Sunday, January 26, 2014


On this planet earth that reportedly has supported life for 3.6 billion years humans have been here for 200,000 of them. That turns out to be 0.004% of earth’s existence.
By the year 1804 humanoids multiplied their numbers to one billion.
One hundred and twenty-three years later these persistent persons doubled their presence to two billion in 1927.
Being real relentless momentum builders it would only take the Homo sapiens 99 years to increase their global presence to eight billion with an expansion rate of one billion every eleven years thereafter.
That’s a lot of toilets to flush!
Read the book Ten Billion by Stephen Emmott for a scientifically documented determination of our planets prospects and leave all hope behind…it is already too late.
Population summation: For all those out there who choose to disbelieve or pooh-pooh this scientific data; consider this; the human species has been on earth for 200,000 years. In that time his tail has atrophied…but not completely. Look at the present day man, and observe the tail-bone to discover the monkeys uncle…us.
Is there any dispute? 
Numerical statistics came from: BBC, Universe Today, and Wikipedia;

Friday, January 10, 2014

Hip Surgery in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

John (Bing) and Dr. Santiago Basto.
On Jan. 6, 2014,  John had the staples removed from the surgical incision of his hip surgery. On Dec. 19, 2013, John accidentally broke the top of his right femur. He had hip replacement surgery to repair the damage. After two nights in the hospital Centro Médico de las Américas, he came home and was off all pain medicine. Fourteen days later, the staples were removed in the emergency room of the hospital by Dr. Basto. John is now off all medications, doing massage and exercise therapy, walking with a walker, and making progress. Full recovery in on the horizon.

A Mishap:
In mid-November when Jane and I were boarding the bus to Progreso Beach
I went to put our folding bicycles in the storage compartment, it was nearly full. I had to sling my bicycle in to make it fit; it hit a coil of wire, and bounced back, pitching me out and onto the pavement.
The impact was tremendous!
I was able to move.
When I entered the bus I told Jane I had broken something. I must have had a light fracture.
December 19th Jane and I were departing our home for a bike/bus getaway.
We were loaded with heavy packs on our bikes and backs. My back pack was too big and too heavy. I never got under way, but went sprawling. I was not going anywhere without assistance.
Two passing gentlemen offered to get me off the street. I had them carry me into our house and seat me in a chair. I needed time to evaluate the situation. Jane and I discussed and appraised the options.  We decided to go to the very best clinical facility in Yucatan, CMA (Centro Medicos de las Americas). We had been customers there for 35 years.
We needed a ride to the hospital. Our neighborhood friends had all gone to work so we called our friend Ken Scott, our usual Thursday morning breakfast companion.
I was having painful violent upper leg muscle spasms which were triggered by the slightest movement.
The hospital x-ray confirmed a fracture. Even without my glasses I could easily see a clean break. It was between the ball joint at the top of the femur and the thick place where the femur becomes the thighbone.
Trauma specialist, Dr. Basto scheduled surgery for nine that evening. He said that this type of break would be causing internal bleeding and needed prompt attention.
The next order of business would be pre-op tests starting at once. The anesthesiologist, Dr. Patricia, interviewed me and said I would receive a spinal.
My last meal would be Jell-o.
I had ample time to think of the complications of my surgery. Friends in the U. S. that underwent joint replacement surgery wound up pidgin toed, club footed and even requiring elevated shoes. This past fall two friends our age went in for minor surgery, contacted staff infection and died.
My options: 10 to 20 years earlier this surgical procedure was not even available and a broken hip was a death sentence in traction.
Promptly at nine that evening I was transported to surgery. Jane’s friend Rosario came to sit with her during my operation.
Four doctors, my anesthesiologist Dr. Patricia and nursing assistants were suited up and arranging lots of stainless steel cutting tools.
Dr. Patricia rolled me over and inserted my spinal needle. A friend of ours who had a spinal injection at the Social Security Hospital said that it was the most painful thing she had ever experienced. I didn’t feel a thing.
The most memorable part of the operation came when I heard the power saw whirr into action, chatter into my leg bone, slow under the load, pick up speed and persist.
At 11:45 the surgical team was winding up and departing. The anesthesiologist had told me that normally post-op patients were held in a recovery room for an hour for evaluation. Dr. Patricia said that in spite of nearly a unit of blood loss my blood count was still good, my skin color rosy, and my vital signs good-to-go. She accompanied me to my room and tucked me in. She was wonderful!
That was midnight. Jane slept in my room with me.
The next morning I woke up ravenously hungry, extra rations were provided and I ate every crumb…the same for lunch and dinner.
Amazingly the surgical wound was not very painful in comparison to my upper leg muscle damage caused by at least 20 violent spasms.
I began massage therapy immediately and every opportunity thereafter.
My two night stay in the hospital was made pleasant by the helpful, friendly, congenial, and good humored nursing staff.
I went home by ambulance and with no further pain medicines.    
All the time I was in the hospital Jane was commuting home to move my bedroom downstairs and elevate the bed, set up our kitchen there, extract cash from cash machines for the team of doctors, and hundreds of other tasks to make my transition home. All of the other medical payments could be handled by credit card.
She was past exhausted.
The day after I got home she discovered that she had an abscessed tooth. Then we were both on antibiotics.
Return to normalcy:
So, how do you measure a good surgery?
The treatment, attention to detail, expedience, pain and suffering, before, during and after the surgery, quality of the outcome and does everything still work?
Are there any lingering aftereffects? Are you improved?
Recovery time and the surgical scar are measures of quality.
The very best indicator of professional and caring workmanship is a scar that is smooth and nearly invisible.  The other end of the scale is an ugly disfiguring wound, the mark of a slovenly uncaring butcher which reflects a slipshod job.
So, what did I get at Mérida’s CMA?
Fast competent attention, efficient, friendly, supportive treatment was expeditious from all doctors, the anesthesiologist, nurses and staff. My two night stay was amazingly short considering this was major surgery.
The fact that I was off pain medicines in a day and a half speaks volumes about the quality and precision of my treatment. 
If I don’t do anything foolish like straining myself before healing has had a chance to mend me my road to recovery will progress at a measured rate.
I am feeling good, continue to have a ravenous appetite, and with Jane setting the guidelines for my physical activities my progress has been astonishing.
Muscle damage from pre-operation spasms must heal completely to have a full recovery. My nurse and care giver, Jane is working wonders.