The Transnistria parliament building with a statue of Lenin out front. In the city of Tiraspol, Transnistria. Photo taken December 9, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Off to the doctor!

But before we get to that, thanks to everyone for reading yesterday's post. Not a very good response though. You know how many donations came through?

Zero.

But, I get it. Apparently things are a little tight these days. Still, I figured they might get a couple of hundred bucks. Or at least a few comments wishing the boys good luck. Oh well. You don't know unless you try and now we know not to try again. I have a plan though.

So anyhow, I was off to a doctor's appointment yesterday. First time in well over ten years. I try to go for an annual checkup once every ten years whether I need to or not!

With regards to doctor's appointments, I say "if it's not broke, don't fix it".

A lot of people go to the doctor once every year or two for a checkup. They get told things that they already know. "You need to lose weight, get more exercise, stop smoking, eat better food". That sort of thing.

They already know they need to do these things. Why do they need to go to a doctor to get told them again?

I think doctors are great for if you have an accident and break your arm and need surgery or something like that. But for diagnosis of everyday aches and pains? Not so much. Actually, I think their diagnostic abilities generally suck.

http://www.pushing-past-excuses.com/2/post/2015/06/lyme-disease-our-fight-to-pay-it-forward.html

So many doctors visits are a total waste of time and resources. I'll give you an example. You know how you're supposed to take your dog to the vet for an annual checkup? The vet charges you a small fortune for this. We had a dog when I was growing up. The family pet was at the vets twice in her whole life. Once to get fixed, and once when she was hit by a car. She lived to almost 18 years old. Would annual vet visits have helped her out? Not likely.

And it's the same thing with people. Get lots of exercise, and learn how to eat properly. For the most part, it's all you can do. You don't need a doctor to tell you that.

So, I went to the doctor's office and filled out the forms. Past medical history, family medical history, do you smoke, what drugs do you currently take. Things like that. They weighed me, and measured my height. All with clothes and boots on. Not very accurate.

Then, in to the exam room where they take my blood pressure. 125/85. The high side of normal. But normal is usually a bit high when they measure you in the doctor's office. Then, the doctor comes in and asks a bunch of questions and you have a little discussion and get to know each other a little bit as he decided what blood tests to do and how to proceed. He's obviously a little concerned that both by grandfathers died in their 60's of heart attacks. It doesn't seem to matter that one of my grandmothers lived to 98! I guess the good news doesn't count. The bad genetics are what we need to worry about.

So I have to go in to get the blood and lab work done. Fasting for ten hours with water only and then in to the lab for 9:00am tomorrow. Then, he'll schedule a full appointment for the poking and prodding part of the complete physical at some point between now and the end of September. He knows we won't be around after that.

Then, my guess is that he'll tell me that my cholesterol is too high and give me a list of things to do to lower it naturally. Get more exercise, and eat lots of broccoli. Things like that. But I already do those things, so he'll want to prescribe Lipitor or some other drug the same way the guy ten years ago did. And again, I won't take it.

So, I'm not confident that this experience will be anything more than a waste of time and resources unless he surprises me by telling me that I'm dying and I don't know it. At that point, I would just as soon not know it!

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32 comments:

  1. I do share your general opinion of doctors at basically being used car salesmen for the health "care" industrial machine. Anything to get you in as often as possible. Everyone could retire at 50 if they weren't held hostage by ridiculously high individual health insurance premiums for mediocre, gratuitous "care" at best.

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    1. Yes, it is a general opinion because we know that there are some really good doctors out there and they can do some amazing things but what really gets us is they don't always listen to you and your thoughts on what might be a problem that you are having. I had lots of issues for years before going gluten free and the majority of doctor's that I had seen over that time more or less shrugged their shoulders and made it seem like this was a natural problem, where I knew that something wasn't right. Finally I did find a doctor who thought this might be the issue and within a couple of weeks of going gluten free many of those issues disappeared. All she did was listen to me and have me get some blood tests done and a stool sample. The blood tests and stool sample came back normal (I did not have the celiac test done because that was not included in the government's plan, that would have cost extra). So from listening to my ailments she concluded that it could be a gluten intolerance. Until then I went through almost twenty years of problems and doctor's telling to have this test done and that test done or just telling me to eat more bran! The other issue we have is that they are ready to hand out pills for everything rather that trying to get people to change their diets or get exercise or any other number of things.

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  2. I bet your piss poor attitude towards Doctors changes if you really needed one.

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    1. Possible. I guess it would totally depend on the situation. You're right that perspective can change everything, so I guess we'll see if and when that time comes. For now, I prefer to be responsible for my own health care. As everybody should be...

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  3. Many of us are on small incomes and cannot do anything that you do....like travel, see family and enjoy the life you enjoy. This saddens me. Everyone tends to see everyone's pocketbook as filled as theirs.

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    1. Joyce, I take it that you haven't read our expense report that we post every month.

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    2. Joyce we understand that not everyone can give and we certainly didn't expect everyone to donate. Many people have certain charities that they give to and again we understand because we ourselves are like that. It would have been nice to have at least seen a few comments wishing the boys "Good Luck".

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  4. Well good luck with the tests anyway. My checkup last year, just said Cholesterol was very high. So with that news I persuaded Suzie to eat more healthy foods, I get more exercise than her and feel great now. Also lost 50 lbs in the process.
    It took that check up to get her to understand the healthy eating stuff.

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  5. I feel pretty much the same about the medical system. I often feel we are just guinea pigs for the medical world. My dr of many years once told me that the "numbers" for chol, blood pressure, etc., are often inflated and have gone up over the years in order to get us taking more medicine to reach these goals often set by people who are not even drs or medical people. In other words the bottom line is money. If they can scare people into having tests they don't need or taking medicines they don't need, then they are happy because it's feeding their pocketbook. Both my father and grandfathers' died of heart attacks so the med community assumes I will have the same risk. I tell them every time they bring this up that yes, genetics play a role, but my father & grandfathers' were also heavy smokers and drinkers all their lives & I'm sure that contributed to their heart problems in a big way. Also, chol lowering drugs are BIG business in the U.S. I do a lot of research on all these "recommendations" and my daughter also works in a large hospital/clinic office and I know how drug "reps" work. They buy lunches from fancy restaurants for the dr's and staff in exchange for the dr writing scripts for their meds they are peddling. Like anything else, you have to be aware & do your homework when it comes to the medical profession.

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    1. Sometimes I think you are right Lori about us being guinea pigs. Having said that many lives have improved because of it. We believe you when you say that the "numbers" have often inflated over the years in order to prescribe more medications. Many of these medications are used to help people because they won't change their diets so it just helps to mask the issues but they are still there just reduced somewhat. You sound like Kevin with family history of heart problems and the medical community figuring that you will too but as you say you and Kevin are both probably doing things much different than your fathers or grandfathers did. I know that Kevin does as much as he can to reduce this possibility but eventually we are all going to die of something. Yes, doing the homework is a very important part of staying healthy especially with it comes to some of these drugs. Sometimes we think that the side effects that you could receive from these drugs are worse than what you have that they are "supposed" to be helping.

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  6. Not to mention how much money the doc is going to make off you...getting the chance to send you for all kinds of expensive tests with the flimsy excuse you need them. :c(

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    1. Yep, which many times is a waste or our health system and holds up other people who really need this tests.

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  7. Had my new doctor put me through the same thing blood urine etc Had been 8 years since I had seen one other than kidney stones (which you can't control other than lots of water). I say if you don't need it then why worry

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    1. I do believe that it is good to go to the doctor's every so often and get blood tests done and some of the other regular kind of stuff because then if there is a problem, you can perhaps change your diet or get more excise or any other number of things that could greatly improve your health and maybe even correct the issue before it get worse.

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  8. If you are overweight, smoke, drink to excess, go out to eat frequently or have any other bad habits you should go to the doctor at least once a year.
    Your GP gets very little for that yearly visit.

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    1. Going to the doctor, they will be told to stop these bad habits which they may or may not do and if they don't and have health issues then medication will be handed out to help cope with them or surgery may even need to be done but it is possible that some of these health issues would improve without medication or surgery if they improved their bad habits.

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  9. Just got back on line today was so happy to donate to the cause as you probably already know we have an autistic granddaughter. Please everybody that reads this please donate it is such a worthwhile cause

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  10. Oh No I'm in deep Doo Doo lets see At 32 I got neutered,,, check ,,, now for my next trick is to getting hit by a car Boy at 72 I'm sure not looking forward to that Darn that's going to hurt,,, say how long you say your dog lived
    Thank Goodness for Medicaid

    There are websites out there for fund my plans .com if someone out there is trying to get funding for her future RV And for the RV and traveling I'm sure you could set something up for the boys that would benefit them besides most of us are close cousins to Ebenezer Scrooge anyways

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    1. I'll take part of that back my apologies sorry Wendy I didn't mean you
      Joy your day

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    2. We personally don't like these fund my plans.com sites. These are mostly for personal use for the most part, if somebody can't fund their own RV plans then they should be out there working not asking for money. Alex and his friend are doing this to help a charity and for the fun of doing the race, which that can do without helping the charity.

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  11. Yep, basic stuff. Exercise, eat well, sleep, you know, all the things animals do in nature. We're all part of a giant experiment thanks to Mother Nature to find the best possible mix for perfection. I spend 1500 pesos a year for a complete checkup, xrays, blood workup, treadmill stress test, EKG, and other stuff I don't know what they're called in English. That's right around 99 dollars a year. I have a bro who goes to Mayo's every year for the last 25. From one year to the next he needs an emergency bypass. Whhhaaaatttt! I'd ask for my money back, wouldn't you? No one's heart can deteriorate that fast. Next year, all this will be free thanks to the social medicine system in Mexico.

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    1. Try getting that from a pill pusher in the US under $2500
      Just last week it would have been $320 for the doctor visit to change my medication 275 for the PSA blood work and that's not counting the $60 co-pay out of pocket
      In the US my medication for HT is 4$ a month when I was in Mexico I picked up a years supply for six dollars that's a no-brainer,,no wonder all the people cross the border or go to Latin American country
      And at least you'll know exactly what you're getting and paying for even before your procedure starts
      unlike US
      Enjoy your day

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    2. Totally agree Chris. I know that eating right, getting exercise and sleep isn't going to make everything smell like roses but it sure goes a long way to improving your health. We know people out there who have done everything right but are still sick. Sometimes no matter what you do, you can't seem to win and it's times like that that you hope the doctor's can help and many do. Gotta love those prices in Mexico and the doctor's there are as good/bad as doctor's further north. ;-)

      To be honest I don't know how fast a heart can deteriorate, I would have thought that maybe something might have shown up before that but maybe not.

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  12. Just a thought for the cause, perhaps if everyone just shopped a little more for July and the proceeds or half the proceeds goes to the charity it would be a win win for everyone.

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    1. Great idea Shelagh, and I had thought of that myself. But I'm doing something even better ...you'll find out in a day or two. :-)

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  13. Yup just about exactly as you described it. So why do you go even every 10 years. My brother is 62 and hasn't been since his mother made him.

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    1. So why do you go even every 10 years.

      I'm not sure!

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