Trip to a doctor? What about a dentist? How does this work in foreign lands?

The path we've walked these few rainy days where we've found many beautiful plants and flowers.
This morning I was returning an email to our dear friend and 26 year neighbor Sue in Minnesota.  She has homes in both Florida and Minnesota and will soon return to Minnesota now that the horrific winter has finally ended.

As I reported that we're feeling well and healthy, I was reminded by the fact that neither of us have been to a doctor in a long time, me in September, 2012 and Tom in December, 2012 (he had tests while we were in Scottsdale) when we both received a clean bill of health.

It wasn't as if we never intend see a doctor.  We simply decided that we won't do so unless we can't manage an injury or illness on our own.  With plenty of antibiotics in our possession, we feel relatively secure, never taking them unless absolutely necessary.

These pretty pink flowers, Double Hibiscus, has begun to bloom right outside our door.

We've only used the antibiotics on a few occasions since we left when I couldn't kick a three week old sinus infection and again in Morocco a year ago when I had tried to recover for two weeks from an horrible intestinal infection I'd picked up from a salad on our first day there.  I never ate a salad or uncooked item in a restaurant again while in Morocco.

There have been a few occasions that seeing a doctor came to mind especially when we were injured on the collapsing stairs in Belize on our anniversary in 2013.  Please click here to read about and see photos of what transpired.  

I had hurt my back and neck so badly, I thought I broke something.  It took over a month to recover with self care.  To see a doctor in Belize required a four hour drive each way.  We didn't go based on my insistence.

Chi'a Flower blooms in many colors.
In our old lives, especially when I was suffering from chronic pain and abnormal blood tests, it wasn't uncommon for me to visit the doctor once every month or so.  Once I began my way of eating in August 2011, within three months I no longer had the abnormal blood tests nor any pain, resulting in only visiting the doctor before we left Minnesota for a general physical and multiple immunizations in preparation for traveling to Africa.

Tom, who'd followed along on the diet with me and is doing so now, had lost 40 pounds, dropped seven medications a day and no longer had IBS, GERD (heartburn) or Barrett's Disease (an inflamed esophagus).  To this day, he has no symptoms and in December, 2012 when he had his final tests everything was normal.

Sure, a physical check up, mainly for blood tests, would be good to do at some point.  For now, we feel no need to do so other than to get a new prescription for our two Epipens which have both expired.  Both allergic to bees (hornets and wasps) and with the huge bee population in Australia, we may need to make a doctor appointment in Cairns, shortly after we arrive.

This is the ever blooming Ixora a widely used plant in landscaping in Hawaii.

My insurance doesn't pay for office visits since Medicare doesn't work outside the US.  Plus, I waived Part B when discovering it won't pay.  Instead we purchased international major medical for me and a policy for Tom as well, although he still has insurance that may or may not pay outside the US. Once he turns 65, his insurance drops and he'll continue on with our international policy which offer emergency evacuation as well.

The fact that we don't have insurance to pay for doctor visits has had little effect on our decision to avoid doctor visits other than consideration of the cost in Hawaii.  We'd have gone here for the Epipens but, from what we've read online, the required office visit will cost considerably less in Australia than it would in the US, let alone Hawaii.

The bark on this live tree was peeling making us wonder if it was a seasonal thing.
We aren't concerned that we haven't been to a doctor all this time.  We both feel wonderful healthy.  Why would we?  When we were kids we hardly ever saw the doctor unless we had a high fever or couldn't shake an infection after many days, often weeks of waiting for it to subside.  Those of you in our age group can relate to this.

As for the dentist, we tried once in Maui.  But, Tom didn't feel right when we arrived at the peculiar office arrangement to be told we'd have to wait an hour for our appointment.  Somehow, red flags popped up for him.  We cancelled and left, especially after we were told to wait for our appointment at the senior center across the street. 

More stunning anthurium flowers.
I would have been OK going ahead with it.  Long ago, we agreed that if one of us doesn't feel comfortable with an activity, we won't do it, avoiding any argument, feelings of being pressured or in shaming one another.
In the interim, we continue to spend tremendous effort in caring for our teeth.  Currently, neither of us has any issues with our teeth or gums.  At some point, we'll try for a cleaning in another country.

A Brown Gecko is commonly seen in the Hawaiian Islands.
This philosophy continues to work out well for us. Its also works the other way around as well; if one of us longs to see a certain part of the world, then we'll go.  Its always about safety and passion, safety first, passion second.

Again today, its raining off and on as it had for over a week.  Although I've continued to work out at the Makai Golf Course's fitness center and pool, we've only lounged by the pool on one occasion in the past week. 

A pair of Myna Birds on the hunt for food.  Not too much available in this parking lot.
When the sun peeks out for a bit and it often does, we head out for a stroll in hopes of getting a dose of Vitamin D, considerably important for the senior population. Here's an excellent article on a study on the benefits of Vitamin D for both seniors and younger population.

With a busy social weekend ahead on both Friday and Saturday night, we're looking forward to seeing many of our friends once again.  We'll report back on these two events.

Be well and enjoy a wonderful Wednesday!

Photos from one year ago today, April 29, 2014:

These clumps of yarn were hanging outside to dry on this railing outside the souk creating this scene.  For details from this post, one year ago, please click here.


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