I hate not being able to play in my wonderland. Right now the days are sunny, cold and crisp. Perfect for a ride on my bicycle to discover new places or hike up to the cliff tops as the ocean has been putting on quite a show, beautiful large waves are pounding the cliffs and even sneaking half-way into the bay. Reluctantly, I am sidelined for the time being to watch from my perch on the terrace.
Ever since I took a spill (I have been clumsy since birth) my walking skills have not been what they should be. It was time for professional intervention and make use of my amazing right as a legal Portuguese residente, I am able to use the government health care system that doesn’t make you sell your home if you get sick or are clumsy.
Two hospital visits, saw one doctor the first visit, saw two doctors the second visit, including an orthopedic specialist, had four X-Rays taken. The total bill for medical services was 44 Euros (around $55.40).
After leaving, I had a diagnosis from a specialist, copies of my X-Rays, a treatment plan for my family doctor to follow and of course my prescriptions. The meds cost fewer than 5 Euros for enough pain and anti-inflammatory capsules for quite a while. There is one catch in the plan, we don’t have a family doctor yet, we are on a waiting list.
Never good news when you find out your hip is slowly becoming the consistency of a large round lollypop in the process of being chewed on by a naughty child, but how amazing to be living in a country where health care is for everyone, and even without a car you can get the help you need.
There will be times when adventuring about my petite paradise of Portugal will be pursued. The big bus rides to undiscovered great new places, climbing around on Moorish rock leftovers and the road trip to the district where they create exquisite Port Wine are on the agenda. For those times when the naughty child begins to nibble with his nasty little milk teeth, I invested in a very stylish cane. I will visit my village haunts and perch on my terraco keeping my eye on the village comings and goings. Already thinking of moving up to a model with a flask and storage. Do they have those?
Here is when I painfully climb on my soapbox for a bit of preaching. I could not have afforded or even been able to see an orthopedic specialist on the same day that I showed up at the hospital with no appointment where I used to live.
Not bad for a little junk bond rated country. And let me ask my government, what is your excuse? If Portugal can do it, why can’t the U.S.A.?