Off to Komatipoort for our final teeth cleaning, trip to Spar and pharmacy…

Broken Horn’s tongue when he notices cut veggies on the ground in the garden.

Our teeth cleaning appointments begin at 11:00 am this morning. We’ve already had breakfast and taken our walk. The walk continues to be painful for me, but it improves a little each day. Walking on rocks is hard on my legs, and every five minutes or so, I have to stop for a minute or less and stand still to recover. This issue is due to the surgery I had twice on both legs after heart surgery and my unstable spine.

Following is the bill for today’s two teeth cleaning appointments in Komatipoort:

Today’s ZAR teeth cleaning bill for each of us was ZAR 640, US $71.06, for a total of US $35.53 each. What a deal!

Each day when we return to the house, I am glad we did it, and I got through yet another walk on the rocky dirt roads in Marloth Park with many potholes. Over the many years we’ve lived here, I always hesitated to walk on these roads for fear of falling. Once we get to Florida and we can walk on smooth paths and paved roads, I will have built up endurance after walking on these hazardous roads. I am looking forward to that.

Last night, I spoke to my dear friend Karen (and Rich) in Florida, and we planned a time to get together in early May. They will stop for lunch or dinner on their way to see Karen’s mom Donna who lives a few hours from The Villages. It will be wonderful to see them again after an entire year since we last stayed at their home in Apollo Beach, Florida.

Now, as we head to Komatipoort, we’ll not only get our teeth cleaned but also head to the pharmacy to pick up my year’s worth of prescriptions and then to Spar for a few more essential grocery items we need to make the cakes for our upcoming farewell party on Thursday. Dawn is doing all the side dishes, and guests bring their meat to braai, a popular tradition in South Africa.

With lots of wine left from my birthday party, we plan to bring a box of wine to set up for the guests to enjoy at the party, which starts at 4:00 pm, 1600 hrs., and will continue well into the evening, knowing this lively group of friends. We expect about 20 guests, including Dawn, Leon, and us. They only have so much room poolside, so we kept the number of guests small for this event.

Kudu foreplay. It looks as if Big Daddy has been digging in the mud.

We just returned from our trip to Komatipoort. Tom filled the little car with petrol while I headed to the pharmacy to pick up the 12 months of prescriptions which included some drugs “just in case” that we may not use during those 14 months we’re away. A few items had to be specially ordered, but fortunately, everything arrived in time for today’s pickup. It took quite a while for the pharmacists to put the entire large order together.

It will take me several hours to go through all of it and remove much of the unnecessary packaging. Some tablets will have to stay in bulky plastic packages since humidity can deteriorate certain drugs. In Florida and South America, plenty of humidity will inspire me to keep them in bulky packaging.

When arriving in certain countries, it can get tricky at some security check-in areas. I got a copy of the prescription Doc Theo had written in the event I am questioned about carrying so many drugs, none of which are narcotic or mood-altering. When arriving in certain countries, based on the fact that our checked baggage had been lost several times in the past few years, I will be carrying all of these prescription medications in my carry-on bags.

In tomorrow’s post, I will share the unbelievably low prices of the medications we picked up today. You won’t believe the prices compared to prices in the US and perhaps many other countries. It was mind-boggling. It’s unreal! For us, it will be worth it to return to South Africa for the enjoyment of the wildlife and the people and the low prices of all these medications.

Jasmine, the mom, was standing in the garden while her son, Little Johnny, was lying by the fence.

We stopped at Spar for a few last-minute items we needed for our remaining 11 days in Marloth Park. We won’t need to shop again. I’ve started doing a few organizing tasks toward getting the packing done, including handling the prescriptions and toiletries we’ll be bringing with us as opposed to items we may leave behind.

We’re allowed to check two bags each at 23 kg, 50.6 pounds. We’ll be weighing everything as we go along in the packing process.

That’s it for today, folks. We’ll be back with more tomorrow.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 18, 2013:

Parrots posing for us as we walked along the boulevard in San Juan, Puerto Rico. For more photos, please click here.

Medical woes abroad?…

The uncertainty of the quality of medical care in the many countries we will visit, undoubtedly presents us with cause for concern.  Overall, we are both in relatively good health after working so hard to improve it these past few years.

With our healthful, low carb diet of organic, grass fed meats and produce, exercise (mostly me), reduction in exposure to toxic chemicals in our home, low stress and a happy relationship, we feel we can manage our few complaints easily from afar.

Our doctor will be available via the Internet should we have questions and we’ll be well armed with a wide array of preventive and emergency medications should an illness arise.  In the past almost year, neither of us has had a cold, a virus or illness requiring a trip to the doctor.  

Our recent medical appointments have been for the sole purpose of reviewing our travel medications, receiving our vaccinations and having blood tests with an annual exam thrown in for good measure, all of which showed tremendous improvement from a few years ago.  We are hopeful.

Assuming we don’t get bitten by a snake or warthog, break a leg or have a sudden gall bladder or appendicitis attack, we should be fine. But, of course, we must plan for the possibility of illness in the following manner:

  • Emergency evacuation insurance
  • Supplemental insurance for Jess (Medicare won’t pay for any care out of the US). Only 60 at retirement, Tom will be covered by his regular insurance.  Proof of insurance documents.
  • Prescription processing from afar (as mentioned in prior posts, we’re awaiting a response from our prescription plan as to whether they will provide us with 12 months of prescriptions at a time).
  • Emergency medication for infections, bee stings and/or allergic reactions (EpiPen) and gastrointestinal distress.
  • Copies of all of our immunizations (proof of yellow fever vaccine required with passport upon entry into Kenya).
  • Copies of all of our prescriptions (in the event we are asked during customs inspections or going through security).
  • First aid supplies: Bandages, antibacterial and cortisone creams, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide (small bottles).
  • Over the counter medications.
  • Vitamins/Supplements we currently use.
  • Medical records for both of us (scanning these).
  • Optical needs: extra sets of glasses/prescription sunglasses for Tom,  three years of contact lenses for me. Both of us are yet to have our final optical appointments.
  • Final dental appointments and supplies: Our teeth will be cleaned two weeks prior to leaving the US, while visiting Las Vegas over Christmas. The past few years, we both had all the crowns done that we’d needed.  
  • Copies of our living wills and legal designation for medical advocacy in the event of an emergency.
A neat stack of medical forms and documents sits on our kitchen table with Post-it notes reminding me to complete the above tasks on the appropriate dates.  
This Saturday is the free shredding event.  After going through every file  folder, cabinet, drawer and piece of paper in our entire home, we are ready for the event.  No words can describe the freedom we feel from unburdening our lives with paper.  
Other than the required medical documents, passports and  travel documents we’ll need to have on hand, we’ll leave a “paperful” life behind us, instead relying on the latest technology to provide us access as needed.  Yeah for technology!  Without it, planning for this adventure would be more of a headache than it already is!