January was Mental Health Month. As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety for more than two decades, this month has a special meaning for me. Back in Canada, January was always the longest month of the year, although other months also have 31 days. But January is in the middle of winter when the nights are long and the days are short. January is also synonymous with snow and cold.
But this year I am in Mexico, a sunny and warm climate. Yet January was a very stressful month for me. I had a huge decision to make. It was obvious that the cataracts were seriously limiting my vision. And I could not fathom returning to Canada in the winter. I haven’t experienced a Winnipeg winter in several years. And if I did return to Canada in April as I had originally planned, the surgery was still several months away.
I had seen two doctors here in Mazatlan, and I did not feel comfortable nor confident with either oi them. The technology here leaves a lot to be desired. And the references I had received from others were far from encouraging. In fact, it was strongly suggested that I have the surgery done elsewhere.
And what do I do when I’m upset? I write. So I wrote a blog post called Curve Ball. A former student of mine from Guadalajara is a doctor as well as a good friend. He read my post and asked what was wrong. So I explained my dilemma to him. He reassured me that cataract surgery is very common and highly successful in Mexico. He also offered to make inquiries for me among his colleagues. Touched by his concern, I accepted his gracious offer. And a few days later I was on an overnight bus to Guadalajara.