Watching and Waiting with “La Guardia”

La Guardia is what they call the skeleton staff that remains here at the hospital during this biggest of holiday weekends in Mexico. Footage of bikini-clad multitudes frolicking on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, and multitudes of other beach resorts along the Pacific Coast fill television screens in deserted Guadalajaran taquerias. My hotel is open, as well a small 7-11 across the street. There are two taco restaurants, which I think have doubled their prices because of the scarcity of any other choice for eating.

The food choices on the hospital trays aren’t much better. Before everyone went on vacation the food was actually very good, but what the minimal kitchen staff must do these days is dump vegetables and fruits into a big steamer with little or no prep, and send them up to be served. So Larry is faced with a shriveled looking apple, soft and squishy and whole, or a big chunk of summer squash, or half a chayote . The usual accompaniment is a big slab of panela cheese and four of those tasteless little Maria cookies. So I smuggle up  gourmet items from 7-11. Is your mouth watering yet? Think of us when you dig into that Easter ham tomorrow!

Our number of potential and actual O Negative blood donors is growing, thanks to internet connections, and faithful, hardworking friends. We have a donor from San Miguel de Allende, and another from Lake Chapala area, both ready to be tested and to give next week when the blood banks open back up.

Yesterday morning, the son of the woman who is O Negative and does NOT need the donors she had gathered, (see previous post) brought her comprobantes to me. We don’t know if we can use them or not as they are in her name, but they are at least proof that there is blood sitting there in the bank ready to be used and that her family is willing that we make use of it. Such sweet people. New friends.

Larry’s Spanish is improving, and he’s been going around with a bottle of lotion, offering it to guys up here waiting or recovering on this floor. The climate here is dry, dry, dry, and skin gets really crinkly.  A couple of potential donors have been found among friends and families of these patients, though he didn’t set out with that purpose in mind.  Among them is another potential plaquetas donor, something we need after our faithful Marta was rejected for lack of a crown on a molar.  My valiant friend Marielena didn’t pass either, after being tested last Friday. “Muy exigente,” people describe the blood bank here. English translation: picky.

So we seem to gain and then lose and then gain some more. But actually each new contact is a friendship added to our growing circle. We’re settled in, practicing patience, and being so grateful for those who keep in contact and offer encouragement. Have a happy joyful Easter. Ours will be joy-filled, as well.

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