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Kelly Cheek
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Doctor, Doctor, gimme the news

You know how we’ve been wanting to move to another country, preferably some place in Europe, but also, possibly Mexico or Central or South America? Well, we’re looking for ways to cut costs, saving our pennies, because while our lifestyle will be cheaper over there, the move itself is going to be quite expensive.

So some of the purchases that have been necessary have also been kind of irksome. We bought a backpack for each dog so that they can help out a little, carrying their food, bowls, etc. This is because we expect that there will be a fair amount of walking involved, especially if we settle on a somewhat nomadic lifestyle, which is one thing we’ve considered.

Necessary, but costly.

You know how one of the reasons we want to do this is for better and cheaper healthcare? Just to recap, France, Italy and Spain are regularly rated as first, second and seventh in the world respectively in quality of healthcare. While all three countries appeal to us in various ways, they all have tax laws that would make it fairly expensive for us.

Portugal is ranked twelfth on that list, and that may sound fairly low, but that same list ranks the United States as thirty-seventh. A lot of what we’ve read about Portugal appeals to us, too, so that’s where we’ve mainly focused our attention.

But so many positive articles have been written about Portugal as a retirement and expat haven, and so many people have responded to them and moved there, that prices are going up, increasing the general cost of living. Who knows what it will be like by the end of next year when we’re (hopefully) ready to go?

So we still haven’t ruled out other countries, including some in Latin America.

We’ve spent a lot of money lately on American healthcare. Last year, Linda had two surgeries. One was for a sinus issue that she’s suffered with for years. The other was a dental procedure.

Both of these procedures were “covered” by insurance. But, because of a high deductible, to keep the monthly premiums at an amount that resembles something manageable, they still cost us several thousand dollars.

Both were necessary, but costly.

This past week, we were walking the dogs, Dobby and Sadie. Linda had Dobby, I had Sadie. Dobby is the smaller of the two dogs, but he can be boisterous. Spaz is one name that we could easily have given him, but considering that the word is sometimes considered insulting to some disabled people, it’s probably a good thing we didn’t.

But it still fits.

Anyway, as we were crossing the street at the elementary school behind our house – at a busy time, when parents were dropping off their kids – we were hurrying across in a short gap in the traffic. Dobby cut in front of Linda, causing Linda to trip over him and do a face plant on the asphalt. She skinned up and bruised her cheek and her chin, and broke the fifth metacarpal bone in her left hand.

I took her to urgent care where they took X-rays and put on a temporary cast. She has an appointment in a couple of days to get a more permanent cast put on.

Again, absolutely necessary, but because we’re in a new year now, and we’re starting over with our deductible, it’s going to be costly.

One good thing under the category of American medicine is that, on the same day that Linda took her spill, she also got her second COVID vaccine. I got mine yesterday. Both were free of charge.

So, until we’re able to make our break, at least we feel a little more equipped to handle the onslaught of anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers that fill this country.