Thursday, June 5, 2008

Home Day


One of Mary's collection of orchids


Panamá has what I consider an excellent law with regards to age and driver's licenses: if you are 70 or over, in order to renew your license, you must have a physical exam certifying that you are physically fit to drive.  There already is a requirement for everyone to have a glucose tolerance test, which is the screen for diabetes.  In two weeks, I have to renew my license.  Today, as on two other occasions, I forgot that I was going to the hospital for my fasting blood work--and  ate one of our delicious bananas.  Aaaagh!!  I've got to get this done.  Tomorrow.  I told Mary, when I wake up in the morning, to put a piece of duct tape across my mouth so that I can't eat or drink anything.  Last time, it was orange juice that did me in.  The first time, my blind groping for a cup of coffee.

I'm going to have the work done as part of my annual exam.  There is a medical insurance company that works out of Hospital Chiriquí, one of our two private hospitals in the area, which is not only extraordinarily inexpensive, by American standards, but--amazing to contemplate-- promotes preventive medicine.  Every year when notification of our premium is due, we get a set of recommended tests from our physician.  Insurance will pay half the costs.  Given my family history, one of my tests is an electrocardiogram.  Total cost is about $80 for very thorough blood work and the ekg.  My share, then, is $40.  Included is the glucose tolerance test that I'll need to renew my driver's license.  Then, an appointment with the doctor for a physical, to go over my results, write out whatever paper I need for the renewal, and off to the Tránsito office to renew my license.

But first I have to remember not to eat or drink anything other than water that morning!  That's the worst part of the whole business.

But it looks like our period of overcast, rainy weather is over and a more normal pattern for early June is coming back.  Both yesterday morning and this morning were beautiful, especially this morning.  I'll give it a couple of hours for the grass to dry, and then it's out with the weed eater. 

This afternoon, of course, we'll have rain, but that will give me a chance to edit some video footage that's been waiting for me, in some cases for just about a year.  I've got GREAT footage from my last trip to Brasil, and also from my morning at the Ruiz coffee farms.  

So, except for the weed eating which I regard as being as much of a part of my life as breathing, a laid back day.

An edit here, to correct a mistake.  Panamá does NOT require a glucose tolerance test, which is a much more complicated affair, but a simple fasting glucose test.  The glucose tolerance is much more accurate, but the fasting glucose test is used as a routine screen for diabetes.

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