Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Do What You Have To Do

Often people's first question to us when they find we are full time RVers is: "how do you get your mail?" Perhaps a more important question should be, "what do you do when you have a medical emergency?" Because for Denny and I, our health concerns are a lot more important than getting a packet of mail.

We are fortunate to have good (albeit very expensive) health care coverage with a PPO network. This means our insurer understands that we don't have a home area, but that we will seek doctors and caregivers that are within their network wherever we happen to be. We are also covered out of network but we would pay a much greater percentage of the cost of our care should we be placed in that position. However, so far we have always located an in-network care provider or have traveled to a location where there is a covered service. It's not that Denny and I get sick or are sickly, but*t happens, right?

Saturday night Denny had pain in his lower back, but since he had been pulling parts off our king pin box, we thought it might be a muscle pull. But when he was up at 4AM, in pain and not able to lay comfortably in bed, we pretty much knew he was suffering from a kidney stone for the second time in his life (the first incident is a whole story in itself.) I grabbed a travel mug, filled it with coffee and fired up the computer to locate the closest hospital (we're several miles from a town in any direction) and off we went. I had to make one stop because the smell of my coffee nauseated Denny (he was in that much pain by now) but we made it to the hospital and they got Denny into an examination room and off for a CAT scan quickly. Status confirmed; a kidney stone lodged between his kidney and his bladder, too big to move on its own. A procedure to install a stent to slightly open the walls of the ureter was deemed necessary by the urologist but not until the following day. Needless to say, Denny wasn't happy to have to stay overnight in the hospital but the doctor wouldn't release him so he was stuck.

Around noon the next day the stent was implanted and Denny was finally released. Since then, with the help of our oldest son he finished installing a 135 pound adapter on the king pin box and lowered the king pin hitch in the bed of Black Beauty. On his own he changed out the spare tire that was on the trailer for the new tire I picked up (and these are big heavy trailer tires) and winched the spare tire back up under the trailer. I guess he's feeling better, huh? Men. Maybe he figures all that activity will make the kidney stone move. He had an X-ray this morning to see if the stone has moved further down where the urologist would be able to break it up with a laser but so far we haven't heard the results from the hospital. Chances are, we'll be heading out of the area before the entire issue is resolved because Denny is determined to move on.

The two of us are fortunate not to have specific health issues that have to be dealt with on a regular basis. We just have random stuff happen--a cracked tooth, shingles, skin cancer that needs a Moh's procedure, a UTI. Things that can be handled within a few days without need for a lot of follow up for the most part, although we did have to do a little sweet talking to get a local clinic to remove the stitches from Denny's Moh's procedure after we left Cody, Wyoming before he was due to get the stitches removed. Certainly our lifestyle wouldn't be as free and easy if we need cancer treatments or dialysis or some regularly scheduled treatment but I have a feeling we'd figure it out and keep on keepin' on. We have been lucky for the most part that health care professionals have been willing to work with us on scheduling and follow up treatments once we explain our lifestyle, trusting us to follow directions and maintain our own care per their instructions. And so far, it's worked.

So, the mail question? Yeah, not much of an issue for us.


meowmomma said...

yup, feel for Denny ~ Hubster's had 3 of those darn things and both of our sons have had them too... they say they're genetic. Hubs has had the laser treatment and basket retrieval. his urologist prescribed a very mild fluid pill and he hasn't had one since!

Good Luck!!!

Linda in New Mexico said...

Ya'll just keep on keeping on huh? Yay for tenacity.

SkippyMom said...

Oh, well...I wanted a replay of you holding the cat above your head. giggle...but this is still an awesome post.

I am glad Denny is feeling better and playing Superman :wink: - but I know you will reign him if he tries to overdo.

And make his week. Tell him I won't be calling. heehee

Thanks for everything. You are always the best smile.

Love ya!

Journeyin' Lady... said...

Just happened into your blog and really enjoyed it --- since we're also full-time RVers I can relate (but not to the kidney stones - that hasn't happened to us!) Will enjoy following your adventures.

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