It was our first big summer storm since our return to the jungle from San Miguel de Allende that acutely reminded us of the importance of house maintenance in Mexico. The lightning came cracking down over our house like an arrow landing a bullseye, resulting in my jumping at least a foot into the air and one of our rooftop AC compressors catching on fire!
Fortunately for me, I am married to a firefighter and knew that our family (and my nerves) were in good hands. Although it was a powerful lightning bolt from the storm that caused the fire, the downpour is what extinguished it. Glass half full, no?
Thanks to ingenuity and the reuse and repurpose culture of Mexico, the wires were changed out and the AC unit spared!
The Power of Lightning!
Jungle storms can be powerful, messy and destructive. They are equally exciting, cleansing and replenishing—popping out dense, lush, canopies of green and a multitude of ecosystems that thrive inside of them—reminding one of the absolute magnificence of Mother Nature.
The rainstorms also provide an opportunity to identify where exactly more siliconeis needed inside the house, such as around the collection of leaking windows at the base of a 20-foot high boveda ceiling! Tall ladder anyone? Those first few falls on our slick marble floors were not so fun (especially after back surgery!) and made us delay not in tending to this issue ASAP.
Keep a tall ladder and supply of silicone on hand!
The jungle wasted no time in welcoming us backand reminding us of the fortitude, sense of humor and determination one needs to both survive and thrive here. Yes, there are prices to pay for living in paradise folks!
The following House Maintenance in Mexico 101 Tips~Tried and True are based upon our own personal experiences from our eight years in country. I hope you find them useful and that they help you to maximize your enjoyment and minimize your frustrations while living in paradise!
Ensuring that the roof of your home has been properly sealed and therefore protected against leaks and moisture intrusion should be a top priority. We learned the necessity of this the hard way when our San Pancho rental grew large circular mold spores from the outside in after our first rainy season there. A disgusting and unsafe “inconvenience” to say the least and one that a layer of paint would not remedy! Needless to say, the roof had never been sealed.
Hire a reputable company to assess the roof’s condition and if needed, to powerwash it prior to putting on a quality sealant that has not been watered down.
What a difference a powerwash can make! The Before and After in Progress!
There are various types of impermeabilizantes (sealants) available. Spending a bit more to ensure a quality result is well worth it. We went with this one, considering the amount of rain we receive here on the coast of Nayarit.
2. Air Conditioners Serviced
Have all AC’s serviced at least once every six months. The filters should be cleaned of mold/dust/debris and the electrical panels checked for any unwanted critters that can wreak havoc. Apparently electrical wires are a delicacy to geckos—ridding your AC’s of them is far easier than having to replace the entire unit, trust me.
Screens on all doors and windows are not just a luxury but an absolute necessity lest you want to share your home with mosquitos, spiders, geckos, scorpions, iguanas and stray animals. Additionally, these-over-the-bed mosquito nets are must-haves and will allow for peaceful, uninterrupted sleep ( ie. no annoying buzzing in your ear!)
Jungle equals hot and humid for at least 6 months out of the year! Ventilate your home as much as possible unless you want fur to grow on your clothes, shoes and other household items. Using these moisture absorbing bagsinside closets and other closed spaces helps to absorb excess humidity and to protect your items from musty odors and mold.
These room dehumidifiers work really well too and you’ll be amazed when you go to empty the little water collection tank how much moisture it removed from the room!
If you’ve been following us for any time, you know why we recommend carbon monoxide detectorsfor both home and travel safety. We recommend placing one in every bedroom and next to any gas-fueled appliances such as a stove, clothes dryer, hot water heater, fireplace and any freestanding gas heater.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors Save Lives
These are our House Maintenance in Mexico 101~Tried & True Tips.
Do you have any that you could add? If so, please feel free to share them in the comments section below.
House Maintenance in Mexico 101 Tried & True Reader’s Tips:
Arturo: For the summer months it is highly recommended to put your clothes in airtight/vacuum sealed bags so that mold doesn’t grow in them especially if you skip town. I highly recommend doing this process with your shoes because if you don’t, the soles will disintegrate completely from the salty air and humidity.
Margaret: Keep all your food in the refrigerator, even if you wouldn’t normally, especially fruit. Clean up your kitchen messes as soon as possible to deter unwanted scavengers and never ever ever let your kids eat in the bed unless you want… ANTS ANTS EVERYWHERE! (and they bite)! Even with screens and drain covers, if you leave food out they will find you.
*Protect yourself and your loved ones with an Expat/Travel Insurance Policy (ask me for a trustworthy referral) & Carbon Monoxide Detectors*
*This article contains some affiliate links for products we use. If we haven’t spent our own money on it and loved it, you won’t see an affiliate link for it on Los O’Gradys in Mexico. It doesn’t change the price of your purchase it just helps support our platform. Thank you.
While I am not particularly thrilled that I find myself with a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder–something about 50 years of miles on my body, I guess–I am eternally grateful for the Mexican Medical System that has once again proven itself easy-to-access and affordable.
On Friday of last week, I called to make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist here in Puerto Vallarta after months of a nagging shoulder pain that has evolved into something that keeps me up at night with increasing pain and limited mobility. I phoned the office directly–no having to go through a primary, no frustrating pre-authorization phone tree web or an on-average 6 week appointment wait.
I got in to see Dr. Ricardo Vázquez at Imagenología y Centro de Diagnóstico across from Plaza Caracol, just 2 days after having placed the call.
After about a 5 minute wait, I was greeted and walked back to the consultation room by the doctor himself. After a thorough evaluation, Dr. Ricardo wrote me an order to radiology for two x-rays, which conveniently was located just downstairs in the same building. Here my wait time was also around 5 minutes, if that.
800 pesos later (about $41.00 USD) and with x-rays in hand, back up to Dr. Ricardo’s office I went where he was waiting for me without having crammed several patients in during the time I was gone. Thank you.
After a thorough explanation of my x-rays, more clinical assessments, a 3-ingredient infiltration injection into the back of my shoulder (fun, fun!), a booklet of at-home exercises and a prescription for anti-inflammatories, I was on my way with instructions to return in a month for a possible MRI based on how I progress. I will progress!
The doctor and his assistant spent nearly two hours with me, never once looking at their watch or rushing me out the door. Thank you.
The total cost of this appointment was 2,300 pesos (about $120.00 USD). While that is not the “usual” 600 to 800 peso consult fee that we have experienced for other situations (dental cleanings, ENT consult, pulmonology, etc.) nor was it a routine appointment.
I am so grateful that we don’t have to jump through hoops, spend hours on the phone, wait for weeks or months on end to access top-notch medical care here in Mexico.
Yes, this is private care and we are grateful that we have made choices to have access to it.
So How Do We Pay?
Now onto the million dollar question…how do we finance our medical care in Mexico? IMSS? Seguro Popular? Expat Insurance? Cash?
As part of my husband’s firefighter retirement benefits, we have an HRA whereby we can submit for reimbursement for substantiated medical appointments/procedures/medications up to a specific amount in the fiscal year. We simply need the physician’s prescription, diagnosis and lab reports translated into English and the Peso to Dollar exchange rate for that date. We do need to front the money and it usually takes about a week to get reimbursed. Not all of our expenses are covered because there is a cap, but many are.
This morning, after that gorgeous horse-sized injection I received yesterday at Dr. Ricardo’s office, my pain level is significantly diminished and I am oh-so grateful! Here’s to NO SURGERY! That is the only energy I will entertain with this current challenge.
Thank you all for your care and concern. It is warmly received and truly appreciated.
Off to do my 40 minutes of in-home physical therapy!
P.S. For those of you that live full or part time South of the Border (or travel back and forth frequently), how do you manage the financial side of your Medical Care? Please feel free to share in the Comments Section below…
“To call him a dog hardly seems to do him justice, though inasmuch as he had four legs, a tail, and barked, I admit he was, to all outward appearances. But to those who knew him well, he was a perfect gentleman.” ~Hermione Gingold
I owe it to Seamus, to our family and to our children to honor his memory and legacy, to memorialize this sentient being that was so much more than “just a dog”…to tell his story.
The feelings of profound sadness and loss don’t go away on their own. Expressing them with the written word is one of the ways in which I choose to process through them…to journey through the waves of deep mourning to arrive to where only memories of laughter, adventure, kisses and warm, furry snuggles remain.
This is my tribute to you, Seamies…
Our three-year-old twins Mairead and Liam were just starting to sleep through the night when my husband Frank surprised me with the grandest 38th birthday gift of all–a puppy! Working as a firefighter and away from home for days and sometimes weeks on end, he wanted to bring a gentle dog with a big bark into our family.
A New Friend
Living in San Diego at the time, we traveled up to Bonsall for the four required visits, until at last, at 9-weeks old, we were able to bring Seamus home to begin his life as an O’Grady!
Signing The Paperwork to Bring Seamus Home!
We Chose Each Other
Seamus was from a litter of nine chocolate, roly poly, running, jumping, kissing, wagging balls of labrador love.
Pure Love, Pure Joy
Although our twins were a bit overwhelmed and cautious at first with this energetic, playful, new presence in their lives (that was almost their same size!) the three of them became the best of buddies in no time at all.
Wrestle Time, Lucha Libre Style!
The Best Naps are The Ones Inside Your Pup’s Crate!
Honoring our Irish heritage and love of traditional Celtic names, ‘Seamus‘ was ever-so-fitting for this handsome, destined-to-be addition to our family. My Mother’s dinner time calls would now be “Mairead…Liam…Seamus”…
They say you can approximate the adult size of a puppy by its paws. At 9 weeks old Seamus’s were huge and by 6 months he was practically full grown, knocking over everything in his path with that big tail and chewing through all of our shoes one by one.
From San Diego to San Pancho to San Miguel de Allende, to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle–with many Stateside and Baja trips in between–Seamus lived an amazingly full and adventurous life! He was a well-traveled dog with no shortage of fun and shenanigans with his human family.
Seamus Boating with His Best Buddies in the Sea of Cortez
Seamus Watching His Kid’s Dance Class in San Pancho, Nayarit
Seamus Taking a Stroll in The Hills of San Miguel de Allende. Guanajuato
A Gentle Giant
If you were ever lucky enough to be in the presence of this Gentle Giant, you would have known what a special, wise, kind soul he was…a noble gentleman, a comedian, a loyal playmate, a never-do-harm puppy with a heart of gold.
Seamus Loved to Eat Watermelon & Pumpkin!
Seamus’s favorite place in the world was the ocean. That, and being with his family…especially in the ocean.
A Water Dog Through and Through, Baja California
Seamus in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit
Seamus Gets A Sister
Seamus wasn’t what one would call a lap dog (we never told him that), weighing in at 95 pounds of slobbery love! We not only wanted him to have a companion, but also for our children to experience the gift of adoption and the taking in of another sentient being.
Seamus had been an “only dog” for the first seven years of his life and while he was initially excited to have what he thought was an occasional playdate in Luna, he went through a period of acting slightly concerned with this new addition to our family, bringing me more treats and toys than normal.
In short order, Seamus realized that Luna had a permanent status in The O’Grady Tribe and that he now needed to share the attention, walks and pats on the head.
Famous Seamus & Luna Love Walk Through Parque Benito Juárez, San Miguel de Allende
He handled it like a gentleman and graciously welcomed Luna into his family with lots of slobbery kisses, love barks and tail chasing around our yard!
Famous Seamus & Luna Love Play Time!
Our sweet boy had suffered from skin ailments most his life–made worse in the jungle heat–and in the past year had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism for which he was receiving treatment. In spite of those challenges, he was a very happy, active boy…a sweet, lovable chocolate lab. While he was in his senior years at almost 12, he did not have any joint or musculature issues. In fact, on one of our recent stateside trips, Seamus had a thorough check-up including a head to toe x-ray whereupon the vet stated that he had the skeletaure of a 5-year-old dog!
My Sweet Boy The Sunday before Valentine’s Day
On the Sunday morning before Valentine’s Day, instead of being greeted by my normally goofy and happy pup, I found him sitting sideways at the top of our back laundry door, clearly in discomfort and not interested in eating at all.
He looked up at me with sadness in his eyes, turned away and laid his head back down. My heart skipped a beat knowing that something was seriously wrong.
I went outside to get a better look and saw that his left back leg was swollen and curled up and that he was unable to stand or walk unassisted.
What had happened???
Was he stung by a scorpion? Did he somehow fall, twist or break his leg? Was he bitten by a snake?
My mind went through all of the possibilities of what could have happened to our boy, who just one day before seemed fine on his afternoon walk. While he was slowing down, he was still mobile and always up for some playtime at the beach.
Seamus Happy at The Beach
Seeing my big, sweet boy in obvious distress and pain, trying to navigate those 95 pounds on three legs, was heartbreaking and so concerning, to say the least.
We took Seamus to the vet, fearing that our day had arrived or was soon in sight, but Dr. Jorge said to give it a few days with anti-inflammatory injections and oral meds at home. And so we did, willing to do anything to give him some more time with us–as long as it was free from pain and suffering.
Dr. Jorge ruled out any venomous poisoning or bone break, conjecturing that Seamus might have tripped and fallen and therefore perhaps sprained his leg, but to me, it seemed to be much more serious.
A Mother’s Intuition
I knew in my heart that we likely weren’t going to come out of this one on the other side with dry eyes or intact hearts, even for as much as I wanted to deny the reality right in front of us.
Over the next several days, Seamus continued to suffer and decline. His breathing became labored, he lost interest in eating, could not relieve himself without being lifted up and moved to the grass, and then he began to hemorrhage and bleed externally.
We knew it was time. Time to do only what love propels you to do. Time to do the right thing. Time to do the humane thing. Time to release Seamus from the physical condition that now held his body captive in pain with no apparent hope of improvement.
How Do You Tell Your Daughter It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Her Best Friend?
In a “perfect world” or a “best case scenario”, maybe Seamus would have passed in his sleep. But life and death are not so neat and tidy and they certainly have their own timeline.
I believe that Seamus wanted us to each have our individual and then our together time as a family to say our goodbyes, and we did.
Thank you, Seamus, for the gift of you…thank you for picking Valentine’s Day–a day of love and friendship–as your day to transition from one energy form to another. Thank you for the undeniable impact you have left on each of our hearts.
Rainbow Bridge, Valentine’s Day
I laid with Seamus throughout the day, in those last hours with my sweet boy in this realm.
I brought him warm, lavender infused towels from the dryer and sang, talked, laughed and cried with him–telling him all of the funny stories about his life as a 9-week-old puppy up to now, this very moment as my senior pup, hours before his rainbow crossing. I named all of the people and animals that loved him, each and every one by their first name. He looked at me with acknowledgment and understanding, hugged me, wrapped his paws around my arms, smiled, snorted and slobbered with all the energy he could muster up. Noble and gallant to the very end.
I asked Frank to bring home the largest bone he could find, but Seamus was not interested in it at all.
My Boy Letting Me Know It Was Time
We picked our children up after school, came home to get Seamus, and the five of us drove to the vet’s office for our 4:00 appointment.
To say that the next few hours were excruciatingly painful and very emotional for our family would be an understatement.
Stand by Me
From my husband Frank’s Facebook Post:
Our dog Seamus had to leave us this afternoon. If there were ever a dog to represent unconditional love he was it. He taught me many lessons regarding being happy in a moment. I do and will miss him mightily. I hear the ocean outside my window, and I feel his physical absence palpably…but, I know he is free from that pain he tolerated with no complaint and he is happy and at peace. He grew up with my babies, he was one of our babies, he was part of our O’Grady Tribe. I am so grateful to be part of a family that stayed with him until the end, grateful to Dr. Jorge at Pets and Vets in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle for his sincere compassion and care and his tenderness not only with Seamus but with us. My hope is that we can all carry forward a bit some love, tolerance and compassion in this oftentimes hard world we live in. I have to say that I marvel at the strength of our children. They were with Seamus until the end…laying with him on the floor of the vet’s office, giving him their hearts and love with hugs, petting and no shortage of tears until well after his heart stopped beating. Seamus died literally surrounded with love and touches…and touches and love were what he lived for. My family, Seamus included, give me reason to marvel every day. It is beautiful outside and I will reflect on Seamus’ life, my children, Liam and Mairead, my amazing wife Katie and us as the family we are often throughout this day. Peace and love to all of you.”
We had Seamus cremated and released his ashes into the ocean blue, his favorite playground.
Farewell Our Sweet Boy
On this particular day, in this particular spot, there were whales and dolphins gathered together, splashing and playing around. Seamus would be in good company here.
Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust
Seamus, you will always be our Gentle Giant, our Guardian Angel.
My Daughter Mairead Honoring & Returning Her Pup to His Favorite Playground
The Cycle of Life
The life and and death of our Famous Seamus is a powerful reminder of the transient nature of life, that all things have their time and place…their beginning and their end. Life is a precious and fragile gift.
That same puppy face that we saw the first day we met Seamus in 2007 was the very same puppy face we kissed goodbye as Seamus took his last breath on Valentine’s Day, 2019.
“Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk to me as if I were beside you. I loved you so… ‘Twas heaven here with you.”
~Isla Paschal Richardson
Love hurts. Love extracts her price. But she also gives, tenfold. Love stretches our hearts in ways unimaginable, changes the mosaic of who we are for the better, if we consciously allow it to.
Lucky are we to experience it in its fullest, most unconditional form.
RIP my King. We love you forever and a day…
*I have been receiving an amazing amount of feedback to this article, including the sharing with me of this story that got the waterworks going all over again: The Dog Who Means Nothing to Me
Even as seven year permanent residents of Mexico, there are certain things about our lives here–some of the cultural and regional norms and facets of day-to-day life–that still cause us to pause, laugh, or even gasp in intrigue and bewilderment.
Take for example:
1. Three lanes on a two-lane highway
Navigating oneself on the highways often feels like a game of Russian roulette, as there seems to be a nebulous middle lane, created and bordered by nothing more than the driver’s risk-taking spirit and willingness to tempt fate.
Riding as a passenger usually has me alternating between holding my breath and blurting out various unladylike profanities as an attempt to distract myself and make the ride as tolerable as possible.
You can imagine how much my husband Frank loves this when he’s behind the wheel!
2. Ice Cream, Knife Sharpener or Trash Truck?
I wasn’t too sure at first if the loud, clanging noise was the ice cream vendor, the knife sharpener (he actually blows a whistle) or what, until I asked a nearby shop owner who informed me that it was the trash truck—on its way down a narrow, one-way, cobblestone street with pedestrians on both sides.
3. From Farm to Market
A walk through a tianguis—an outdoor market filled with a potpourri of every imaginable regional fruit, vegetable, handmade craft and meat—certainly leaves no doubt as to the origin and same-day-freshness of the carne asada tacos you might find yourself eating at one of the many open-air stalls–likely having been delivered that very morning from a nearby rancho.
Tuesday Market, San Miguel de Allende
If you are accustomed to purchasing your t-bone steak or chicken bits all cleaned up, trimmed and nicely packaged–or if you are a vegan–prepare yourself for a bit of a surprise while meandering through one of these vibrant and dynamic markets.
It is not uncommon to see an entire cow or pig head sitting on the corner of a butcher’s stand, along with various other parts of the animal that in the States are normally discarded and not necessarily considered edible, let alone desirable to look at on full display.
Cabeza (Cow Head) Tacos
Refrigeration? Arrive early!
When I took my Mom through the mercado during one of her visits with us, she was quite startled to come face-to-face with a large cow’s head, eyeballs and all, sans the skin. I suppose if one were playing with the idea of veganism, a walk through a tianguis just might seal the deal. For carnivores, it is an important reminder to support farmers who are raising their animals in the most ethical conditions possible.
4. Consume Today or Let Ripen
It’s the small things in life…
Many thanks to the supermarkets for separating their avocados into consumo para hoy (consume today) and a para madurar (let ripen) piles. Also, when going into a Mom & Pop’s frutería, you might have to ask for the avocados as they are usually behind the counter, hidden away and protected from public fondling.
Consume Today/Let Ripen
5. Round and Round The Glorieta We Go
Glorietas…those perplexing roundabout traffic circles that serve as an intersection for oncoming vehicles from all four different directions, often converging at the same time. If you are not careful, alert and prepared as you enter this whirlpool of automobiles, you just might find yourself getting stuck, going around and around, like on a spin toy at a child’s playground, feverishly trying to calculate the right moment to jump off and get out!
I have learned that I must enter the glorietas with confidence, ready to kick ass and take on the fast and furious obstacle-like course of oncoming cars, trucks and motorcycles. I do find myself holding my breath until I have successfully exited the glorieta and am, hopefully, headed in the right direction!
Round and Round
6. The Mysteries of A Left-Turn Signal
It is not safe to assume that a blinking left turn signal means that a left turn is about to be executed by the driver in front. Quite the contrary, it often means “go ahead, it is safe to pass me now—on the left”.
However, don’t assume that either, for a pass on the left, when in fact a left turn is in the making can be a risky assumption. Additionally, in Mexico, it is common road etiquette to pull to the right-hand side, before making a left turn.
Are you following all of this?
Keep in mind too, while you are mentally and tactically navigating the road conditions, that there are often burros, cows, horses and dogs on the shoulders that one must avoid for both their safety and yours.
Similar to the dynamics of a glorieta, stay alert, aware of your surroundings and able to respond quickly and safely!
7. Metric, Who?
Algebra and metric conversions, admittedly, are not my strong suit. Fahrenheit to celsius, inches to cm, kilos instead of pounds…it’s enough to make a girl dizzy!
Upon my first few trips to the local butchers, I held my breath, wide-eyed, waiting to see what the two kilos of salchicha that I had just ordered would amount to. Fortunate for me, my family loves Mexican sausages and over four pounds of them could easily fit into our fridge and freezer!
Time to get to work and study this helpful chart!
Photo Credit: K5 Learning Blog
8. Translate with Caution
9. Where There’s a Will…
Determined, resourceful, ingenious, skillful are all adjectives I would freely use to describe the Mexican people. Whether it is reusing, reconfiguring and repurposing or coming up with the most interesting ways to assign function and form to something that might otherwise be thrown out or thought impossible, the Mexican ingenuity truly embodies the “where there’s a will, there’s a way” expression.
During one of my morning walks around Parque Benito Juarez, I saw this woman in the photo below balancing what appeared to be a very heavy load on her head, navigating her way down the slippery cobblestone streets in flip flops! Impressive indeed!
Determination & Will
10. Is That Side Mirror Really Necessary?
To avoid collisions and keep your side mirror intact as part of your car, pull it in on narrow, cobblestone streets. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did if you deem it a necessary part of your car.
11. Hard-Working Burros
In many parts of México, burros are used for field work, transportation and delivery. It is not uncommon to be out and about and come across a pair of them hard at work.
Knock-Knock, Special Delivery!
12. A Different Kind of Saint
One morning after dropping our twins off at school, Frank stopped by the tortillería to pick up a medio kilo of flour tortillas. Next door was a small furniture store that had this little treasure on display out in front:
Art Is in The Eye of The Beholder
I’m sure you can use your imagination to to guess what this darling little saint statue looked like from behind. I’m thinking the creator of this treasure had a laugh or two.
13. Pig on A Leash
This was a first.
As seen in El Jardín
14. Trampoline on Third Floor Terraza
Yes, and yikes! No playdates for my kids at this house!
Life Without Safety Nets
While not an exhaustive list, these are some of the more noteworthy sightings and experiences I have had in these past 6 years. I am grateful that I get to live in a country that keeps my senses alive and teaches me to take things in stride.
Have you ever experienced or witnessed something in Mexico that has made you wonder, pause, or question in fascination, confusion, amusement, and gratitude?
I would love to hear about it in the comments section below!
Last but not least, today’s Spanish Lesson:
The Spanish Teacher in me just can’t help herself! You will notice that many of the words throughout this article are cognates–words that sound alike or are possibly spelled exactly alike as their English counterpart. Another reason that Spanish is one of the easiest languages to learn—truly!
1. Carretera: highway
2. Tianguis: open-air market
3. Centro: center
4. Mercado: market
5. Consumo para hoy: consume today
6. Para Madurar: need to ripen
7. Frutería: fruit shop
8. Glorieta: roundabout
9. Salchicha: sausage
10. Tortillería: tortilla shop
11. Medio: half
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While we consider ourselves to be fairly seasoned travelers, never once did we think that packing a carbon monoxide detector would be an essential and life-saving item in our travel preparedness until tragedy struck and my husband Frank was poisoned by carbon monoxide at a “boutique hotel” in Lake Chapala, Mexico.
After dropping our twins off at their much-anticipated 6th grade camp in a rural community outside of Guadalajara, Frank and I set out to enjoy our weekend together, knowing that our children would be in the good hands and company of their classmates and camp counselors.
Never would we have imagined that instead of enjoying our weekend together sightseeing and relaxing that we would spend it fighting for Frank’s life.
Continuous High-Dose Oxygen Therapy in Hospital While We Waited for Hyperbaric Chamber Facility to Open in Morning
Do mistakes and bad things just happen? Absolutely.
So does gross negligence.
After several hours of working next to an open window (where just on the other side of was a malfunctioning hot water heater), my husband Frank, upon standing up was overcome by severe visual disturbances, full-body weakness, confusion, headache, difficulty speaking, extreme nausea and a ghost-like white appearance to his skin.
Fighting for His Life & Saying My Prayers
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Confirmation that in fact two carbon monoxide leaks had been found in the hot water heater servicing our room, together with all of Frank’s symptoms, diagnostics and treatment, verified that indeedcarbon monoxide poisoning was the culprit behind my husband’s near fatal symptoms–something that the simple installation of a CO detector would have prevented, not to mention the proper checks, service and maintenance of the hot water heater by the hotel management and owners themselves.
Only removal from the carbon monoxide and immediate medical intervention with continuous high-saturation oxygen therapy would save Frank’s life. Mega prayers and support from family and friends played their huge part as well.
Two 75-minute sessions in a hyperbaric chamber
As a result of this terrifying, near-death experience, we now ALWAYS travel with carbon monoxide detectors. We also have them in each of the bedrooms of our home and next to any gas appliances–i.e. the stove and the clothes dryer. Our hot water heater is outside the house and far away from any open window, but it is highly advisable as well to have a CO monitor next to your hot water heater no matter where it is located.
Please, protect yourself and your loved ones with CO alarmsfor both home and travel safety. It is such a simple and affordable protective measure to take to ensure the safety and protection of your family from carbon monoxide poisoning.
If one is suddenly overcome with nausea, headache, vision disturbances, confusion and other mind-boggling symptoms, consider a CO exposure and get OUT of the room/building ASAP (and to a medical facility) until authorities can perform necessary tests, repairs and assure that the area is safe to return to.
Don’t rely on the business to have done the proper and required maintenance checks. Bring your own CO monitors for your and your loved ones safety and peace of mind.
*Carbon monoxide is silent, odorless and tasteless*
I hope this information saves just one life. Please share it with your friends and family.
Get yourCO monitorstoday. Please make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for battery replacement and equipment checks.
For the full story on what happened to my retired firefighter husband, click here.
*Some Links are affiliate links. If you click a link and buy something, I receive a commission for the sale. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and you are free to use the link or not as you choose. If you do use my links, I appreciate your support.
*Puerto Vallarta's Premier Real Estate Broker & Lifestyle Advisor*
“Katie tells it like it is, the good, the great and the not so good. She is very encouraging but honest and doesn’t sugarcoat. And that has helped me immensely in narrowing down my search for the perfect place to retire in Mexico. I will be making the move soon and won’t hesitate to use her services.” ~Sylvia
¡Eres como una especie de héroe para mí, cómo encajaste tú y tu familia muy rápidamente en una cultura opuesta a la estadounidense. Sigue escribiendo esos posts, hacen por menos estar allí cuando los lees y soñar!” ~José
Carbon Monoxide Alarms for Home & Travel Safety
“You are a force to be reckoned with and you lift us up with your postings. You spread a light and love that is not easy to come by these days.” ~MJ