I did struggle with whether stories about my health even belonged in a blog about full-time RVng. But then I realized that fulltime RVng includes the whole enchilada, as they say.
Accurate, but boring. Wouldn't most people like to know that you spent the night with your head in the toilet, all the while cursing Pedro? But then I worried that people would tire of stories about me getting ill, or lost, two things that I seem to be doing a lot of lately. Well, I replied to myself, people get sick while staying at 5-star hotels, too, don't they? And isn't concern about one's health something that some people have to factor into their decision to start, or even continue, fulltiming?
During the past 2 and a half months, my wife and I have had our share of illnesses; OURS as in MINE and Rocky's, my dog. Those events have stressed our pocketbooks and our determination to continue our adventure. Well, mostly Maureen's determination. "Take me to a hotel!" "Take me home!" and "Enough is enough!" have been heard frequently during our time on the road. I can't criticize her for her feelings, since who wants to live in a home the size of our last master bathroom with a sick husband and a pain-crazed dog? ...Or was that a sick dog and a pain-crazed husband?
But we're still out here, letting God and the interstate road system take us where it or He may. I mean, afterall, I got sick when we were living in our sticks-n-bricks home right? And I didn't give up and say, "That's it! We're going RVng!" Did I? Well no, but one wouldn't normally think that way...
The point is, stuff is going to happen when you go fulltiming, as it does while leading a more conventional lifestyle while living in a house, a condo, an apartment, or even a yurt (look it up; I can't do all of the work here, you know). And, unless you have a disorder that requires unusual and frequent treatment by a specialist, there are fine doctors and hospitals all over our country. And, if worse comes to worse, we're all no more than a half day's flight from home or a somewhat reluctant relative, right? And there's always someone who can can drive the RV home... for a price.
As I explained to Maureen the other day, if I am going to be sick, there's no place I'd rather be than right here with you and Rocky, in our RV in this beautiful place, surrounded by friendly neighbors, all of whom were probably strangers up until a day or so ago. And I don't have to worry about cutting the grass or shoveling the sidewalk, either.
My latest adventure; no, that's not fair, since everything that happens to me also affects Maureen - OUR latest adventure began during our second week at the Naples KOA. We'd been having a great time attending the various activities and conversing with new friends from all over the country (Well okay; mostly Canadians). I began having a nagging pain in my back, centered over my kidney. I became less and less able to find a comfortable way to sit or lie down. As the pain worsened, we began to suspect that my right-hand kidney was involved. I had a similar event in January while further north at Bay Bayou, but it was less specifically located and faded away after a week or so. This time, there might as well of been a bullseye painted on my back right over the kidney with a bunch of cute cupids shooting arrows into me. We quickly decided that it was time to go to the ER at the regional hospital on Collier boulevard just a few miles from the KOA.
After an EKG, CAT scan, blood and urine analysis, we were referred to Doctor Luke, a local Urologist, who we were able to see the next day. By then, the radiologist's report was in from the CAT scan. It said that I had 4 medium-size stones lodged in my right kidney. Well, that explained the increasingly excruciating pain I was experiencing. I went back home to our RV in considerable, squirming around, groaning, calling on God for relief kind of pain. I was scheduled for sonic blasting the following morning. For the squeamish, there's no cutting involved, just full anesthesia and a howitzer-sized sonic cannon that pulverizes what ever pebbles, stones, or boulders may have grown in your kidneys or their associated plumbing.
The anesthesia is the most modern type, where one moment you're chatting with an OR nurse and the next you're waking up in recovery. I've been told that this type of anesthesia allows the surgical staff to keep you awake, but unfeeling, so that they can question you about things; like what's your position on the national health care question. Answer wrong and you get bigger stitches and and they do funny things with your privates while the staff poses and someones takes pictures. It must be hilarious. For them.
Seriously, it's a painless procedure. At least until you wake up in recovery with 6 nurses holding you down in your bed while you scream for your mommy. Just kidding, my nurse told me that it only took 2 of them to restrain me. At one point (it was nearly closing time), my wife was brought in to help the nursing staff. Since my procedure was complicated by the need to inject dye into my urethra (I could have said weenie) through a garden hose stuck up my weenie, I was in additional (as in tremendous) post-op pain. Maureen's job was to keep me from grabbing at my weenie, which felt like it was lined with razor blades.
Well, I'm home and recuperating, hoping that my adventures in the medical side of RVng are over ... for a while, anyway. Oh, what's with my title for this post? I thought you'd never ask. The urologist discovered that I have a THIRD KIDNEY! WHAAAT? A THIRD KIDNEY? Yup, a third kidney. Known as a duplex kidney, mine was completely blocked by one of the stones the urologist blasted. As soon as I learned of my "gift," I checked eBay. Being just my luck, there's no real market for it. Maybe I could join a carnival; "The Man With 3 Kidneys!"
(BTW, I don't think that there's any such restaurant as Pedro's Authentic Northern Italian, but, just in case there is, sorry, Pedro, I'm sure your food is just great)