Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Love Cruz Roja! Nov 2009

 Damn!  I've been sick.  Eight days and nights of diarrhea, I know, sorry, too much information. . .but you need to understand the implications. 

Two different docs, three different treatment modalities.  Finally!  Third time is the charm, cured by the Red Cross!  And this is not the first time either.  Cruz Roja rocks.

I woke up the 8th morning sick again and scared.  I knew I'd lost too much fluid and needed replacement as well as probably some IV antibiotics.  Question was. . .where to get it!

There are not many clinics here at Lake Chapala where I have confidence in the medicine that is practiced there.  I've had some BAD experiences.  So, I started calling around. 

Cruz Roja said "Come in, you need care!"  Sparks, my new neighbor, drove me into Chapala, the doc met us in the parking lot, and we had our consultation then and there.  They helped me to a bed and started working on me.  Nena started an IV.  Meanwhile, they took vitals and the doctor got a more lengthy report as well as asking pertinent questions regarding allergies to meds and lifestyle use.  He took a blood sugar and then infused an antibiotic into my IV bag that was already loaded with vitamins and minerals. 

I used to work (volunteer) at this clinic and it was so nice to see everyone again, got lots of hugs and many very concerned "How do you feel?" questions with caring hand squeezes.

Three hours, an elderly man with a broken hip, a little boy with a fractured foot, and woman with chest pain later, they infused an antiparasitic into my IV.

Then a nasty open femur fracture arrived - motorcyclist versus car, the bikes always lose.  By this time 8 hours had passed and I was feeling pretty good.  My IV had run out and I was good to go.  But not without strict doctor's orders for diet follow-up and prescriptions.  All in all, I was there for 8 hours, had IVs and meds, vitamins and minerals, excellent - and genuine - care and the total tab for my Tune-Up was. . .  ba dump bump. . .325 pesos or about $24 US. 

I've spent many years practicing medicine in ambulances, working in Emergency Rooms, Urgent Care Clinics, and other venues and I can tell you with absolute certainty that the treatment plan that was given to me is the same that would be used in any ER in California.  It was good, timely, appropriate, and well executed.

Did I say I love the Red Cross?  They are a jewel and we're SO lucky to have them here at the lake.  There are 3 docs working rotating schedules.  Two of them are Dr. Armandos and the third is a woman I have not met yet.  Dr. Armando Aran (the doctor that treated me) and Dr. Armando Zepeda both are trained in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and there is a 12 lead EKG at CR in Chapala.  Dr. Aran works at Hospital Puerto de Hierro in Zapopan on his days off from CR.

Dr. Aran asked if I would return as a volunteer and I agreed.  I will meet with him next week to look at scheduling. 

For more information or to donate to this noble organization, please see:

Cruz Roja Lakeside, the local site.
Cruz Roja Mexicana, the national site.



  1. Ok so I don't want to sound crazy but finding you and your blog, or I should say you finding my blog is the most timely blessing Iv had in a long time. I have tons of questions. I cant find an e-mail on your page so if you could e-mail me that would be great my e-mail is. newcreationajhatyahoodotcom
    Do you think its possible for me to work in health care with pretty broken Spanish? I have been reading some medical articles in Spanish and I'm understanding it all. I just know if someone starts speaking to me quickly I will most likely be lost. I look forward to hearing from you.

  2. so.... i didn't know that those services were available. I had the same thing... cept for a MONTH!!! can u believe that? I had no clue what to do except drink pedialyte and gatorade. Wow. I live right by a Cruz Verde (are they similar?)... now I know what to do and where to go. What other services do they offer?

  3. OMG, a month! Dehydration is dangerous. No, Cruz Verde is different. It's operated by the government, Cruz Roja is a branch of the International Red Cross. You should probably scout out all the clinics in your area for cleanliness and efficiency and ask around which is the best. Hope you never need it tho!