Thursday, January 19, 2012

Getting sick on the road

When I first started reading RV blogs and forums about two years ago, it was mentioned that full-timers (and also any RVers, I guess) should carry a list of their meds and medical history in the rig with them, in case of emergency.  When I first started out on the road as a full-timer in June of 2011, I put together a "master" package and a few copies of any pertinent medical history and the reports of surgeries or procedures I've undergone.   Any time I've been to a new doctor, they always have lots of questions, and I'm a poor historian, so I can bring the packet with me and either hand it to them, or use it as a reference in answering their questions.

I have all the documents binder clipped together, with the cover page listing the documents chronologically and any meds and over the counter vitamins with the dose I take every day.  I've found this to be so easy, and I'm always able to give the medical professionals the correct information.

When I arrived at the Blythe ER, I got one of the packets out of my cupboard and brought it in with me, and they took it to attach to my file.  Now that I have another surgery under my belt (literally!), I am going to call Kaiser's Medical Records department and request a copy of the surgical report and photo of the CT scan showing the problem area.  I'll make some copies and attach to the packets I have on hand.

In my desk at home, I had a file, "Medical," into which I'd place any medically important documents concerning issues over the years that could be useful later.  These documents are what I used to start my "master" file.  It was really easy since I had most of the paperwork, and I requested any that I didn't have, but wanted to bring with me.

Something new that I'm going to do (and you might think about) is add my Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care to each packet.  I was asked at both ERs if I had one, and they both suggested I give my doctor a copy that could be attached to my file at Kaiser.  I will bring in a copy, but also have copies attached to my binder clipped packets, just in case.   I hope I'll never need to use one of those packets again, but if I do, I'm ready, and that's a good feeling to have.

Talking about being sick, Merikay wrote a blog post about being sick in an RV, and it was very interesting. Check it out for her ideas and insights about getting sick on the road  during their first big trip.  :(

I took a photo out my guest room window of The Palms, regally watching over my recovery room:

The Palms, standing guard.  Isn't she beautiful?
And here's Katie guarding me from inside the room.  Every time there's a sound throughout the house, Katie is on guard, mostly because she wants that door opened so she can run around with the grandkids, and run outside.  I have a nice window overlooking the front yard, where The Palms is, and also this window that looks out onto an atrium.

Katie is so used to spending lots of hours in a small space with me, that staying in the bedroom most of the time hasn't been a problem at all.  This room is at least twice the size of The Palms, not counting the full bathroom, so we are in hog heaven as far as space is concerned. Get me out of here before I get used to it!!  :) 

Just kidding, I think this weekend I'll be moving out to The Palms, and soon thereafter Katie and I will be driving down the freeway to Santee Lakes RV Park for my scheduled month before we get back on the road.  I'm looking forward to going back there.  This will be the first time I've repeated a stay at any park, but it won't be the last.  There are definitely a few places I'd like to revisit.

When I downloaded the photos shown above, I found a few I took leaving the hospital in Blythe, and this is the one driving along the highway back into the town of Quartzsite.  Already in early January you can see the influx of RVs and sellers and RV sales places.

      Approaching Quartzsite, January 5, 2012.
It will be more than two weeks until the Big Tent fun starts!

As The Palms was roaring across the Arizona and California deserts toward the San Diego Kaiser Hospital, the sun started setting when we entered San Diego County.  It was beautiful, and the way the clouds were formed where the sun was setting, it looked like there were two suns.

San Diego Sunset, January 5, 2012

And one more photo of my son Tom and daughter-in-law Trish with one of his cars.  This is a large, framed professional photo; it was leaning in a chair against the wall in the dining room, not yet hung.  I thought it was such a cool photo, I took a picture of the picture to have on my computer slide show.  The photographer used the selective color option that I like to use with my camera.  They are such a beautiful couple.

Tom and Trish at Balboa Park, San Diego

Hopefully my next post will be written on the dinette table in The Palms.

From Me and My Dog, have a great Thursday, everyone!  :)


  1. Glad you're being so well taken care of there, Barbara. Happy to hear you're feeling so well, and getting ready to move back out to The Palms. That will be almost "back to normal" for you, eh? Give Katie a big hug for us, if you can catch her before she gets out the door!

  2. The mark of a true traveler...You're roaring down the highway on your way to the HOSPITAL for medical treatment, and you take a picture of the sunset!! Now that's funny. Glad you are feeling better but don't overdo. Great idea about having all your medical records in packets and ready to go. Take care.

  3. What a good little blogger you are. Here you are driving yourself to the emergency room for surgery and you still manage to get photos for the blog. :)

    Getting a little hitch-itch, are we?

  4. Good idea on the medical packet. We have our meds & vitamins on our smart phones, but in print is easier to hand to the nurse or doctor.

  5. Excellent idea on the med list..we do the same happy to hear that your feeling much better...a speedy recovery to you my dear...

  6. Love your photos and so glad that the surgery is behind you and you're on your way to healing.

  7. Great advice re medical info. I am currently going thru br ca treatment at Duke -- they gave me a huge 3-ring binder that I will now use to maintain med records. Also, we have a 3x5 card on our MH door that states, "In case of an emergency, please contact..." and it lists our dgt/son-in-law's contact info. You never know what will or can happen out on the road.

  8. Really great post on how to handle a medical emergency on the road. Makes me think that even a part-timer (or non-RV traveler) should have some of this info ready if needed. I have also heard that hospitals and doctors will use this info if you load it on a thumb drive/memory stick they can plug in and bring up on a computer.

  9. Great post, Barbara. Excellent advice about keeping a medical binder with you at all times. Glad you're doing well and will be out on the road soon. We'll be heading out the Quartzsite this weekend for a few days. Should be a blast!

  10. I'm happy to hear that you will soon be back in The Palms, although I am a bit disappointed that I will not see you when I get to Q. Still don't have an exact date, probably 1st week i February. I'll have to get my med records in order be fore I leave.

  11. What a nice recovery room! And a beautiful place to park The Palms as well. Good advice in this post, I hope you heal quickly & can get back on the road soon. Katie looks like she's enjoying that room too!

  12. All comments previous express my sentiments exactly. Photo, packet, get well, etc. ditto ditto ditto. I have nothing to add except I am really really glad you have a good place to recuperate and that you sound so GOOD!

  13. That's the spirit - get ready to hit the road again. So glad to see you are feeling better.

  14. I am amazed... you drove yourself to CA and stopped to smell the sunset, I mean see the roses, well, you get it. Just, wow. And am so glad your son has such a pretty parking place for The Palms. Nice! Great pics all around and am glad you feel up to mobiling back to Santee Lakes. Take care! Keep us posted. ;)

  15. So happy your are doing so well. And moving back into the Palms will really make you feel lots better.
    I wish you continued fast healing.

  16. Great medical tips. I have to stop procrastinating and do something like that !!

    That pic of your son and daughter-in-law is awesome !


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