What's The Deal?
They say that all good things must end. And although I have never really bought in to that theory, my run in Panama is coming to an end. After a great six years, on Friday May 31st I am migrating back to the U.S.
Although I continue to love my life here, I finally reached a point where I had to get serious about my situation. My lung condition has started to be a problem, or more precisely is now something I have to deal with. The damage done years ago by the bout with TB is starting to be a problem just as doctors at the time predicted it would - but it was always a question of when, not if.
Due to my limited lung capacity and the inflexibility of the damaged lungs, any kind of a lung congestion/infection, even just a cold, and I may end up hospitalized. In the past years the attacks requiring hospitalization were infrequent, but I have now ended up in the hospital five time in the last 18 months - three times just since the first of this year.
This creates several problems, any of which dictates I need to do something different.
1) First off, they release you from the hospital when the tests show that the infection is killed. But the swelling in the lungs will take several more days to heal - until the lungs heal I am on oxygen and (depending on the severity of the attack) may be immobile. Not an ideal situation when you are solo and living in a hotel.
2) Each attack has a cumulative effect - I never recover lung function back to the previous level.
3) And most important, though I certainly have no complaint with the medical service here, the medical costs are starting to drain me. Back in the U.S. with my dual coverage I don't even pay a deductible, but Medicare does not cover Americans outside the U.S. My Tricare does cover about 70% - but I have to pay the hospital upfront and it takes a while for Tricare to catch up. Plus any kind of catastrophic problem would be a bank buster.
This is a long way around to say that I am now researching 'Senior Living' options back in the old U.S. of A. I am attempting to find the right area, weather, costs, ammenities, etc. while trying to avoid the stereotype that most of us have of 'senior centers', e.g., a bunch of old people with one foot in the grave sitting around drolling and playing Bingo all day.
And The Future?
I plan on making a couple of more posts about the latest from Panama. I also am going to add some of my older postings that I consider the highlights of my life in Panama.
I will also update you on where my search for a new home leads me. Come on down and visit.
I May Never Find A Home
I contacted a handfull of senior's retirement comunities requesting information and brochures. One of them responded with no information but attached a questionaire for me to fill out, and requested a photo of me. You're kidding me, right? I sent them the photo shown here (they did not specify current photo!)
I sent the questionaire back to them but only filled in about three answers. In the block titled, 'My Biggest Concerns' I raised only three questions
A. What time does your bar close?
B. Does the bar have a 'Strippers Night'? If so, amateur or professional?
C. What night is Karoke?
That was a week ago and I haven't heard anything back from them? Hmm....
The Future For My Blog
I had originally thought that my leaving Panama would be the end of 'Larry's Travels'. However, I have had several people suggest that I just 'blog on' and just change the venue. I am not convinced one way or the other, if for no other reason I may find nothing to report on at the other end.
So I will leave that decision for another day. I also solicit your views. Does 'Larry's Travel In Panama' transform into to 'Larry's Trip Through Geezerville?" Ha!
Till Next Time. Pura Vida