Losing Contact

Boarded up and sandbagged. That's the mail situation here in Mexico

Ten days ago my doctor sent my contact lens to me via UPS. Today I received an e-mail from UPS Mexico saying they were charging me $57 pesos a day until I picked up my contact lens, but didn’t say where it was or how to get it. The message was in Spanish, of course, which I couldn’t understand and had someone here read and translate it. Great! I only spent $55 to have it sent here UPS. Forget UPS, it doesn’t work in Mexico. In fact forget sending anything here — especially of any kind of medical nature. Martin, one of the other volunteers, had his parents in Belgium send him medications through DHL. Same thing. It doesn’t work.

Apparently there are some Mexican forms that need to be filled out from the minister of health in some other city. You have to go in person and get the forms. In my case it’s in Playa del Carmen, only about 25 miles away. But the problem is that after you fill them out it takes three weeks for anything to happen. By that time I”ll be back home. Martin ended up trying to have his medications sent back to Belgium, and I will TRY to have my contact lens sent back to the U.S.

Meanwhile my contact lens is sitting somewhere in Mexico City,

A candle-light vigil is being held in Mexico City for my impounded contact lens.

a mere thousand or so miles from here. It never even made it to Quintana Roo, the state I’m in — other than the state of total disgust and frustration at the whole thing.

Now it will cost me 50-some more dollars to have it SENT BACK — IF I’M LUCKY — never having

A special watermelon tombstone has been carved to commemorate my disappeared contact lens.

received it. I’ve already paid my doctor $175.00 plus $55 shipping — worst case scenario is that this being Mexico I may never even get the lens. If I’m lucky it’s just $100-plus just so my contact lens could take a round-trip to Mexico. A little vacation for my new contact lens before breaking it in.

I can’t just go out and easily get another one here. It’s a bifocal lens that I’ve had six-plus years. I can’t wear the disposable dailies because I have astigmatism, plus need the bifocals. If I tried to get lenses here I’d have to go to a doctor, have an examination, get a new prescription, get new lenses, etc. etc. sure to cost a lot.

Had I known all the hassle and expense this would be I would never have tried to have another lens sent to me and would have just stuck it out wearing the one lens in the wrong eye.

And as a final word of wisdom, no matter how tough things get never drink three margaritas in Mexico if you’re wearing contact lenses. Maybe I’ll go back to that dorm room where I lost it and sweep it one more time. I just took my migraine medication and I think I’ll soon go have a margarita.

Scanning darkened skies and sea waiting for a UPS delivery

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Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Losing Contact

  1. Yeah, when I lived in San Miguel, mail was the big challenge. Most people paid for a service that collected their mail once a week in San Antonio and drove it to SM. At that time, Fed Ex and UPS were unreliable and useless, but DHL was pretty good. You’ve written very amusingly (love the photos!) about your experience but I know it’s been a nightmare for you and a huge unexpected expense. I hope you at least are able to finally get the contact lense so you don’t have to buy another one here. Big hugs, Rosita Osita de Nieves Blanca (or something like that)–

  2. Luke

    It seems you’ve taken to therapeutic blogging quite well! Not that it will speed your lens to you but at least it’s satisfying to kvetch to the interwebs when things go so absurdly, bureaucratically wrong. When you do find the office that has your contacts be sure to ship them a dead fish and don’t pick it up for 10 days…or ever.

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