In an effort to get our health related ducks in a row, Carrie and I have been conducting a full round of doctor and dentist visits while here in Jacksonville to give our bodies some well deserved attention. We’ve committed a lot of time and resources to the systems on our various boats over the last several years, but not quite the same focus has been afforded to our physical systems over the same period.
We have been fortunate regarding medical issues over our cruising years together. Carrie was able to dodge a pretty substantial bullet in 2008 when her mammogram (the first she’d had in several years) caught a lump in the very early stages. That changed our travel plans significantly that year as she underwent surgery and radiation treatments over the winter. The other issues we’ve dealt with however have been reactive in nature, and we are both celebrating our 61st birthdays this year. While the lifestyle lends itself to healthy living, we are definitely not getting any younger.
So we established a relationship with a Primary Care Physician (PCP) and a General Dentist over the last month, and are content with both individuals. We have since completed follow-up appointments in Dermatology, Optometry, and Gastro-ology (whatever) with positive results. Carrie has her annual Mammogram and we both have follow-up dental appointments scheduled for next week.
Everything has checked out OK so far with the exception of some additional dental work for Carrie that we have effectively avoided for too many years now. We plan to complete that hurdle by moving Brilliant down the coast as planned and driving back here for her next appointment in mid-November. The follow-up appointment is 2-3 months down the road and we’ll figure out the logistics on that next month. It may put a kink in our travel plans this spring but we’ll deal with that as it comes.
Medicine may be a calling but it is also a business, and in this country it is one of the biggest. We have been “counseled” by several of the specialists we’ve seen to see them regularly, meaning every 3-6 months, for checkups. That’s not likely to happen. We may utilize the medical/dental specialist in other countries as we need them, as we’ve found that they can be every bit as good and not nearly as expensive. It does seem like our present strategy, however, will afford us a better chance against something sneaking up on us in an anchorage somewhere far, far away from good resources.