Considering Moving to Mexico; complex medical issues - please advise

Hello (I am cross-posting this in part from another forum and hope that is okay),

I am widely traveled and am not sure where to post, precisely, to a particular country forum since I am open to the issue of expatriating and do not have a particular country settled on yet since this will likely be determined by ongoing medical conditions that I have coped with, which are treatable but which require heavier medication, which I've found perfectly fine care for for twenty years here in the United States. Bear with me and please listen and help since I cannot find what I am looking for online, to date, and the world is very much wide open as far as I am concerned.

I am an educator, own my home, and live in the US, and my spouse and I have talked about expatriating for the past ten years. We travel every year with an eye for whether or not we might live someplace. What we've found is that we are very open minded and could easily see ourselves relocating to so many places. I've particularly enjoyed France (we're both fluent in French), Mexico (particularly the Yucatan, where we have spent about six weeks, and also Chiapas; we both speak beginner Spanish, enough to get around), Turkey (which seems a little uneasy right now), Sweden, Northern Italy, Asia, and Iceland. We learn languages easily.

I particularly love Mérida, Celestun, Chiapas, and all of the less touristy parts of the Yucatan. I haven't been to some other parts yet, but I can see myself in many. I love Mexico, and Mexican people so much. I have not even scratched the surface after driving 1,000 miles through the Yucatan, Chiapas, Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Tabasco.

We are both middle-aged educators who enjoy reading, we are a little introverted, we like nature, and we like very small things. I have never been to a country I did not like or feel some connection with. I am fascinated by culture in its tremendous variation. The world delights me.

America is currently in a state of profound political turmoil. It is unbearable for me to live here, not because of the demonstrations and protests, but because of the feeling of alienation and anger and also, fear, hatred, and disgust, that I have towards this country now. I know I must leave, and I plan to do so this summer.

However, I have a complicated, but absolutely treatable, neurological problem which is a movement disorder. It is easy to treat! It requires two daily medications though, and both of these are non-narcotic, non-opiate controlled substances that I have been on for about twenty years. One, I take at slightly high doses because of the length of time I have been on it, but I've never abused it or been in any trouble with the law. Both cause physical dependence, which is unpleasant, but without them, I look a bit like Stephen Hawking, so they are essential to my continued mobility.

One is a benzodiazepine, one is a z-drug for sleep. Again, both for the neurological movement disorder that has not been successfully treated by other medication despite a lot of efforts over the years. I also take other, non-controlled medications as well for other reasons. These are important too as one is essential to life (like diabetes medication, but not).

It has been very difficult to try to figure out how to expatriate when I cannot establish more than a 30 day supply of medication here in the US due to prescribing laws, so I would want to set something up, perhaps during a trip, with a doctor.

My plan is to continue to teach abroad. But I'm open to other jobs as well and have other skills. We have good savings and are unsure if we are moving "for a while" or permanently. But I feel ill at ease in America now and must leave by the summer. I am white, but I am (completely secular) Jewish, and the rising tide of anti-Semitism is causing me extreme anxiety, with threats of bombings and swastikas cropping up everywhere; I come from a Holocaust family on one side. Since we were going to expatriate anyways, I want to put my feelers out and think about countries or places that might be a good fit for us, particularly with my frustrating medical woes.

How do you establish medication continuance when you choose to move abroad, especially if you take anything that could be seen as potentially "sketchy" even if it's not?

Thank you for your guidance, and I am happy to find this forum.

We have VERY simple needs, by the way! Even though we own a nice house, we will just rent it or sell it, depending, and could get by with as little as a 1 BR apartment. We are not well-off, but we aren't hurting financially at all either. And it is possible I would move first and my husband might tie things up here and then move a few months later. I could probably live for about a year or more just off of my savings before securing a job.

Any advice you can offer is more than what I currently have. So thank you for taking my post seriously.

Hi, this information is concerning Mexico.

First, the Visa requirements, you must talk to the Mexican consulate or embassy near you to confirm that you can have the residency visa or not.
Second, if you look to work in Mexico this is very complex, talk again to the Mexican consulate or embassy.
Third, see also the requirements for moving household goods.
Fourth, mexican medical coverage can be obtain once you have the Mexican resident status. Private doctors can follow your conditions and provide appropriate medications.
Fifth, they are many good areas to retire in Mexico.
Sixth, since I am Canadian, I don't know about IRS taxation for Expats, so you should talk to your accountant or IRS on moving permanently to a foreign country. (FATCA rules).

Buena suerte, GyC.

You have a very complex set of issues there. Mexicogic has answered many of the questions about where to get specific information.

What I can add is that the medical care here is good. Star medical in Merida is one of the more advanced facilities, but not the only one. What I also know is that not all drugs used in the U.S. are easily available here.
I am a retired medical professional , and I have met several doctors here. Many are bilingual. I am more involved in the functional medical approach, so I do not see them, but I had a family member who was diagnosed with cancer,so I communicated with the doctors here until he died.

I was impressed with their knowledge, and skill as well as flexibility. So if I were you, I would try to find a doctor immediately should you chose to live here. I'm afraid your medical issues might limit where you could find regular care. Of the three places you mentioned I would say Merida would be the most likely.

Have you evaluated Canada ? They would be sure to have the medications and they are quite close.

if political turmoil is an issue you dont want to go to mexico

Professor X   
Thank you for sharing so intimately your story and situation.   I trust you will make the right choice for your move.

There is and will be political turmoil almost every where currently.

There is a difference between turmoil ,and terror due to fear of being attacked or singled out for attack. Professor X is indicating that level of fear. I don't think any of us living in Mexico feel that. I know I don't or I wouldn't be here.

Can you get your med's via mail?  If so you could have them mailed to a forwarding service in the US and then have them sent to you.  Many people just across the border with Baja have mail sent to a San Diego address and pick it up once a week or so.  I think that's what we plan to do as I'm pretty sure we will be driving over to SD at least once a week or so.

or you can just look at the Jewish site where you will see this:

"Some of the most vibrant Jewish neighborhoods in North America exist “South of the Border” in Mexico, where over 40,000 Jews have created a close-knit, distinct community."

Some of the sites you may be referring to also claim anti American problems. There may be some, but neither I or anyone I have talked to know about it.

Moderated by Priscilla last year
Reason : religious, inappropriate and unreliable links

The first one of the articles Katzgar cited was from July 1, 1930. Another is an incident from 2012, I think that's digging a little too deep. I have lived in Mexico for 23 years, and have traveled widely. I have not seen or experienced any anti-Jewish sentiment.

True, it isn't hard to Google, but do you believe everything you read?

As Babs says the negative articles are not what we are experiencing. The internet can provide any slant you want to search for. 

It's not someones opinion about what it might be like in Mexico that we are talking about, but what people actually living in Mexico, and actually knowing Mexicans experience.

Do you live in Mexico Katzgar ? or do you still live in Seattle and read about what is happening here? There is a major difference.

Thanks for clearing things up. You get your information from the internet, and you do not live in Mexico.

I think we are straying from the topic; why don't we get back to Professor X and her problems?

Exactly, and I believe that is just what is happening.

Good idea, Babbs.   It would be nice to keep things on a positive note!

Hi everybody,

Just to inform you that some off topic posts have been removed from this thread.

Lets focus on the initiator's problem please and let's try to help her. :)

Thanks a lot for your understanding,


Professor X,

I am retired college instructor also, with an ongoing medical condition as well.  I live in a small coastal village in Baja, México.  I have joined a private hospital group with connections to a variety of top medical specialists.  I have found that almost all medications are available in large pharmacy chains.  My doctors tell me that all medicines except antibiotics can be obtained without a prescription.  You might call a pharmacy and ask them if your prescriptions are available.  They are computerized and will look it up.

In my expat community there are many secular Jewish neighbors I consider dear friends.  There is no anti-Jewish anything.  My particular community strongly expresses the simular political values as your own.  We do not fear political unrest despite the current Mexican President's unpopularity.

I can only speak of my limited experience in Baja, but I suspect that you would be welcome and happy in Mexico.  My suggestion is to find out about your potential community before you buy to make certain that you are comfortable with your neighbors as we tend to have stronger community bonds as expats.  I know of many people who wish they had purchased in my area where we are liberal and predominantly progressive.  There is a neighborly bond.

Best of luck to you and your husband.

I appreciated your comments about your community on the Baja Coast, and also regarding medical care. When you mentioned prescription drugs, did you mean that one might contact her local pharmacy in the US, for example, and have the list of prescriptions sent to a local pharmacy in her new home village or town in Mexico?

Also, I'm a bit divided about living in either Puerto Vallarta or on Baja Sur, circa San Jose del Cabo. Do you have any comments about differences between the two, which seem to me rather broad. In particular, the cost of living interests me. Is Baja Sur cost of living about the same as PV?

Many thanks again for your comments.

~ Skye Moody

I'm in Mexico and also a "secular" or "cultural" Jew.  I take a lot of meds. 

I have not experienced any antiSemitism in 8 years here while living in 2 cities, traverlling widely and making friends, acquaintenances and contacts.  On the contrary, people have expressed curiosity about exactly what is a Jew to which I respond openly but lightly.

Narcotics (there is almost no permitted use outside hospitals and dentists offices), antibiotics and drugs that you can class with Xanax do require prescriptions.  There are non narcotic analgesics in use that fall between narcotic and NSAID level effectiveness.  Mexican friends seem to do fine on the local protocols. Everything else you can get over the counter.  If you'll be in Mexico soon, you can check at most chain pharmacies like Farmacias Guadalajara or Benavides.  If it's only two items, message me with the brand names and generic names and I can check since my landlord is an MD.  Larger cities, 500,000 or more, have excellent medical services.

Mexico has political unrest forever, it seems.  Expats accept a somewhat greater level of risk but it's probably unmeasureable.

Good luck wherever you decide

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