OK. Time for some serious talk. As we get older, I turned 70 in October, part of our mechanics start to fail or at least need more attention. Years of neglect, fast food, hard living, business travel, bad relationships, etc. start to take their toll.
I had mentioned a while back that one of my eyes needs attention and that is being scheduled to get looked at. However, my feeling is that with the mileage on this body, I needed a professional take a look and make recommendations that would promote a longer and continued active life.
Moving to a Latin American country is also a reason to take active prevention. It is definitely easier to get injured in Panama than it is in most places in the US.
For example, walking is much more dangerous here. I can’t tell you the number of times I have fallen in David while walking downtown. People that come from the US are not used too the the sidewalk making an abrupt 2 inch change between stores. No transition, just a mini step that is easily missed when you are concentrating on store windows, vendors and other people walking.
The same is true when walking in the morning in the neighborhoods. I have walked the streets in Santa Lucia in Boquete, Volcan, Cerro Punta, David and others and this is never a walk you can take with out being extremely cautious.
Pavement in Panama is never well maintained and there are continually potholes, jagged edges and just plain drop-offs. You have to keep your eyes on the ground and since there is rarely a good sidewalk, you have to be aware of cars that never are going a reasonable speed.
To avoid the pitfalls of life (or should that be potholes) living in a Latin American country requires a little planning and that is what I am doing.
One of the big things we all need to do is to remove all the negative things and people from our lives. I fell fortunate to say that there are NO negative people in my life.
OK, back to the preventative maintenance phase of myself, I have engaged the serviced of Dra. Hilda Gómez Goff. She is an internist specializing in geriatrics. Whether I want to admit it or not, I am no longer a spring chicken and I believe a doctor who specializes in the problems of those of us that are more young at heart than young of body is probably a wise investment of my time and money.
I will have to say, I was very pleased with Dra. Goff. She is Brazilian and English is not her first language. We handled the interview in Spanish. She scheduled a couple special tests along with the normal blood work needed for my annual physical.
She also administered an equilibrium test which required me to extend my arms to the side, close my eyes and place either the right or left foot forward. Not as easy as it sounds.
In general I think we will find out that I am in pretty good shape for the shape I am in, but she did advise a regimen of exercise. She advised me to walk in the mornings, but after breakfast, not before. I probably need to take more advantage of pool time and get the old heart pumping.
Most people move to Panama only thinking about the climate and cost of living. My advice is to consider the health side of living here. Get to know your doctors before you have no option. Talk to others and get recommendations. Consider that you may have a heart attack at 2 AM in the morning and have to see a doctor within 20 minutes minimum.
I use sort of a twist on the old P5 axiom. This is my 4PD plan. The P5 axion is Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. My 4PD plan is Proper Planning Prevents Premature Death.
Incase you are interested in an internist specializing in Geriatrics, I am including Dra Hilda’s card.