This info was really helpful to me, when i went hope it helps someone else.
GETTING TO COSMED & THE BORDER BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
There are buses from SAN airport to the trolley. I personally hop on the Alamo shuttle (center island) and pretend that I’m a customer going to their facility to rent a car. Get off their shuttle and walk about 50 feet down the hill to the Middletown trolley stop. Get on the Blue Line to San Ysidro. Buy a Day Tripper pass for $5 and you can ride buses and trolleys all day.
Walk across the border and exit through the clanging turnstile on the right. If the Tourist Bureau is open just before you go through that gate, stop and pick up a good map of Tijuana. After you walk through the turnstile, go across the street and walk just past McDonalds to the taxi stand. (Look for the ones that say “Taxi Economico”) A cab to CosMed should cost no more than $5. (Actually, a cab almost anywhere in TJ costs $5.) Have the address printed out (better in Spanish), along with a little map if possible.
BEST WESTERN AMERICANA Q&A – check my previous post
GETTING TO THE BW BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Take the trolley to the Iris St. Station, and Bus 929 to the Best Western. Bus drops off/picks up in front of hotel. It’s about 5 mins. from the trolley stop to the BW. Ask the driver to stop at the BW (corner of Sunset Ln & San Ysidro). Bus fare is $2.25 unless you have already purchased a day-tripper ticket for the trolley, in which case you just show that ticket to the driver. You CAN walk from Iris St. to the hotel, but it is in excess of a mile…….not something you want to be doing with luggage. There are different little boarding areas for different buses. They are clearly labeled. This same bus goes to the border.
COSMED & LODGING
You will have a pre-op consult the day before surgery when you arrive, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions, get an Rx for pain meds, and do whatever last-minute preparations that you need. Depending on the extent of your surgery, you may spend the night after surgery at CosMed and leave the next morning. That gives them the opportunity to monitor you post-op, and provides you with care for that first important night.
Most people stay at the Lucerna, the Grand, some at Hotel del Rio, and others at the Best Western Americana just over the border in San Ysidro. The Lucerna and Hotel del Rio are both 2-4 blocks from CosMed, and the Grand about 12 blocks. There is a grocery store within walking distance from all of them. All will give you a special clinic rate. Don’t book online, but call the hotel direct. Check tripadvisor.com for reviews on hotels in Tijuana. It’s sometimes difficult to get through to the hotels, especially the Lucerna. In a pinch, you can probably ask Giselle
to book for you.
I would suggest the Best Western San Ysidro if you are staying a week…… for several reasons: it is less expensive, there is a free shuttle across the border to clinics, and you can get a shuttle to/from San Diego airport for $47 one-way. I would suggest checking out Super Shuttle from the airport to the BW (I believe it is less expensive). The BW is your basic budget hotel. Each room has a fridge, microwave, and internet. There is a Coco's, Carl's Jr., 711 and McDonalds nearby.
$130 a night - can arrange transportation for you to and from the airport and CosMed
Elena - La Casa de Lilas
$150/night; $100 pickup/return SAN airport
Recovery By The Sea http://rbts.shutterfly.com?a=1
Sheri James RN
619-793-5920 or 619-573-5178 firstname.lastname@example.org
KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH OTHERS
CELL PHONE...to call friends, Cingular is reported to work there. I have Verizon and have found that although I can sometimes receive calls, I can't check messages or call out. You need to see if you have to add Mexico to your plan.
LAPTOP - Contrary to what some say, I think it is absolutely worth it to bring your laptop. Most of the facilities I have been in have wifi now.
SKYPE - If you are not familiar with Skype, you're missing out on a GREAT deal! This is how I communicated with everyone on my last trip and it was an absolute life-saver. My roomie and I used it for six days and I think it cost us a total of about $10.
WHAT TO BRING WHEN SPENDING THE NIGHT AT COSMED:
VASELINE OR CARMEX/CHAPSTICK...lips will be dry. Put some on before surgery too, it will help.
COUGH DROPS/HARD CANDIES...helps relieve throat after intubation tube is taken out.
IPOD OR OTHER DEVICE....can be very noisy, or your roomie might snore; think earplugs as well
SLEEVE OF NO-SALT CRACKERS OR SNACK...to coat your stomach. They have Jello, but not sugar free.
EMERGEN-C, PROPEL OR CRYSTAL LITE-TO-GO PKGS...adds flavor and electrolytes to the bottled water and tastes good
SM. BOTTLE HAND LOTION...in case your hands are really dry.
HAIR BRUSH or PICK
PAIN MEDS AND ANTI NAUSEA MEDS...Deb says “I had a bad reaction to their pain meds, so I was able to ask Dr Fuentes if I could please take my own. He allowed me to, but I asked him before surgery as well, because I have a hard time with allergies to narcotics....so we had this pre-arranged.” Most people do well on the medications CosMed has. They will give you pain and anti nausea medications in your IV...as well as antibiotics. You will probably be asleep and not even notice it.
WHAT TO BRING TO MEXICO
Drawstring pj bottoms; drawstring pants in general
Egg crate mattress - you will be glad you got this because the beds are really hard at the Lucerna, and it helps keep the pressure off your incisions. A twin-size is $20 at JoAnn Fabrics.
Large and long t-shirts to wear under compression garment
to keep it from irritating your skin (men’s undershirts are great)
Protein powder or drinks
Triple antibiotic ointment
Tape and bandages; maxi pads or poise pads to absorb lipo drainage and to keep the compression garment from chafing you; scissors to cut the pads
At least one size larger clothes to accommodate the swelling
Slip on hard soled shoes/sandals/slippers
Zip front robe is helpful
Hair scrunchies, clips, hair accessories; hotel has hair dryer
Chux - the absorbent pads to put on your pillow or bed to absorb any fluid or blood
Paper tape - lots of it if you're sensitive to regular adhesive tape.
Latex gloves and medium plastic garbage bags – especially if a friend goes with you; the gloves are for your friend to wear while helping to change your bandages, and the garbage bags serve many purposes such as isolating any bloody bandages or linens so that the housekeepers don’t have to handle them; as a make-shift fridge – put it in the tub with ice and your perishables; isolates soiled or bloody clothes if you can’t wash them; trash cans in the rooms are never large enough.
DVD movies and a small DVD player or your laptop
A few of your favorite snacks, crackers, nuts, granola, and drink mixes like Propel and Crystal Lite, they add electrolytes, and whatever...makes it a little nicer when recovering; EMERGEN-C packs add taste plus that all important Vit. C for recovery
Book or magazine, crosswords, etc..
Little bit of makeup
, etc...as you won't wear much.
Antibacterial pre-surgical wash like Betadine or Hibiclens
Silky type pjs in pants or nightgowns...helps to slide in and out of bed without pulling your stitches or getting burns on your knees; modal fabric is nice and soft and doesn’t wrinkle
A small shoebox or plastic box to keep your meds, and phone, candies or whatever beside your bed, or next to you so you can reach it easier and it won't fall off the table.
Lg. ZIPLOCK baggies for your soiled underwear and damp clothes if you are unable to wash them; also for those all important ice packs
Extension Cord....the plug is never where you need it to be for your laptop to reach the bed. Also an Ethernet cable. Some of the hotels have wireless, but carry a cable just in case.
Small flashlight...in case you need light and there is a power failure
Baby powder to put in certain areas if you cannot bathe
Handi wipes/wet ones or Tucks medicated; feel wonderful to keep your tender bum fresh
A list of allergies to give to the nurses in case you are unable to speak for yourself, and no one is with you.
A list of emergency contacts for the same reason.
Small travel boxes of Tide , Cheer or Woolite for small laundry in the room.
At least $100 in small bills for taxis and tips, especially if you are at a hotel
OTHER QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BW AND TRAVEL
First of all, I am going on what other reliable people tell me about a butt augmentation. I didn’t have enough fat for one. From what I'm told, it is VERY good to do a good bit of walking after FG to the butt.
Let's look at the issue of the border crossing and sitting on the shuttle on the return trip. Realistically, you are probably going to do this twice during your time there.......three times at most. The first time will be after your surgery, whether it is the next day or two days later after your leave the recovery house. The next time is when you return to have your stitches out. That's really about it unless there is a need for a third time.
There is no delay in going from the US into Mexico. The delay is coming from Mexico back into the US, especially during rush hours when people are going/coming from work across the border.......or when the tourist rush happens. You will be in a van with other folks and just have to be patient while customs examines the van and any luggage. If you have any drains or bandages, by all means pull them out and look half dead so they won't make you get out of the van for any reason. NOTE: As of June 1, 2009, You need either a passport, or a passport card for re-entry into the US.
The BW is generally about 70% clinic patients--some plastics, some going into TJ for cancer or diabetes
treatment. The hotel is accustomed to dealing with that population. Another plus insofar as I'm concerned is that you are already back across the border when you need to return to the airport. The trip is predictably less than 30mins and you know that you'll make your flight.
A couple of suggestions for the flight home: Explain to the gate agent that you just had surgery and that it would be helpful if you could have at least a couple of seats to yourself (a whole row would be ideal so you could lie down). Get up and walk around frequently during the flight.
Go to someplace like JoAnn Fabrics and buy a piece of high density foam that you cut to fit into the airplane seat with a hole cut out for your booty. High density foam also works well as a mattress, but is too thick to be folded and carried in a suitcase. However, if you buy a piece for home and cut out a booty hole, you MAY be able to sleep on your back.
Consider buying a twin-size eggcrate foam mattress to take with you to make you more comfortable at the hotel, especially if you are having lipo. JoAnn Fabrics has this for $20 and it will fold up small enough to fit into a tote or duffle. If you don't want to take it back home, cut several layers the size of an airplane seat and leave the rest behind. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Buy an inflatable neck pillow
, and make your booty cushion well ahead of time. Sit on it for an hour or two while driving, see how it feels, and make adjustments as necessary. Once you are on the airplane, you won't have a razor blade to tailor the foam.
Now that I have actually made this whole trip with a sore bum, I have to amend the previous paragraph. Although making a booty cushion is a great idea, it is impractical to carry a high-density foam pillow on the entire trip because it just doesn't fold small enough to carry. I used two inflatable neck pillows
to sit on and they worked very well. I used the foam cushion after I got home.......for weeks!
And, lastly, do consider using a skycap and wheelchair
assistance at the airport, especially in San Diego. You probably won’t want to handle luggage, and by having wheelchair assistance you don’t have to stand in line at security or stand in a crowded boarding area.
(posted by spydoc 2009)