Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Mike's Story Part 15: This Isn't Working

As so often happens with people who live dramatically as Mike did, his initial enthusiasm for the Cuban-style medical system of Venezuela quickly gave way to a realization of its limitations:

Email from Mike, undated:

Major difficulties with doctors today. No urologist available until january.  we´ll talk tonight. It feels like all is closing in.

Email from Mike, c. 10-30-2006

Aside from other symptoms I have paresthesia or tingling which is not good. [A friend in the US] hit some nails for me.

  We´re closing in on a diagnosis of adult onset diabetes but there are some other complications that [his friend in the US] called a cascading effect. I went back to the Cuban clinic at 10 AM. Just got home before 3 PM after nothing but waiting and travelling. Was sent to another clinic some distance and told to make an appointment with a urologist. After waiting till 2 I was told no urologist until January.
  I´ll go back to the Cuban doctor tomorrow and ask for help on blood sugar and pressure. The language difficulties are very tough as i don´t speak enough Spanish yet to be able to answer med history or symptom questions or to understand most directions. X, my friend here in Vz has been going with me but today i cut off going back to urologist or pursuing that because it´s just eating up too many lives and I sure feel like I´ve done enough of that lately.
  The diabetic symptoms (blood sugar crashes, low bp),  are known causals of major mood swings and they were appearing even b4 I left Ashland.
  I will be a non-smoker by the end of the week. Tapering off at direction of Cuban doc. Eliminating all refined sugar and most fruit. Going heavy veg. Anybody who knows me will understand that I must be sick to be doing that. Still very weak.


  One of the new contacts here has really opened some doors. People at ministries of culture and education are talking about translating and publishing Rubicon through the Vz gov´t . The gov´t would give me 10%. New Society would be free to sue Chavez if they wanted. But this is Vz and things move slow.
  The package from Ken arrived today and i might be able to meet the Minsiter of Culture as soon as this weekend. 
  As for FTW, I just wish they could get the subscriber section fixed again. I realize how difficult it is for all.
  Am working on my Gauntlet story. Just passed 3,000 words but can´t push too hard. This one has to be right.


Email from Mike undated: 

I am very sick. We don´t yet know the full causes. My blood pressure suddenly drops very low along with my blood sugar. My urine is extremely cloudy and smelly with calcium. Kidney stones have formed. My urinary tract is calcified and the prostate is enlarged and calcified. I have nearly collapsed several times and am very weak. Onset of adult diabetes is likely but there are other things we can´t explain. Poisoning has not been ruled out.

I sent Mike some google links concerning these symptoms and possible diagnoses.

Email from Mike 10-30-2006

I have all of these symptoms. I did not know the information about the seizures but that meshes perfectly. Have had four since January.
  The Cuban doctor is not first rate, except in attitude. It´s going to make people think she´s prescribing meds. etc. when she is not. That´s going to make people think she has given me dietary instructions when she has not. I am not getting any care at all right now. She´s a Gen Practitioner at an overcrowded clinic full of poor people. I am not getting first-rate care. I got basic tests and first aid, that´s it. [His friend in the US] has been a better doctor thus far. The Cuban doc hasn´t even mentioned diabetes when we all have seen that it´s obvious even if it doesn´t explain everything.
   I am very weak.

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