Six months before the actual procedure I began speaking with Kim, the representative of Hospital Angeles. As I wasn't totally decided at the time, there were many conversations where she answered all my questions and informed me of what I needed to know, and what to expect. If she didn't know, she found out. I chose to go to Tijuana because of her 'no pressure' help, the price, and that it was so easy to book the trip to Tijuana.
My son and I flew into San Diego on a Thursday morning and were met at the baggage claim by the Hospital's driver. Our drive into Tijuana was without incident and very safe. The hospital is what I told everyone at home. A 5 star hospital. It is modern, clean, and very accommodating. Esmerelda, the hospital representative, was awesome in her support of us and made sure, beyond our expectations, that all our needs were taken care of. The nursing staff was very good and the food....well....It was 5 star too.
The Ultrasound was thorough and professional. Any questions I had during this time were answered by the technician. Dr Luna and Dr Morales came in to meet us and explain the procedure. I felt confident in them when they honestly said that the hope for this procedure was to slow down or stop progression. They voiced that any improvement was basically 'Bonus'. I was totally confident that, for this procedure, I was in the best hands. Thankfully their English was impeccable. I was hooked up to IV and after a 12 hour fast, I was wheeled into the most impressive OR, with many screens as well as a number of attending staff.
The procedure took 1 1/2 hours through which I was totally awake. As the Doctors told me, the Catheter inserted into the groin would feel no worse than a bee sting. They were right. When opening the balloon for 45 seconds on the side where there was 72% restriction of blood flow, I felt tolerable pressure. On the other side with only 51% restriction I felt almost nothing. The Catheter was withdrawn and a nurse stayed at my side for 1/2 an hour putting pressure on the insertion sight. A band aid was then applied and I was wheeled back to my room where I was not to move for 8 - 10 hours. (Not easy to lie still. This is where I had my first bed-pan experience) After this I was free to resume all activity.
I was prescribed a blood thinner and a baby aspirin once a day for 6 weeks. This, unknowingly to me, caused small bruises to show up on my body. I called the hospital and Dr. Luna said this was normal and it was caused by the baby aspirin. A small price to pay. Through that week I had several 'Ah Huh' moments. As my hands and feet were quite numb, when waking up in the night and having to scratch a hand that hadn't felt an itch in years was very exciting. Picking up a green kitchen scrub pad and marveling at how rough it was. I had been experiencing a split second delay when 'seeing' something and it registering in my brain. This caused me to focus on everything and not be distracted by my surroundings. I noticed this delay being gone and now I quite enjoy looking around, only a little, while I'm driving and allowing what I see to register w/o any focus being compromised. When I felt the breeze on my hands when in front of an open window...Wow. That was huge for me. I'm grateful for everyone who had a part in making this trip and hospital stay a positive experience. I totally endorse Hospital Angeles and the Doctors in Tijuana who administer the Liberation Treatment for MS. I thank God for all my family and Friends who held me up in prayer. I especially6 thank my Son Dustin for coming with me and sneaking in Dairy Queen and Starbucks. You rock Dustin.