The Scare Of My Life

Cris and Tim

On the off chance you weren’t keeping up to date on our Facebook page, the last week was a nightmare.

It started off on Tuesday afternoon, March 25th. Cristina and I were out for an evening jog and roughly five minutes in she was doubled over in agonizing pain, barely able to walk. We made it back home over a 30 minute time period, me basically carrying her as she hobbled step by painful step. I wanted her to visit the doctor but she said not to worry, took a couple of Advil and it passed within a few hours.

However, the next day the pain was still there. Dull and throbbing, but still there. She spent all day in bed. Then Thursday in bed. And in the afternoon around 4:30 she got up to take a shower. She finished, and I was working on the laptop when I heard crying coming from the bedroom. I went to investigate and found her in bed, doubled up in pain again, this time in full-blown emergency mode.

She took a couple of Advil and then we went straight to the hospital (we almost NEVER take pills; the pain was intense enough for her to even consider taking something).

A few hours later after some examinations she was informed that she was going into emergency surgery for internal hemorrhaging due to an ectopic pregnancy. Had we waited another day for the pain to intensify even more, she could have died from internal bleeding. As it was, she had passed it off to a heavy period.

Over the past couple of months she has had similar pains, though never as intense, usually around her time of the month, so we weren’t even aware that she was pregnant. An ectopic pregnancy also causes blood flow similar to a period, so the few times she had pain + blood over the past couple of months she thought it was just that time.

Turns out, she was roughly 10 weeks pregnant, more or less. We didn’t know, although we’ve been actively working on making a baby the past few months. Timing of the pains/bleeding roughly coincided with her period so we weren’t sure.

She went into surgery at roughly 10 p.m on Thursday night, the 27th of March. I was in full-on freak-out mode due to some administrative hiccups at the hospital. We got there at 5 p.m. She went in at 8 p.m. to talk to someone. I was told 40 minutes more or less for the specialist and proceeded to wait. So I did. Two hours later, I still hadn’t heard anything and was starting to get a little worried. Then someone finally found me and proceeded to tell me they had been looking for me for over an hour but were looking at the emergency drop-off for ambulances, not at the walk-in area where we had arrived.

I run over to be told that my wife is being prepped for surgery! I freak out, ask to see her, they tell me I can’t, but I can write a note, so I do. They tell me hour, hour and a half, but don’t explain more than that. I proceed to wait, white-hot knotted gut. Finally they come get me, explain what happened, that she had to have the baby removed (we lost it), but she was in recovery so I could wait until she got admitted to the patient floor, but the doctor showed me photos of the embryo they had to cut out, which did NOT make things better, despite them saying she was OK…it just put me into full-on WTF!!!!!! MY WIFE mode.

But I couldn’t do anything. So I went upstairs to wait. Around 2 a.m. she was put on the floor, but they wouldn’t let me see her because it was the maternity area and only women family members are allowed in during non-visiting hours. Which they didn’t tell me earlier. I argued with security, but they wouldn’t budge. I went home, took a shower, posted something quick on Facebook, then went back to the hospital and started camping out.

From there, I was able to see her the next morning (Friday) and again in the afternoon. We talked with her sister, who took a night bus in from Tabasco and stayed with us last week. Cris was able to come home on the night of March 29th, and she just got her stitches out yesterday (April 5th).

It’s going to be a long road to recovery from here. She can walk, but only around the house, and is still in a lot of pain. It’s going to be a month or so before she doesn’t have any real pain, and then a few more months of not doing anything serious…just hobbling around the house. And it’s going to be a year or two until we can try again…and that all depends on how she heals internally.

It also means there are some changes that will be coming down the pipeline as far as what we are doing with Marginal Boundaries. The doctors said Cris still has one month of house recovery (hobbling around house, not working, just relaxing, no strenuous activities) before she is allowed to lift anything more than a few pounds. We’re going to wait another 10-12 days before taking the trip back to her home town where she will be spending the next 4-6 months fully recovering. But at least the scary part is past and over with.

Not sure how this will affect our production of the next Live Like a Local guidebook for Playa del Carmen. We are still looking at adjusting our schedule and plans completely. Everything is up in the air for the next 4-6 months. It’s hard for me to produce the videos + photos for the blog posts + guidebook if it’s just me doing things, since we are a travel blogging couple. But this health emergency has taken the wind out of our sails and we have to do some adjusting.

I may be splitting time between there and here (with a 10 hour drive/12 hour bus ride in between), such as 2 weeks/2 weeks, or 1 week/3 weeks. I have an ongoing project with a friend here in Playa del Carmen (which can technically be done from anywhere), as well as an upcoming student who wants a three month boot camp course, plus some other leads to pursue.

The hard part is that I’ve really not had the motivation to write for the past couple of weeks since this all went down. Her health is my priority, and the blog is taking second place. I think I’ve put out one post in the entire time, and I haven’t done hardly any social media or advertising recently; consequently our Klout score is dropping, as is our Facebook ranking and etc., which is not a good thing for sponsors and social proof for clients/etc., but at this point I’m not really interested in the technical side of the blog and I am more worried about my wife’s health. Plus sponsors don’t really matter at this point since we can’t really travel until at least fall of 2014 (we had plans to go to Italy and Greece but those are now officially on hold completely).

Anyway….she’s home full-time now, and from here on out it’s the slow road to complete recovery. At least she’s smiling and can walk around the house mostly without my help, although getting in and out of bed still requires a bit of extra strength from my department. She’ll be a bit sensitive today due to stitches being removed, but everything in her checkup today was thumbs up from the doctors.

Stay tuned for more information. The scary part is over…but it’s still a long road to recovery from here.

Get a FREE copy of our latest publication!


Click here for your free instant download copy with NO information required!

And don’t forget to sign up for our free newsletter for several-times-a-week, your-eyes-only travel and entrepreneur tips, plus receive a complimentary copy of our 85-page starter book on location independence and living abroad, 30 Ways in 30 Days.

With over 1,500 copies sold, our flagship 568-page eBook is what started it all. Learn how to travel the world like I do: without a budget, with no plans, funded completely by your website and online ventures.

The Expat GuidebookGet Your Copy Today!

Unplug from The System, cure yourself of The Greedy Bastard Syndrome, tap into your universal potential and create your own reality. Build a brand, travel the world and realize your cosmic consciousness.

Beyond Borders - The Social RevolutionGet Your Copy Today!

About T.W. Anderson

T.W. Anderson is the founder of the Marginal Boundaries brand. He is the writer, editor, videographer, photographer, and social media guru alongside Cristina Barrios, the other half of the brand. In his spare time, he is the creative director of the Saga of Lucimia, a forthcoming MMORPG from Stormhaven Studios, LLC.


  • Thankfully it’s nothing more than a fading memory for now, Jan :)

  • jan says:

    I can imagine your absolute shock at this emergency life threatening situation. Thankfully family is (fairly) close by to look after Cristina. Hope everything turns out fine for you both.

  • Thanks, Ebe. She’s doing well now; healing up at her family’s place while I’m back in Playa doing work + continuing the blog :)

  • ebe says:

    I always love tuning into your adventures and was so sorry to tune in to this terrible news. I hope you are both recovering and wish you all the best in this time of transition.

  • Thanks, Freya. She is indeed doing better :) Resting up with her family!

  • Freya says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that, I’m glad she is doing better and wish her a speedy recovery. Hope you’ll both be doing fine soon. Take care.

  • Micki says:

    Oh, I’m so glad that Cristina is doing much better. I can’t imagine how terrifying that must have been for both of you. Take care of each other, and all our wishes for a quick recovery.

  • Tim,

    So happy to see that she is on the mend. You are right to prioritize her health and wellbeing over anything else. Family is always number one. We’re there for you if you need anything buddy. Send her our love.


  • Well enough now, Ben. Still some residual pain + the emotional drain, but physically she’s feeling much better :) going on walks, and we had an outting today with some fellow travel bloggers, although it was just sitting at a restaurant and talking…nothing too strenuous.

  • ben says:

    That was truly scary. I just want to ask how is she now?

  • Thank God that she’s alive and well. That’s all that matters. I can’t imagine what you guys are going through, but thank God that she’s still here. Wishing Cristina a complete recovery!

  • Mark Mercer says:

    Oh my heavens Cristina and Tim, I am so sorry! Thank the stars or whatever got you to the hospital on time.

    I hadn’t seen this early because we aren’t lately connected on social, but I was shocked and horrified when I heard what happened. I wish you both the best, and wish Cristina a full recovery. Don’t overdo it, either of you guys – the work can be reshuffled, life and love and health less so.

    Warm thoughts for all good things going forward from this. Be well.


  • Franca says:

    It must have been pretty tough for both of you, the important thing is that Cristina is fine and recovering now, all the other pieces will follow into place don’t worry!

  • Fil says:

    So sorry to hear about your loss and the tough situation that you and Cristina are going through. I’m happy that she is feeling better though. Take it one day at a time and everything will work out okay. Work will always be there. Enjoy the precious time that both of you have together and when you are ready to try to have another baby, I pray that things will go smoother.

    A speedy recovery for Cristina and a big deep breath for you. I’ll keep both of you in my thoughts and prayers.

  • denis says:

    Ho! Great you got to go to the beautiful state of tabasco,i did enjoy my travels there and not to many tourists.Fun times are now waiting for you.

  • denis says:

    Glad that both of you are doing good and the healing is in the process,great that you get your priority first., health is wealth.

  • Thanks, Cheryl. It’s been rough, but it’s onwards and upwards from here.

  • Sorry to hear that you guys went through such an intense experience. I’ve experienced something similar to your wife, and it’s never easy. Glad you’re both OK and hope you take all the time you need to rest, heal and get better.

  • Thanks, Laurence. Will do :)

  • Laurence says:

    Wow, what an experience. Glad to hear Cristina is on the road to recovery now though. Keep safe!

  • Jennifer says:

    Oh my gosh, that was no doubt incredibly scary. So glad to hear that Cris got to the hospital and came through the surgery okay. You guys hang in there and take it easy.

  • Vanessa says:

    Thank you for sharing such a poignant and personal post. I’m so sorry your family had to go through such a horrible experience and I wish your wife a speedy and heathful recovery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.