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The Joys Of Medical Polygamy

As Published In WBCCI Blue Beret Magazine
The Joys Of Medical Polygamy

When you’re on the road 365 days of the year, you never know where you’ll be when you need medical attention or which doctor you will see. A full-timing lifestyle really requires you to be pro-active and take charge of your health situation in order to protect your best interests — because no one in a lab coat is going to do that for you!

Modern Healthcare Dilemmas

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that healthcare in this country (even if you have insurance) is poor. Even before I hit the road, I’d already given up on the idea of having a “personal physician” — at my GP’s office, I was seen by a different practitioner every visit. These people had access to my records but they didn’t “know” me and each appointment required building a rapport with a new healthcare worker. There was also very little continuity of care — none of that “so last time you were concerned about such-and-such; how are things going now?” If I didn’t mention it, the problem didn’t exist.

I’m pleased to announce that my medical situation as a full-time RVer is markedly better. Circumstances have forced me to draw a few physician-related boundaries that have actually improved the level of service I receive. I’m unable to wait three or four months for an appointment (by then, I’ll be in a different city) — when I explain the situation to receptionists, they seem to understand my scheduling challenges and are willing to work me into their calendar.

A Higher Level Of Care

I feel that I’m actually a more discerning patient now that I’ve visited a number of different practices and can make an educated comparison. Of course, when I need an appointment, I ask local friends for a referral — but lacking a personal recommendation, I’ve been content to let my fingers do the walking. (The Internet makes it much easier to research a physician’s history, find out if he or she has had any sanctions, and see how other patients rate their experiences.

You might imagine that I would experience lower-quality healthcare because I’m “transient,” that only bottom-of-the-barrel does would have room for me in their lineup — not so! My most recent annual exam is a case in point. I was cared for by a Russian D.O. who has opened his own private practice here in the land of opportunity. He believes in seeing all the patients himself, his wife is the nurse, and I received more personal attention from this man with the thick Gorbachev accent during my two-hour physical than I have from any American-born M.D. I’ve encountered in years

When Something Goes Wrong

Fortunately, I’m relatively young and in good shape — for years, the only involvement I had with doctors is for an annual checkup, eye exam, and dental cleaning, with the odd cold virus thrown in here or there for sheer entertainment value. I’ve been very lucky since I hit the road — no broken bones, no car accidents, no trees falling on my head. However, I did have a run of bad luck a couple of years ago (with a foot surgery, some weird vertiginal whooshes that made the room spin around and a tonsillectomy all in the same 12-month period). Fortunately, I had the flexibility to park it in one place while I dealt with these issues- God bless anon-traditional nomadic existence!

I can’t even imagine what it’s like for RVers who have a conglomeration of chronic conditions to deal with. What are you supposed to do when you need regular treatment for diabetes, heart dis-ease, high blood pressure — or something more serious like cancer? One RVer told me that she lived in the parking lot of the hospital while her husband was in end-stage renal failure — they actually had a section set up to accommodate big rigs. Can you imagine having to make a detour in your trip for several months’ worth of dialysis? And then being stranded in some strange part of the country, alone, after your spouse has just died? Here’s wishing us all many years of good health before we have to deal with anything like that!

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Copyright 2001 RamonaCreel.com

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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.

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