Doctor Visit & Discussion

Yesterday morning I had my six month doctor visit. 

I always schedule an early appointment and fast overnight so I can get my lab work done while I'm there.

She asked how I was, and I mentioned the tightness in the backs of my legs that I mentioned to her six months ago.

She asked me if we needed to do something about this, and I told her no. I'd deal with it. Not interested in taking more medications or having additional tests done right now. Don't want the expense.

I've just changed up my stretching exercises after 20 years. I figure aging has become a factor in how much my body can take. And I've come to realize that I just can't stretch as strenuously as I once did.

I think stretching too much is actually aggravating my sciatic nerve, which was the very purpose of doing them in the first place.

I really like this doctor. She is 47 and just got married for the first time last summer.

She told me that she never wanted to have children, so she went to medical school and got married later in life. 

We discussed the current healthcare debate and problems with insurance. 

She told me that not only are there far fewer individuals actually going to medical school in the US, but there aren't enough medical schools to serve the ones that do want to become physicians.

Which is, she said, why it is so important that we bring in doctors from other countries. There simply aren't enough physicians in the US to take care of our population.

We talked about how other large countries have a different approach to healthcare.

I don't have any answers. 

There are all kinds of suffering in this country. I can only see things through my own personal lens.

But I know other bloggers who are dealing with cancer and all kinds of disease. And you never know when it will come knocking at your own door.  

"The U.S. is also one of the only wealthy, industrialized nations that does not have universal health care. American health care prices are at least two to three times what they are in other countries, and nearly two-thirds of all bankruptcies in the U.S. are due to illness and medical bills." (Excerpt from "How To Protect Yourself Against A Broken Healthcare System") 

I don't know what's going on in your garden, but my poor cone flowers, that I thought were pretty hardy flowers, have all dried up. 

Only the petunias, Black-Eyed Susans, and a few lantana are still blooming.

I don't feed the birds. I only provide water because I don't want to attract rats. If I walk in my kitchen during the day, I hear this loud cacophonous sound. And it's the many birds out there!

They flock to my patio. When I open the patio door, they all fly up to the trees in this giant swoop, dozens and dozens of them. I've never seen so many birds!

Kind of reminds me of a swarm of locusts.



  1. Not to make anyone feel bad but I am so glad I live in Canada. My husband had his prostate and bladder removed, was in surgery for 9 hours, when he left the hospital a week later the bill was zero. I cannot imagine what stress and strain it puts on a person and their family when they are ill and have to find the money to pay for surgery.
    Living in a new city I went for a interview with a new doctor and he wanted me to go for all kinds of tests, yes they would be free but I just felt I didn't need them, so my search goes on. If I really need to see a doctor I can go to a walk in for now.

  2. Things definitely need to change in this country with our health care system especially for people without the benefit of job insurance benefits. I know when Terry was looking for employment we paid out almost $2000 a month for our health coverage here in Illinois. That was outrageous to pay for the privilege of insurance. We really had no choice because we needed to have insurance just incase we did get sick or need a hospital stay etc. Made us sick to have to spend our life savings just to pay an insurance premium. I see it now with my mom and her cancer treatments. She is on a fixed income and still has to pay out each month for what was not covered by her insurance from her cancer treatments. I have heard of so many seniors that have lost everything they worked hard for in life to pay when they get older and get cancer. The treatments are so expensive and the co pays or their share is outrageous. So sad that we live in the best country in the world and we have to lose everything if and when we get sick later in life. So sad.

  3. Brenda
    Thank you for the idea of only providing water for the birds for at least a while. Seed is expensive and heavy and draws raccoons around here. The raccoons bring disease and tear up bird houses etc.

  4. Keep on exercising, Brenda! We get emails from our health insurance all the time and they tell us that it is a myth that we can't stretch and be strong as we age. I really believe that if we keep moving we will be much better off.

    We've been in our house almost 7 weeks and we are inundated with mice in the attic already! My hubby is hot on their trail. ;)

  5. Brenda, I became a Vegan after watching the video FORKS OVER KNIVES ( the movie ). I actually did it to lose weight, and realized that after a while, I didn't need my inhaler anymore, which I had needed everyday, and my eczema went away. All that besides losing weight!! I feel so healthy, I wish everyone to feel this good. People have even got rid of cancer when they eat a plant based diet.

  6. Does your mom have a supplemental policy along with her medicare? I don't know what her income is, but there are supplemental medicaid plans that may be able to help her. A lot of seniors don't research their options and end up paying too much out of pocket.

    1. Just a note that my mother has a supplemental policy along with her medicare. She is getting chemo treatments now, and the medicare pays for about 80 percent of the bill and the supplemental policy pays for the remaining 20 percent. But I don't remember how much she pays per month for the supplemental policy.

  7. I like that your doctor will talk with you that way! I am sending an email to ask for her information. I've been searching for a new doctor for a couple of years, now!

    Grace & Peace,

  8. It is crazy but, after working in a hospital and my hubby still working there, I don't know if a universal health system would work either. It is kind of like damned if you do and damned if you don't. We have treated people that come from other countries to be treated here because they are on such a long waiting list for surgery/treatment that they are afraid they will die before their number "comes up". It is a crazy world we live in all the way around.

    I hope you don't give up stretching completely but maybe you can make it a bit less strenuous. I think that it is important to stay as active as we can for as long as we can.

    Hope you have a good weekend, Brenda, and that it has cooled off in yoru part of the world a bit. xo Diana

  9. I had to stop feeding my birds because of the critters, in one night I had raccoons, opossums, and mice. I fell badly for my birds but the critters were making so much noise.

    I hope that your legs feel better, maybe there are other exercises that you can do to help them feel better.

    Have a great weekend.

  10. I sure wish they'd figure it all out - seems they keep making a bigger mess of it all.

    I don't feed the bird in my back yard anymore because they were pooping on everything!!... but I do provide a birdbath for water/bathing.

  11. Just keep stretching to the best of your ability~ it's so good for you!

    Every European I know pays for extra insurance to supplement this magical free insurance they allegedly have, and most say they do have some sort of co-pay. This on top of a 20 percent sales tax on everything, straight across the board, on top of income tax.

    The two Australians I know have told me that they are required by law to carry private insurance, even though they also supposedly have "free" government run medical care. So I do not quite understand how it all works. (I assume there is some sort of means testing, since they're all professionals, with good paying jobs.)

    Our medical care is more expensive for a variety of reasons, not all of them positive, (Lawsuits and fraud,anyone?) but we also provide by far the most medical research, and we bear that cost. (The last numbers I saw referenced upwards of 40 percent)

    We have more MRI machines in most of our individual states than the average European country has. State of the art medical equipment costs money.

    I notice Canadian born Michael Buble and his Argentinian born wife didn't take their cancer stricken child back to either of their free-medical-care home countries for the treatment of his disease.

    Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams came HERE for his heart surgery.

    No system is perfect, but I won't stand by while people bash ours because it isn't government run and "free".

    1. Thanks again, Ian's girl. Great comment. There were a lot of Canadians who went to San Antonio to see doctors. I know because I talked to them when I went to the dermatologist. According to these Canadians, there was no preventative care and if it could take a really long time for treatment if skin cancer was diagnosed. I am originally form the South and we have a saying: If you don't like the way we do things down here, Delta's flying. Is America perfect? No, but American sure beats every other country.

  12. My husband and I both have Medicare and we carry a supplement. We pay a total of $600 a month and we have never had to pay a cent other than the $183 deductible each year for Medicare. My husband had received thousands of dollars in cancer treatments over the past 3yrs.and we are so thankful for the Medicare especially. He is now getting free treatment from a clinical trial being done at MD Anderson cancer center and I am so very thankful to the pharmacutical company who is sponsering the trial.

  13. Interesting to hear her take on it, Brenda : ) And the known fact that our country has a serious problem in regards to healthcare.
    Perhaps if we stopped running around bombing everyone in the Middle East, creating situations like ISIS, which we did, we'd have some money for things like healthcare and infrastructure.

    But no, that's not what the powers that be are about in the USA.

  14. Oh, I agree about the health care system in our country. I just don't know what we are all going to do. I just got a notice that my supplement to my Medicare health insurance has gone UP again. Oh my goodness. And today I re-filled 2 of the medication I take and it about broke me. There definitely needs to be something done, but I don't know what the answer is. As always I enjoy reading your blog. So glad you stick with it every day. I don't know what I would do without my daily dose of your blog and a few others. So many blogs have changed over time. And I have kind of lost my passion for blogging. Although I still post as I can. Thanks Brenda for the discussion.

  15. I don't pretend to be knowledgeable enough to voice an opinion about the "free" health care in other developed countries, but the comment above makes a good point about the US having the ability to do more research and better diagnostic testing than in other countries. Nevertheless, I do find as a fairly healthy "senior" on a fixed income that it is really difficult for me to cover the few medical expenses and routine tests that I have. I don't have the income to buy supplemental insurance so I have to pay whatever Medicare doesn't cover.

    Truly, the insurance system in this country is in need of a drastic overhaul with more concern for the struggles to attain good medical care that we all--except the 1%--have. I think if the 1% weren't making all the rules we'd have something better!

  16. I think its fantastic that you and your doctor can talk about so many things-its not like the 'old' days.

    I'm wondering if some sort of exercise that you might get in physical therapy sessions could be done at home, different than the stretching you've been doing. I personally know that there are many, many exercises we can do that target parts of our bodies that help other parts. I don't mean to advise you in something I'm not qualified to do. I do squats and a stair set routine to help strengthen my tummy muscles, or core.

    Wish you could feed the birdies...I can't in the city but can at the lake. The patio does attract the mice and squirrels. At the lake, my grass and trees are close to my windows and its critter free.

    Take care, my friend.

    Jane x


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