Sunday, March 19, 2017

Morning Thoughts

I want to again thank the readers who took the time to write a response to my previous post. The comments helped me tremendously in putting what happened at the Lake Chapala Society into perspective for me. I thought about why I was so upset and one other piece of the puzzle helped me to understand that. Here goes.

Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time will know that I have had some health problems while living here. I have been in the IMSS hospital with a broken ankle and the Ajijic Hospital, three private hospitals in Guadalajara and almost all of the clinics here at the lake. I have been here about ten years now and spent over twenty thousand dollars on these operations. For one reason or another IMSS was not an option when these emergencies happened. 

A few months ago I almost died from sepsis and blood poisoning. Thankfully my friends and landlord came to my rescue. I was whisked off to a private hospital in Guadalajara and four days later, after I was strong enough to have an operation, they took out my gall bladder. 

I survived. Three months later, almost all of my hair fell out. So, for my own reasons, health care has been very important to me. I spent many months doing research on it. (I learned that when a health crisis arrives, it is too late to look at your options or do research.) I wanted to know them in advance of the next problem. I started by gathering a list of helpers who are willing to take people to the doctors and interpret or even stay in the hospital with the patient, acting as nurse and interpreter. It is essential. I can tell you that from my personal experiences in both private and public hospitals.

 I went to a series of lectures on health care here and on the Red Cross. I visited the clinics and the Red Cross. I asked questions of everyone I met at these places. I needed answers before my next health crisis. I can't afford to keep paying out of pocket for them. 

It was very time consuming but I finally finished and two articles are now published on ( information/ and the second one you add -2 at the end.)  mine is the second article down when you go to the site.  If you are interested in your health, you might like to read them. Plus, the list of helpers is available for free at the Access Lake Chapala office on Colon. Phone numbers and addresses of clinics and hospitals are also in the articles. You can find them by going to and towards the top of the page go to living guide and then to health care. Since it was such a long couple of articles it looks like they split them up into smaller parts. .

What does this all have to do with the Lake Chapala Society? Well, before I finished the articles, I went into the office and asked if they would like a copy of them and the list of helpers.  I did have the list completed at the time and one woman working there was very appreciative and took it. She said she had been thinking of starting a file on health care here for newcomers because she was always being asked about it. I said I would bring the articles for them when they were finished.

Several weeks later, I had finally finished. I had maybe ten to fifteen pages typed on everything I thought was important about health care here. I happily took it into the LCS office. Surprise! It was treated with total disrespect. The first woman I had talked with wasn't there and the two women working the counter couldn't have been less interested. One woman said she would take it but only if I paid to have it copied and only if the woman at the information desk outside thought she could use it. She handed it back to me as if it were contagious and she wanted to get it out of her hands as quickly as possible. She didn't bother to look through any of it. 

So with my rejected research in hand, I went to the information desk. I was told that people coming here aren't interested in health care. And if they are, there is the IMSS woman who would answer all their questions. I said to her that it was about a lot more than just IMSS. It was about the clinics around here, about helpers, phone numbers and addresses, etc. Still no interest.

 I walked away with my rejected research. That was just a few weeks ago. I guess I really overreacted when I felt that I was being treated rudely in the books for sale room. I already had bad feelings about all my work being so easily dismissed and treated like it was worthless.

I never brought this up on my blog because as I have said many times before, negativity always backfires on me and I was already too upset about my work being dismissed. I honestly had thought that people there would have wanted to have the information. I was wrong. I let it slide but my feelings were hurt.

I am thinking now of a book titled The Tipping Point, written by Malcolm Gladwell. It is about how things go along a certain way and bad experiences are dismissed until one day there comes a tipping point. It could be a very small thing that tips a person over to a different feeling about a place or causes a person to want a divorce or maybe causes a war to start. It could be something as minor as a man speaking to me harshly. But that was my tipping point about LCS.   

 Maybe this explanation will help others to understand why I got so upset. It didn't have that much to do with the man's rudeness towards me. (Certainly not the first time a man has been rude to me and it won't be the last either) It was just the Tipping Point for me. So against my rule to not write negative things on this blog, I wrote about it. What it was really about was all my work and experiences here with the health care situation being completely dismissed. I had thought of it as my contribution to help the newcomers. 

Obviously, I was wrong. Once again I apologize in advance towards anyone who is offended by my two posts about LCS. I too always liked it there. I will miss it but I do not want to ever repeat what has recently happened to me there. These are just MY experiences, not yours. You may love it there (I did for years) and so that is why I am apologizing about my anger to anyone who is offended by it. I just needed to get it off my chest. Also, I agree that LCS provides lots of services for Expats and the Mexican communities. And most of the workers are friendly and helpful. Maybe I was expecting too much of them.    All I know is that I no longer feel comfortable or welcome there. Again, just MY experiences, not yours. 


  1. Hi Patricia. I understand about the tipping point. I am exactly the same. It is crazy they were so dismissive with you regarding your great research and information. The sad part is there are probably many people there that would love the information but they feel that they can make the decision for everyone. Try to remember this says a lot about them not about you. It does not make your research and hard work worthless, rather it is a reflection of their poor judgment and rudeness. Perhaps it is best to step away from LCS for a while. Try to think of it as stepping away for a while and not a black and white never coming back. Sorry this happened to you. I am sensitive like you and I understanding the dwelling on things and how we get really affected by people's dismissive or rudeness.

    Remember it is THEM and not you!

    1. Thank you Cathie. I appreciate your feedback. I am going to San Blas for a couple of weeks. I am sure the change will be good for me. P

  2. Unbelievable! Their reactions were inappropriate, rude, insensitive and unkind to say the least. Your reactions were not out of line. I don't think I could have been as understanding in my reaction to the same treatment. If I were living in Axixic I would have welcomed your valuable research. Even living NOB and being a senior your research would be useful to seniors. Take care and enjoy your respite!

    1. Thank you so much Phyllis. I appreciate your support. P

  3. I was led to your blog by my friend Leslie Edwards. We are two recently retired academics looking for places we can afford to live now that we can't afford our house in California. (First of all, I can guarantee you that most of us are VERY interested in health issues and the availability of medical care here!) On coming to Ajijic we naturally ended up at LCS very quickly, and became one-month members. We have already confronted some imperiousness and a kind of judgmental proprietary attitude from some of the volunteers there. I was asking simple questions about whether the Society 1) had regional maps available, and 2) knew of any bird-watching groups in the area. I was greeted with brusque brush offs, from both the Information Desk and the Office volunteer. I have never understood why volunteers in organizations that are supposed to be providing information and services for members so often become so grouchy and downright unhelpful! Why do they volunteer if they are going to act that way? Beats me!

    1. Thank you for that feedback. I am in San Blas now. Glad to get away for awhile. P

  4. I cannot get to your articles or should say find them. The link to them doesn't work for me and would like to look at them. Yes knowledge of this is very important.

    I'm not that impressed with many ex-pats here in the Vallarta area and Ajijic is for the well to do rather than the other way around. I don't blame you for your position. Maybe there needs to be some reorganization as no body like power trippers.

    1. I can't find the articles either. I will write to Accesslakechapala again and find out where they are. Thanks. P