Tuesday, 31 January 2012:
So here we are, up to day four in a week in the life of b. hopkins. You will recall that I’ve been going at it pretty hard and strong for the past few days. Yeah, yeah, not so hard and strong for you kids out there [i.e. anybody under 45], but pretty darn busy for we older folks.
So it turns out that Tuesday is my day to rest. I’m looking at my calendar for 31 January only to discover that I didn’t do a damn thing that day. But you know what? That’s all right! As I wrote in a previous blog, it’s totally okay to do nothing!
Did I do ANYTHING this Tuesday? Well, yeah, apparently I did. I took pills. Because the only thing it says on my calendar is “8AM” and “5:30PM.” This can only mean that at those times I took some Diclofenaco. And “what the hell is Diclofenaco?”, you perhaps ask. Well, let me tell you a little story about it, and about other drugs here in Mexico.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 10 years, you know we have some drug “issues” here in Mexico, but you should also know that we have some drug “solutions” here. And one of the solutions is that almost all non-narcotic drugs here do not require a prescription. And what that means is that you don’t need to pay for a doctor’s visit to get your hands on the medicine to cure what ails ya.
For example, I have high blood pressure. Have since I was a kid [i.e. 25 or so]. And for all those years in the US, I had to visit a doctor once every six months or so to get my hands on a prescription for the pills that help control my blood pressure. Mind you, the prescription almost never changed [because it was working], but I still had to pay for that doctor’s visit out of my pocket to get that little white script.
My blood pressure medicine didn’t, in the early years, cost me that much, but the price kept rising and rising. Eventually I had prescription insurance as well. Cost me quite a lot, but was much cheaper than doing without. My copay was minimal. For a couple of years in my 50s, when I was on the road installing computers at hotel/motel front desks, I was without prescription insurance. The first time I walked into a drugstore in Vegas to refill my blood pressure pills, I almost stroked out in front of the pharmacist.
The cost for a ninety day refill was somewhere in the region of $250US. At that time, I was making good money and could afford to pay that, but what about the folks who could not? And I could have put that money to much better use. You know, like in helping the poor or on buying Jack Daniels for myself.
But when I got down here to Mexico, I found that I could get just about any medicine not only cheaper, but without having to pay [and I do mean PAY] a visit to the doctor. My Lisinopril? The high blood pressure meds that I was charged $250US for in the US? About 100 times higher than the cost here at Guadalajara Farmacia. Not for a knockoff, not for a generic. Same exact medicine, albeit in a lower dosage so I have to take more pills per day. But I’m still factoring that into the cost.
[Interesting thing about meds in my part of Mexico. They usually come in lower dosages and almost always in fewer numbers than in the US. And you don’t get them in bottles with the little label with your name, etc., on them. They come in prepackaged blister packs.]
But that’s not all! I then discovered the Dr. Similares chain down here. [That’s the good doctor himself at the top of this post.] The folks at Dr. Simi sell, as you can tell from their name, drugs that are “similar” to prescription drugs. There are also pharmacies that sell generics, which are drugs with exactly the same ingredients, but without the “brand name.”
Shortly after I moved here, during the “dry” season, which involves lots of burning of fields and winds blowing dust everywhere, I developed some allergy symptoms/sinus issues that cried out for antihistamines. That’s when I read on one of the local webboards about Indumir, an antihistamine available at Dr. Similares for a very minimal charge….16 pesos for 20 pills. And it worked like a charm! Not only cleared me up, but put me to sleep.
And that brings us back to the Diclofenaco! Yeah, yeah, I know, what a long, strange trip it’s been. When, a few months ago, I started feeling like Granny on “The Beverly Hillbillies” and walking like her, too, I realized that I either had the “rheumatiz” or bursitis. But either way, I figured I needed an anti inflammatory.
So I limped into my local Dr. Similares and asked what was good for it. And that’s when I discovered Diclofenaco. Lawdy, lawdy, what a fine drug! It takes away my hip hurts and also saved my life when I got stung by the scorpion. [You all remember that little incident; right? If not, go here https://bigskysouthernsky.wordpress.com/2011/10/08/i-dont-care-if-youre-a-scorpio/].
Diclo has been heaven sent for me. I still walk like a penguin…but then I always did. But now I mostly walk like a painfree penguin. And all for a few cents per day when I need it…and that’s maybe a couple of times a week. Gotta love it!
And that’s what I did on Tuesday, day four of the week in question. Are more exciting days coming up? Yeah, probably!
[By the way, I apologize for the delay in this new posting. Last Monday, 27 February 2012, my computer finally crapped out for good. Thanks to my good friends Jonnie and Craig….and 36 straight hours of mind-numbing labor by Craig….I have another computer to use!]