Thursday, December 17, 2015

Best Dentist in Algodones Mexico: Isaias Iniguez D.D.S.

Okay, the work is all done and my mom's teeth look and feel great.  After the curfluffle on her first appointment the dentist sent his daughter to pick her up at our RV and drive her back and forth to Mexico.  Part of the reason was to make sure they never had to see me again. 

My mom had an 7 tooth bridge put on her top teeth.  She couldn't have dental implants due to a blood disorder that makes any surgeries life-threatening.  The dentist also recommended against it because she was having an allergic reaction just to metal in the removable bridge she used to have.  She couldn't have metal implants in her gums.  A bridge was her best bet, and we're glad we got a good dentist who understood her needs and gave her what she wanted.

I say Dr. Isaias Iniguez is the best dentist in Algodones because he did the job right.  He's also the only ADA certified dentist in the town.  His office is sophisticated with state of the art equipment.  Although he relies on his wife and daughter for English translation, he takes pride in his work and makes sure that everything is done perfectly.  He schedules follow-ups to ensure his work is still holding.  He's meticulous and is a clear master at what he does.

He's not the cheapest dentist but here's how it broke down:

My mother paid $3500 for the 7 tooth upper bridge. Her last quote in the USA for the same work was $6,000.   It took three visits when you include the initial consultation. 

Ignore her bottom teeth.  Only the top ones were fixed.  She had a falsey thing she put in for her gap between the top teeth before and the metal was just destroying her mouth.  She's much happier with her new choppers which are rooted in a bridge. The bridge goes deep into her gums and is very sturdy.

You'll see that on the right side, her two natural teeth don't match.  We're okay with this.  We wanted something that mostly looked good, was permanent, and was going to last her for the rest of her life.  These are zirconia teeth, which is supposed to be the best they had to offer. 

We are happy with Dr. Isaias Iniguez DDS.  He's skilled and you can trust your mouth to him.  We recommend him.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sultan Then And Now

My kitty Sultan when we lived in bricks and sticks in 2012

And here he is in the RV today!  <3

Minor Dental Update

My mother has a temporary bridge in right now.  They drove her all the way home rather than face my wrath again when I picked her up.  She should have the final result in a week.  I'll update again then.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Mexico Dentist Morning Clusterfuck

Yes I swore.  I find that most adults who stick their noses up at colorful language are sanctimonious and hypocritical.  Honest people swear. 

Today is my mother's dental appointment in Algodones Mexico with Isaias Iniguez D.D.S.  She's there right now getting the work done, so this isn't a rant about the actual work.  I don't know how that is yet.  I will report on it as soon as I do.

What this rant is about is the bullshit this dentist put us through this morning. 

Our instructions:  Call us when you're 15 minutes out.  Go to the last U-Turn before you enter Mexico.  We will pick your mother up there.

That's what I did.  No one ever came.  We called.  They said for her to go into Mexico and go to the Purple Liquis pharmacy. 

Um. NO.  That was not the plan.  First off we were told we were going to be picked up at the U-Turn so my mother left her good walker at home and just brought her cane.  She knew it would be hard to fit the walker in their car, and figured she wasn't going to be walking much anyway. 

Now they're saying for her to walk the long treacherous sidewalks into Mexico, and to have her stand in hawker heaven hoping that she gets into the right car?

I insisted that they come pick her up as they promised.  They said wait for a red CRV.  It never came.  I called again.  They hung up on me.  Another call.  Now they're not answering.  Everything goes to voicemail.

I would have said fuck them at this point, but they had a $500 deposit.

So I had to park in fucking $6 parking lot and get the broken 3-wheel walker out for my mom, hoping it wouldn't fold out on her.  Now we have to walk all the way to the fucking dentist through the store encapsulated sidewalks with assholes trying to rip us off at every step.  A cart blocks our way at one point and we have to fight our way through.  God I hate Mexico.

We get there and I cause a scene in her crowded waiting room.  WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?  HUH?  HUH?  DON'T FUCKING HANG UP ON ME!  DON'T LIE ABOUT PICKING US UP WHEN YOU WEREN'T GOING TO!  The middle-aged receptionist started apologizing in a panic and claiming she never told us to wait outside the border.  "We can't cross the border."  Bullshit.  You drove us out last time!  "I feel so bad I was going to pick you up myself.  I would have done that for you!"

I don't get why she thinks saying that makes it right.  My mom's Mexican pastor told me he was going to help fix my sprinklers at my old house and I was so happy that I bought a projector for his church.  But he never did it.  When people asked him why someone had 'donated' a projector he said, "Oh, I was going to help her with this huge sprinkler system."  Was going to.  He never did.  He got his projector and had me pound sand.

Is that a Mexican cultural thing?  Thinking that saying you're going to do something is just as good as actually doing it?  My mom has another similar anecdote from another Mexican from her church.  'Oh I told her I would help her.'  But you didn't help her when she asked.  'Yes, but I said if she needed anything to call me.'  Uh...she did call you.  You didn't help her.  'But I said I would do anything for her.'  You didn't.  It doesn't count.  It's flapping gums.  STFU. 

This is turning me racist.  I'm not going to believe promises if culturally it's believed just saying something is as good as actually doing it.

IT'S NOT.  Do what you say!  Don't lie!  Don't break your promises!  I don't care what fucking country you're from, this should be universal.

This was all on the idiot receptionist at the dentist (who I believe is the dentist's wife).  It doesn't mean the dentist himself is bad.  I'm hoping my mom still gets everything done correctly because they have our money.  If her teeth are fixed properly then their initial lies, secondary lies, and the bullshit hassle I just went through comes out in the wash. 

If anything goes wrong I will use everything in my power to lambast this bullshit dentist.  People research.  I will make sure he's on ever 'bad Mexican dentist list' there is.

Stay tuned.

Monday, December 7, 2015

In love with Yuma AZ

Welp, we've found our winter spot!  We're going to stay here until at least the end of March.  Yuma is everything we've been looking for with low crime and a low price tag.

I'm at an RV park with a gym again, something I booked deliberately.  The difference between this RV Park and the one in Nevada is that this gym has classes.  Add this to the fact that I'm on a diet with all my food delivered and it's just like being at an expensive spa!  (If I could get up early enough to do most of the classes).

We've got casinos, we've got big box stores, we've got low traffic and low RV rent.  I went swimming today!  Swimming!  In December!!

It's warm during the day, but does get really chilly at night.  We've had the heat kick on a few times. 

The people here are SUPER FRIENDLY.  We're all snow-birds!  There's no local clans like in Pahrump, though the locals I've met are super nice too!  I've actually gotten to know two of my neighbors here.

On top of all that...there's a church for my mom in walking distance.  She went yesterday and was welcomed warmly with a gift bag.  How cool is that?!

Yep...we're good here.  @-@  Time to dig in for a few months.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Shopping for a New RV?

Yuma Arizona is a bit of an RV Mecca.  It's not solely for RVs and snowbirds the way Quartzsite seems to be, but it is a very RV-Centric city.  The population swells in winter and lowers in summer, but there's a large static population that gives you year-round amenities:  Target, 99 Cent Only Stores, restaurants, department stores--things we lacked in Pahrump, NV.

Pahrump has the casino culture my mom and I love, but in that respect Yuma shines also.  We've found numerous Indian casinos all around us.  (I want to say 'Native American' casinos, but 'Indian Casino' appears to remain the standard term, even by the Native Americans who own and operate said casinos ::shrugs::.)

We drove through Quartzsite with thoughts of boondocking there a month or so, but we were wholly unimpressed.  What does Quartzsite really have going for it except for the level boondockable land?  A few big festivals...and what?  I don't like living in a place that's convenient to no where.  We already established this during our Thousand Trails days.  I'm not going to boondock in Quartzsite just because it's cheap.  I need a good quality of life to go with my frugality.

Yuma offers that, and it's several degrees warmer than Quartzsite.  We don't have a clan like many Quartzsitesians.  We're new to this and don't have a network of other RVers to connect with.  Quartzsite just isn't for us.

Yuma?  Now in Yuma I can see sticking around long term.  All winter in fact.  That's the current plan.

Many months ago I was shedding the chains of Thousand Trails and excitedly booked our next few months at various RV parks.  Pahrump, then Yuma, then San Diego. 

We were booked at the Mission Bay RV Park in San Diego for the month of January.  This park costs $875/month but I felt I could swing it, and I felt it would be worth it.  I'm sure it is worth it, but I'm not sure I can swing it.  I'm a writer who depends on selling ebooks for a living.  The climate has changed with new Amazon rules and I'm faltering right now.  I could probably still afford the RV park, but I wouldn't have any money left over to actually enjoy San Diego.  The huge rent would be a stressor. 

I'd given a $220 deposit back when I booked the park.  A pleasant conversation with an understanding reservationist today cancelled my reservation and will get me back the deposit minus a $25 fee.  I really hope to see that credit on my card in the next few days.  Then I can breathe a deep sigh of relief.  San Diego is not in the cards for us right now.  Saving money is!

The $350/month rent at this park in Yuma is much more doable for me right now.  After that accident I had on the way here I'm ready to dig in and just stay here until the end of March...maybe even April.  We'll see how it goes.

I don't like towing the RV.  I'm still not able to back into a space and I struggle to get gas on the road.  My little SUV huffs and puffs to pull our home and needs gas way too often.  I don't get to gas up at those big diesel gas pumps.  I have to struggle into gas stations that were meant for cars.  It's a huge pain.

The answer to my travel woes is a Class C or Class A RV.  Yuma is loaded with RV dealerships.  So we spent the day visiting three of them.

La Mesa RVs had a 2004 Itasca on it's web site that I felt would suit our needs well and was under $30k.  So we went there first.  The unit I want is not in Arizona.  :(  The sales agent showed us a bunch of other options, all over $60k.  We oooed and ahhhed at the beautiful rigs--and my stomach and chest got tight with worry.  There really wasn't anything perfect for us, so we moved on.

My mom liked RV World, and the salesman was super nice an helpful.  La Mesa had preapproved us for $60k worth of financing.  RV World said $100k.  And my stomach got even tighter.  We were showed immaculate brand new rigs with all the bells and whistles.  Gorgeous fixtures.  Wondrous space.  Cab-over bunks I could climb in with full sized beds.  My mom fell in love with the priciest rig we saw.

And I started feeling sick.

We escaped without any paperwork signed.  I told the guy to call us if a nice used class C came in with the floor plan we needed that was under $30k.

As we're driving back I told my mom that I just couldn't buy a $60-$100k RV.  What I valued about our life above all was our freedom, and a gigantic monthly payment every month for the next 20 years was going to take that freedom away from me.  I'd be scrimping and scrounging and working my ass off to try to keep up with the payments.  No matter how many 'good' months I had in the future I would likely never have enough to pay down that debt significantly.  It would be a millstone around my neck until I was my mother's age.

The better solution was just to move the trailer less frequently and tough it out when moving time came.

Our current trailer has one problem:  Moving it.  This includes going from point A to B where I'd have to get gas, and parking it when I got to the multitude of parks out there that don't have pull-thru spots.

But once we're at our destination, parked an unhitched, this is the perfect RV for us.  My mom has her bedroom with her nice new mattress in the front.  I have my bedroom with a shelf for all my stuff in the back.  We have a nice big bathroom that's easy to maneuver in.  I have my 'office' in the RV dinnette.  My mom has her computer/lounging space in the RV sofa.  She has a card table in front of her to eat her meals and use her computer.  We like being able to disconnect our propane tanks and drive them somewhere to get them filled.  We like boondocking with our solar panels.  We have a nice kitchen and plenty of space.  We just like our RV!!

And I only owe $22,800 on it.  Seven months ago this was $32,000.  I've been paying it down like crazy and at this rate I may be free from that payment in two or three years.  That's less stress on me to hustle and make money.  More freedom to spend time having fun instead of worrying about bills.

This is our only debt and debt is a curse that robs you of your freedom.  I just can't take on what amounts to a house payment!  If I get a motorized RV it has to be 10 or 15 years old so I won't be saddled with huge debt.  And then I might be buying a host of problems and a short life-span of usable full-timing.  I just don't want this.

So we're sticking with the EVO.  I'll just have to keep struggling to tug it along.  It's worth it!  It's freedom, and that's the most important thing in the world!     

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Yuma Arizona and Dental in Mexico

So yesterday we went to the RV park I'd booked in Yuma Arizona and settled in.  It's a day early, but Pahrump was just too cold and we were itching to go.  After the accident on the way I'm now itching not to go ANYWHERE.  I kind of want to cancel my San Diego RV park booking and just stay here the rest of winter.  Yuma's a really nice city.  It has everything me and my mom like and it's as warm as we're going to get it seems.

Anywho, my intake flange for my water connection cracked in half in Pahrump due to getting brittle with cold.  I just replaced it myself with a new flange from Al's RV shop here in Yuma.  Hopefully I did the repair right and it will work out.  It seemed simple...but RV stuff seldom is.  I'll keep an eye out for leaks the next few days.

After getting the part from the RV store I took my mother to Mexico.  She had decided against getting dental work done there after seeing some crazy prices online.  We still came down because she's never been to Mexico.  I wanted to stock up on those antidepressants that worked out for me too.  We parked in the Q casino lot for $6 and walked on in.

I got my pills and we wandered around.  Spent $20 on a stupid hat that I'm sure my mom will only wear once.  She bought the same ball in a cup toy I'd bought for her because she wants to give it to her grandson.  My price: $10.  Her price after speaking in Spanish:  $5.  Mierda!

Anyway, the sidewalks are cave-like due to the shop canopies.  You can't walk five steps without being harangued.  This woman chased my mom down with a hooded shirt, and she just didn't want it, you know?  I looked at jewelry at a stand and the woman started the same scam the guy did the last time I was there, 'Please buy something.  I'm so hungry.  I don't have money for a taco for lunch.'  Ugh.  I bought earrings for $8.  I'm a sucker, but I also applaud her entrepreneurial spirit.

We finally went into one of the little dentists just to have a break from the peddlers.  This was a pretty enough office, and who knows, the guy might be a good dentist.  But he claimed my mom's teeth were too loose for a bridge (something the other dentist refuted with an X-Ray) and tried to sell her a $900 removable plastic denture thing instead.  We really wanted something permanent for her.  (Not implants, however, since a blood disease makes any surgery potentially deadly for her).

We continued on and found a dentist with ADA certified plaques.  So we went in.  I believe we found one of the quality dentists, Isaias Iniguez D.D.S.  The office was nicer and better equipped than many USA dentists.  The customer service was top-notch.  They drove us back across the border at the end of the session as a courtesy.

That's not to say that they aren't out to upsell you and try to get you to buy more services than you need.  The woman at the desk (a sweetheart) is a shrewd saleswoman and she was aggressive in trying to get rid of the mercury fillings in my mother's mouth.  Not something we cared about.  Not something she really needed.  Every dentist offers us veneers.  This is a want, not a need.  Being able to chew is a need for my poor mom.  (The friendly professional woman also pitied me for my yellow teeth, which are the color of aged parchment.  I don't care.  I'm not whitening them.)

Anyway, my mother is suffering with a 30 year old removable denture thing that is causing an allergic reaction in her mouth and damaging her gums and other teeth.  It's WAY past time to get rid of that junk.

We're getting her a 7 tooth permanent bridge for her upper teeth made out of posh zirconia (I couldn't get them to offer a cheaper material) for $3,500.  It's expensive, but cheaper than in the USA and direly needed.  Her appointment is next Wednesday.  I'll post an update on how it goes.  FYI, they could have done it tomorrow, but we need time to gather the cash.

Tomorrow we're going RV shopping.  I dream of a class-C with an easy to climb up bunk  ;_;  I'm so over towing this trailer.