Happy 4th of July to all our friends in the US…How do I get health insurance now?

Bay view on a sunny morning in Connemara.

“Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland”
“Many Irish names begin with “Mac,” which translates to mean “son of.”

Firstly, let’s start today with wishes for a safe and festive July 4th weekend to all of our friends and family members in the US. With the holiday falling on a Thursday, it may be a four-day weekend for many workers.  
In our old lives, we celebrated the Independence Day of America with considerable enthusiasm. We had 300 small flags lining the lakeshore, which Tom had put in place the previous night; I baked an American flag sheet cake using strawberries and blueberries for the stars and stripes, and we often had a party for friends and family.
Today, here in Ireland, this is another lovely Thursday in Ireland. To celebrate the day, early this morning, we took a drive in the countryside, taking photos along the way.
We spotted lots of cattle on a morning drive but few sheep.

It is still a cool day at 10C, 59F, but the winds were light and the sky sunny. Now a few hours later, the clouds have rolled in, and there isn’t a spot of blue in the sky.  But the weather doesn’t keep us from reveling in the scenery we see out any window in our vacation home, constantly reminding us of this beautiful country.

As I had promised myself over a month ago, on the 4th of July, I’d be able to walk up the hill from the driveway on my own with no help from Tom. This morning, I gleefully accomplished this task and have decided to repeat it at least five times a week to build my stamina for walking up steep hills.

That is not to say my healing is complete. At a little over 4½ months from the bypass surgery and three months since the two-leg surgeries, I’d be deluding myself to say the healing process is complete. I still have pain and discomfort in my sternum and legs. I’ve read that some patient’s chests don’t heal for over a year.

Flowers blooming on the side of the road.

I don’t think it will take me a year, but I will progress considerably by the six-month mark. The wound in my left leg should be closed within a month. The other already-closed incisions are still tender to touch and feel painful at night in bed.  

The hematoma in my right thigh is starting to look a little better but requires a pillow between my legs at night to avoid keeping me awake from the pain. I’m hopeful, and when I think we’ll be on a cruise in 5½ weeks, I continue to exercise, try to get enough sleep, and eat a healthy diet.  

While on the upcoming cruise from Amsterdam to Amsterdam, we have a very busy and active two-day small group tour to St. Petersburg, Russia. I’m working hard to prepare myself for this tour. In the evenings, we’ll return to the ship for the night meeting with the van at the pier the following day.

The online translation of this monument was tricky to accomplish. Can any of our new readers in Ireland translate this for us?  If so, please send an email or comment at the end of the post.

Speaking of my health situation once again (apologies for the repetition), we’ve been busy the past several days searching for a health insurance policy that accepts pre-existing conditions. We weren’t hopeful.

And, not surprisingly, we cannot find insurance for me that would include anything to do with my heart and arteries. In the worst case, I may qualify 12 months after no further treatment was required. This 12-month period would begin on May 10, 2019, when I no longer needed any medical care.

We still have coverage with the company that isn’t paying our claims, and until they provide us with formal notification, everything else is covered. The rate is almost Euro 709,  US $800 a month, which doubled after the surgery.  

A bull in a field with lots of what appeared to be pregnant females.

There’s nothing we can do at this point, short of returning to live in the US to get Medicare, Part B, and a supplement (they don’t pay outside the US). We are not willing to do this at this time and forfeit this wonderful life.  We’re eager to take the risk.

You may think we’re nuts for not moving back to the US for this reason. But, we all have to make choices for our own lives. This works for us. Quality of life is an essential factor, motivating us to continue joyfully. I could make myself stressed thinking of this, but I choose not to. Instead, we’ll continue to dream and make plans for the future.

As mentioned above, may all of our readers in the US have a safe and fulfilling holiday weekend.  And may the remainder of our readers have an equally good day and upcoming weekend.

Photo from one year ago today, July 4, 2018:
This parade of elephants consisted of more than 30. For more photos, please click here.

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