Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mexican Medicine

I have three things working against me here. The first is that my husband is an undiagnosed hypochondriac. The second is that IMSS hands out medicine like it's fucking candy at a home & garden show. The third is that I don't buy any of it and I definitely don't like hard, dollar store sucking candies that aren't even worthy of my grandma's purse.

A couple of weeks ago Ray made an appointment at the local hospital (just a regular doctor's visit really) because he felt like his stomach was abnormally hard and it had become difficult to breathe. This is not the first time he's had these complaints. Given our diets the last couple of months, my response was that he/we should just eat less crap and more whole foods, drink less alcohol, and suck it up buttercup.

However, after his visit tonight, he was told that we need to desparasitarnos. Basically, take medication to clear our bodies of parasites. "If your family doesn't all do it together, it won't work," the doctor explained.

Now I don't mean to be such a skeptic. I really don't. And I don't mean to discredit Mexican medicine either. But I believe there is a stark contrast between the knowledgeable doctors throughout this country and the pill-passing-physicians at the Seguro Popular.

They prescribed him 4 boxes (doses?) of Bruzol Albendazol. One for him. One for me. And... one each for Meeko and Lucy. Yes that's right, when I said  "we," not only did I mean myself and my husband, but our two dogs as well.




As with every visit he takes to the local hospital, I was left googling like a motherfucker when he came home.

"Albendazole, marketed as Albenza (United States), Eskazole, Zentel, Andazol and Alworm, is a benzimidazole drug used for the treatment of a variety of parasitic worm infestations. Although this use is widespread in the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved albendazole for this indication. It is marketed by Amedra Pharmaceuticals. Albendazole was first discovered at the SmithKline Animal Health Laboratories in 1972. It is a broad spectrum anthelmintic, effective against roundworms, tapeworms, and flukes of domestic animals and humans. Albendazole may cause abdominal pain, dizziness, headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, or temporary hair loss."

Great... Just what I need. More hair loss. And what about the perros?

"Albendazole has been used as an anthelmintic and for control of flukes in a variety of animal species, including cattle, sheep, goats, swine, camels, dogs, cats, elephants, poultry and others. In many countries, it is very commonly used for ruminant livestock."

Ray immediately suggested we all take them tomorrow. I told him I needed some time to investigate. I asked him how a doctor could prescribe a medication to four people (errr, two people and two animals) if three of them weren't even present?! What if one of us has an allergy?

No allergy, baby. Cada six months. Everybody. No allergy.

Shoot me now.

We've made an agreement to wait until Saturday to take these stupid pills. I am holding out hope that someone who reads this might have more info. At this point, he is convinced these pills will not only save our lives but bring joy to all bitter people in the world while simultaneously securing peace in the Middle East. I am perfectly happy with worms in my panza. They bring out my cheekbones.

Thoughts? Ayuda? Warnings?

This is me being desperate in case you haven't noticed...




25 comments:

  1. Agree completely on the over medication... cant count the number of times my suegra insisted I get stuck in the ass with a dose of penicillin for some minor ailment while we were living in df! My daughter got diagnosed with a hernia and a uti that upon returning to the US found never existed ..but hey I am not Criticizing any country that implemented universal healthcare! My understanding is the parasite pills are pretty harmless..our US doctor recommended something similar before we moved and they handed them out like candy while my children attended school in Mexico. Necessary? Maybe and maybe not...good luck! And keep blogging...look forward to your posts!

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    1. Agreed. I definitely support national healthcare so I am hesistant to complain but YES! And I hope you're right because my husband's been telling me I should take them for years. I have a feeling that now that the doctor has prescribed them, it will be tough to avoid...

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    2. Have they examined his stool and found parasites, or did they give him the meds without a poop check?

      In Guatemala there are little private clinics all over the place where they will check your poop to determine if you have parasites and what kind of parasite you have.

      I agree this sounds suspicious, because it sounds like they just give this out without finding what is in his gi react, and since you have tiny dogs and I would think they would need a much lower dose than what you get

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    3. They gave him meds without a poop check. Whatever. I'm done arguing with him about this type of thing. We took the pills on Sunday, however I did not give them to the dogs. I feel exactly the same days later. Worm free though apparently? ;)

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  2. Yeah, I'd worry about a big dose for little dogs. Have you googled the meds specifically for small breed dogs?

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    1. I really couldn't find any reliable information about the dosage so I decided not to give the dogs anything.

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  3. Reminds me of when I had a concussion last year and my cuñado asked me if the doctor prescribed an antibiotic to reduce the inflammation.

    Read up on I2US thread on cultural differences leading to arguments. Very stark differences regarding medical care.

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    1. Ha! Yes antibiotics are so over-prescribed here it is insane.

      I am all too familiar with that thread. Most of it brought me to tears I laughed so hard!

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  4. Get a stool samples from you and your husband. Take them to a reputable lab near you. If you don't have parasites, you may have a bacterial infection. I'm not a doctor but speak from experience while living in Guadalajara.

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    1. I don't really feel that we have any symptoms that warrant any additional testing. After a little research the pills seemed harmless though so we took them, but refrained from giving them to the dogs. 3 days later and I'm still kicking so I suppose it was an okay choice.

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  5. OMG! You just made my day. I was not feeling to good this morning, but after reading this, I feel much better. I would be careful taking anything not made for human consumption. Maybe ask a vet if it is ok.

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    1. I didn't really feel the need to talk to a vet because niether of the perros had any symptoms that warranted the medication. I just convinced Ray that it was unnecessary for the dogs. Not sure how I convinced him, but I did.

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  6. Hi from someone who's been enjoying reading your blog but hasn't commented yet. I wanted to tell you that we live in Nepal where we're missionaries and, by the way, if you have time, come on over and "visit" us via my blog :) and we consider Albendazole our best friend over here! :) My husband has said that he's going to title the book he's going to write about our experiences, "Albendazole and Me!" :)
    Anyway, it is wise to go and get stool samples to see if you really have parasites. It's important to know for sure! I'm not sure about Mexican "bugs," but the ones here give you stomach cramps and a very smelly time in the bathroom. When that happens, you don't have to wonder, you know, you know what I mean?!
    I'm not sure about your dogs! I'd ask a vet.
    Also, we do not both take Albendazole at the same time unless we both need to, but again, things might be different here!
    Well good luck and I hope you both (and your dogs) are healthy!
    Bye, and it's really nice to "meet" you!

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    1. We are all feeling great, thank you! Good to hear that someone else has taken these meds before and is still alive to talk about it. Ha! I took my dose on Sunday and feel fine, although I'm sure it was unnecessary, it pleased the Mr.

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  7. My wife had a cycle of making us take de-worming pills (I don't know which) while in Mexico. Here she is more relaxed. The kids have sessions of headaches, stomachaches, and other complaints, but it is only when school is in session. I'm taking anti-biotic right now, for a bacterial infection in my sinuses.

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  8. The same medication and same dosage for two adults and two pets. Sounds legit to me!

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  9. Having lived all my life in Mexico I know very well about the over medication culture you're talking about. Anyway, as far as I know Albendazole is pretty harmless. I took it many times myself. And effectively the recommendation is for the whole family to take it at the same time.

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    1. Well it's been 6 days and I'm still alive, so I suppose it is harmless. I still don't think it was really necessary in our case but ni modo.

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  10. I know you already took the meds and didnt die, but when my inlaws they all decide to "deparasote" themselvees (every 6 months) I think to myself "fuck no bitches!". Bnt i smile politely and remind them i have never had to deparasite myself in my entire 27 years and wont start now.

    But you are right, ni modo. Whats done is done. My husband does that stuff too, and if he wants to continue treating hijself for worms he doesnt have....

    What I DID put a stop to was everyone taking dexamethasone for every cold, sniffle. Headache, bad day. I kid you not, steroid injections for the common sniffles. Ay. I literally googled it in Spanish, and read it outloud to the family. I dont have to always be right, but the steroid thing was getting out of hand.

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    1. I should add- at least your husband had symptoms of digestive distress. My inlaws decide to de-parasite willy nilly, on their own, no symptoms present. So it's possible he did have a bug. My inlaws? Not so much ;)

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    2. HAHA! I totally know what you are talking about. And I've given up on my husband. I never noticed the over-medicating in the US, but now? Oh. My. God. Any time he comes home from the Seguro Popular he's got a big ass bag full of meds that have been prescribed for God knows what.

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  11. Shannon....just another wife in exileMarch 16, 2014 at 11:28 PM

    I'm a nurse, work in the ER in the states but live in Acuña with my husband. We take Vermox Plus every 6 months. You can actually buy it over the counter at the drug store or grocery store. It is a one time dose that costs about 60 pesos. I was skeptical at first, but spoke with the doc in the ER and he told me that it actually should be taken every 3 months and for 3 consecutive days. Vermox (mebendazole) is sold in the US and the dosage is 100mg for 3 days. Dont know if that info makes you feel any better, but at least now you know what an American doctor recommends and at no charge ;)

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    1. Thanks for the info. What are you taking that medication for though?

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