One of my good blog friends shared a link to a post written by Larry Mathews HERE. Larry had COPD and lived in David for quite a few years, but eventually went back to the USA for more medical care. In the article he talks about the difference in care he got in Panama compared to the care in the USA.
One point I really agree with – your doctors and health care providers may give you various levels of education on how to take care of yourself and manage your medical problems, but it is up to you to educate yourself as well. This was a big aspect of my job as a home health nurse. Patients either weren’t given the information they needed, or had become overwhelmed with trying to grasp it all. I made home visits in a calm environment, and hopefully when I was finished they (with their families) were in a much better position to care for themselves and keep themselves out of the hospital.
Unfortunately Larry died five months after the article was published. I don’t know if his time in the US extended his life by a bit, or made his last months more comfortable. This is something to think about for all of us though. If, or more realistically when you are faced with health issues, what are your options? What would you do?
Myself, I am comfortable with the quality of care here. I enjoy a quality of life here that I don’t want to give up. You can see a doctor quickly without waiting weeks for an appointment. Care is affordable. And, there is a very high level of respect for the elderly. Who knows what we would do until faced with a situation, but I’m inclined to stay here if at all possible.