Saturday, June 25, 2011

Realities of Medical Care on the Road and That Damn Georgia Pollen!

Just some updating on real life on the road and the things that you don't necessarily think of when you are finally able to leave on your big adventure. Normally people do this when they have Medicare so it is somewhat easier to not only find medical care but to also pay for it. We knew it would be more difficult to get care on the road as when we started we had BadgerCare which is only good in the State of Wisconsin. . If you've read my previous posts you see what a challenge it was at one time to get my meds.  Now that BadgerCare is a moot point -- thanks Scott Walker! -- we have to sort of patch things together and roll with the punches as we go. I may dislike Walmart's ethics intensely but hey, when you are short of money their $4 prescriptions just can't be beat. The biggest challenge has been finding a chiropractor that charges $50 or less and who doesn't require recent x-rays. I got lucky a few times, especially in Las Vegas where I found a coupon for a free initial consultation and adjustment that was expiring the next day!

I guess in all we have been somewhat lucky since leaving except for Bill's little 4 hour/$7000 visit to the ER in Casa Grande Arizona for his kidney stones. We had to pass up our dentist visit in Algodones Mexico this year as Bill has to leave Arizona on January 2 to be in New York and I wasn't about to cross over the border by myself although Algodones is rather safe unlike Juarez or Tijuana. So wouldn't you know that I started having problems with one of my teeth on my right side toward the front when we were near Philadelphia. It got so painful that I called around to the two dental schools in Philly when I finally couldn't take the pain and the swelling had gotten up to my right eye. I wasn't able to get in at all as you need to be at the university at 6am to even get in line and come to find out the clinics are not really in the best areas of town....I didn't want to be driving around in Philadelphia in pain and have the truck jacked or something! So I woke up Bill as I found a dentist who would get me in right away. Come to find out my tooth is totally split and they wanted to take it out but because of the infection they were sending me to a oral surgeon....hmmmm, not in the budget?!? So I paid their $70 and got a prescription of antibiotics and am just being careful with it until I can find out if they can save the tooth at all somewhere else. This dentist says no but I really don't want a gaping hole in the front side of my face.

Fast forward to this week in the Atlanta area. I am not sure what it was that bloomed but one thing is for sure -- it did not like me. I woke up Tuesday morning with my normal allergy eyes that I have once or twice a year in Wisconsin. During the day it progressed so far that my left eye was swollen entirely shut and when Bill got up I told him I had to go somewhere as the burning was something horrible. So he asked the guys at the office where a walk in clinic was and I learned another lesson -- I will no longer let him do the recon work for emergency medical runs. The first clinic we drove to -- and the farthest away I might add -- was closed already. The second one has shut down permanently. The GPS listed the nearest hospital as being 50 miles away which we know NOT to be true. Finally I told him to look at the door and there was a sign with a phone number for one of their still open locations. He called and we headed back to almost near the campground we had left in the first place!

Obviously this walk in clinic has been burned before on getting paid as before they would even let Bill fill out my information -- I couldn't even see enough to do that so they had to deal with his chicken scratching -- we had to pay $111. Then once I got back in the room the doctor wanted to give me a prednisone shot as the reaction was so bad that some of my airways had started closing. So Bill had to go back out in front and pay another $40 before they would even do anything else. One prednisone shot in the butt, a 5 day course of the drug from hell and some free samples of Claritin, nasal spray and eye drops and I was out the door in all of 20 minutes. The only reason I am taking the prednisone is because I was in that bad of shape. It was on this wonderful pharmaceutical invention that I gained 35 lbs in 3 months after my car accident. Of course the doctor failed to mention that one little side effect! It is only today that I can finally put my contacts back in and look outside without wearing Bill's dark wrap around sunglasses. All this and I was taking a nightly Benadryl already....what the hell is in the pollen in the South??

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