie

Today I’d like to share Bonnie’s health story. Bonnie is one of our ladies in our support group Women Surviving Rural Mexico. This summer, Bonnie had surgery which was an ordeal in and of itself. She didn’t know she had to have blood donors lined up. She had to travel to a medical facility outside of her area. And while she was in recovery, a nurse found a lump on her breast. 

The nurse told her she should get a mammogram immediately. Bonnie went to her local clinic and had one done. She commented that the equipment was not very modern and the whole process made her feel as if her breasts had been flattened in a tortilla press. The technician told her that the results would be available in two months. 

Since the nurse stressed that the mammogram was urgent, Bonnie asked for the CD disc copy and took it to a private doctor for a diagnosis. The private doctor charged 200 pesos and gave her a printout to take to the clinic run by Seguro Popular (Mexican health insurance). Based on those results, Bonnie was scheduled for an ultrasound. 

There was only one technician trained to use the ultrasound at the clinic. The results weren’t available for two weeks. Bonnie then took the ultrasound information back to Seguro Popular which referred her to another doctor a biopsy. 

She went to the clinic for that appointment which performed the biopsy on the lump without anesthesia. Bonnie had to take the tissue sample to a private lab for analysis. That cost 400 pesos but the results were ready later that same week. She was given a referral to another doctor for a second opinion. 

The doctor couldn’t see her the day she had the appointment but sent her to a health fair in a town about an hour from her home where they did a second biopsy free of charge. 

When the results were ready three weeks later, Bonnie took them back to the doctor who then said she would get a referral to the hospital in San Luis Potosi, a three-hour drive. Several trips later and Bonnie was able to see a specialist. The lump is cancerous. She is scheduled to have a mastectomy on September 11. Chemotherapy is scheduled to begin after surgery. 

The medical staff signed Bonnie up for Gastos Catastróficos once the cancer diagnosis was official which will cover more of her treatments and follow-up care. 

Since breast cancer is one of the most expensive cancers to treat, Mexico public healthcare, despite all the waiting for appointments and results, is a godsend for Bonnie and her family. 

If you wish to help Bonnie on her way to wellness, you can send your donation via Google Pay or Paypal to happycrabb at gmail.com 

*****

In honor of Wellness Month, A Woman’s Survival Guide to Mexican Healthcare is free for the next few days at Amazon. As you can see from Bonnie’s story, navigating the Mexican healthcare system is complicated but doable if you are determined enough. 

healthcare cover

 

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Filed under Charities and Non-Profits in Mexico, Guest Blogger Adventures, Health

My First Podcast!

Expat Mama Kimberlee Thorne-Harper has featured me on one of her podcasts!

Here’s a summary of what we talked about:

“Camille Flores met her husband in the US at a Mexican restaurant where they were both working. After a minor pullover with the police without his driver’s license, it looked like he wouldn’t be able to renew his driver’s license or work in the US ever again. Moreover, his deportation would eventually be imminent, so they as a family decided to “self-deport”. She tells what it was like for her to try and adapt to a new country and culture in a remote area of Mexico, with no basic services like electricity or other services for several years. She discusses her experience with Mexico’s schools are vs. schools in the US, how their now 17-year-old is schooled now and what their lives are like, what they do for work and much more. A discussion on how varied Mexico can be from region to region. She truly has an amazing story. Her quote or motto is this: “I do the difficult immediately; the impossible takes me a little longer.””

While you are there, be sure to check out the other fascinating podcasters featured on Expat Mama’s page!Expat Mama Podcasts

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Filed under Blogging, Blogs about Mexico Worth Reading, Guest Blogger Adventures

Write Your Story Day

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March 14 is National Write Your Story Day!

Have you considered writing about your life in Mexico?

If you have a story to share that would be of interest to readers and would like to see it published here at Surviving Mexico, you can go here for complete submission guidelines.

Where to begin? I know, it seems overwhelming. Why not start with just a day?

I’m pleased to announce that Surviving Mexico is now accepting submissions for the next edition of A Day in the Life — A Compilation from Women Creating a New Routine in Mexico. The world would love to hear your story!

If you haven’t already downloaded your free ebook, you can do so here.

A Day in the life... cover

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A few words from Erma Note and the Giveaway Winner Announcement

Last week I told you about the signed book giveaway of Travels with Grace through rafflecopter. The winner is Cassandra Darensbourg! Congratulations Cassandra! Please contact me to make arrangements for your book delivery. A big thank you goes out to everyone who participated as well!

Erma Note is the author of our giveaway prize, Travels with Grace. Here’s what she has to say about her life in Mexico.

erma
I’m Erma Note. I am originally from the suburbs of Chicago, but I have been living in Mexico since 2003. I currently reside in Mexico due to job relocation.

I originally came to Mexico for a year to volunteer with an orphanage in Morelos State, Mexico. I ended up staying, getting married, and having my children in Mexico. My 23-year-old self never foresaw spending more than a year in Mexico, and I am often homesick for my family and friends. But I see that there is a lot of good in raising my children in Mexico. I have also met such a diverse array of interesting people in my years here, and my many friends and acquaintances have subsequently led to a variety of interesting connections.

I realized the other day while listening to the podcast “Curious City” (from WBEZ) that I am inherently a Chicagoan. While listening to the episode “To Chicago, With Love: What Do Transplants Love about the City?” I realized that I truly miss the environment I grew up in. I am still that person. But I have grown and evolved. So I don’t think my belief system has changed. I totally own who I am, and my family and friends from home helped shape me. But I have become worldlier since leaving the safe confines of the North Shore. Is that for better or for worse? That is a hard thing to determine. I know I would have always wondered “what if” had I not taken a leap of faith. I try not to be a “what if” kind of person if I can help it.

I miss fireflies in the summer and the Fourth of July. I miss seeing tulips popping up sporadically in my yard during the first days of spring, our magnolia tree in the front yard, and the view of Lake Michigan. I miss being able to go to family and friend events such as baptisms, weddings, first communions, graduations, and funerals. I miss having grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles nearby to watch my children grow (as was my experience with my extended family).

I think I am warier. I am always alert. I never rest on my laurels. I am constantly reinventing myself because so many dear friends leave every year. I think I am pretty good at keeping in touch thanks to social media. I am constantly meeting new, awesome friends that I would never have bumped into by staying in one corner of the world my whole life. I do NOT consider myself “an expat.” But I do consider myself a foreigner. I am a foreigner raising third culture children in Mexico. It’s complicated. But I know I am not the only one, and there are so many people bumping around the earth, trying to fit in. That is one reason I admin the Facebook group Mexico City Moms. Our goal is to help other people with families in Mexico adjust to the culture clash that often accompanies moving to a foreign culture.

I do not find it important to be a people-pleaser. I am honest and loyal, and I expect honesty and loyalty. I no longer have the capacity to deal with superficial people. I would rather have five close friends than twenty fake acquaintances. Fortunately, I think I have a lot of great friends. I hope they also think I am a good friend.

Due to job changes, we have lived in five cities over the last sixteen years. Nine of those years were in Mexico City, where all of my children were born. I got comfortable. Then we got moved again. Starting again is never easy. But I have managed to make friends everywhere I go, and I strive to make sure that my family is happy and functioning despite the upheaval.

It is a matter of when, not if, we move again. I am not great with transition. I am not a light packer or a minimalist. I live with a smidgen of dread and anxiety every day as such. I continuously research real estate prices while I peruse my emails. I am always hoping that somehow, somewhere, my kids will have a chance to grow up in one place, ideally the Midwest of the U.S. and near extended family. It is hard to be happy where you are when you’re wondering when you won’t be there anymore while wishing you were at home, wherever THAT IS at this point, and while at the same time feeling at home where you are.

My kids make me never give up. My children are my proudest accomplishment. I am also very proud of publishing my book and getting my message out to the world.

Certainly one of the most defining moments of my life was when I chose to come to Mexico. I felt that if I didn’t say “yes” right then and there, I would always wonder “what if.”

If I have free time, I enjoy shopping for handicrafts and visiting cultural sites such as pyramids and museums.

While I am not the main breadwinner of the family, I am an editor and publishing consultant. I also do author events for my book “Travels with Grace.” I would like to publish a Spanish edition of “Travels with Grace” sometime soon.travels with grace

You can find Travels with Grace by Erma Note at Amazon and Barnes and Nobles.

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Guest Blogger Adventures, Inspirational Writers in Mexico