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Old 23-03-2010, 08:31   #1
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Curious About Health Issues and the Cruising Lifestyle...

Hello people, I am curious about various health issues you may be experiencing and how you handle them in longish voyages.

I myself have Type II diabetes, Ulcerative Colitis and sleep apnea where I require a c-pac machine to sleep at night....aging sucks. Oh, my wife has asthma.

Thank for any and all responses.....Allan

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Old 23-03-2010, 09:51   #2
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Wow Allan, that's quite a list. The good news is that I suspect your wife will find her athsma more manageable if your cruising destinations do not invovle large centers. For example, the air pollution tends to be much lower in the Caribbean than in the Great Lakes and further, many find that environmental allergies are also less problematic. It seems that many of the abundant plants/flowers have less impact on allergy sufferers, to the extent that the pollen etc., is different from what we have been exposed to at home (or at least, that is the explanation that I have been given).

I would expect that you would be able to keep a c-pac machine functioning on a boat (are there any 12 volt units?), by use of an inverter. I cannot speak to ulcerative colitis but, if I am correct in assuming that it is aggravated by stress, I again suspect that you may fare better while cruising than at home.

Are puffers and insulin available in Caribbean? Although thankfully I have never had the need to obtain them, I can only assume that the answer would be yes on any of the developed islands. You could also consider taking a large supply with you (and your pharmacist should be able to assist on the shelf-life, bearing in mind that refrigeration on most cruising boats is a little less consistent, in terms of temperature, than the ones at home).

Good and very reasonably priced medical care is available in Cuba, Grenada (where the medical school is located for the University of the West Indies). Trinidad and Venezuela. Of course, if you plan to maintain your Canadian residency, in a serious emergency you can always find a quick return flight home for free medical care.


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Old 23-03-2010, 12:33   #3
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I think there are many cruisers who have health issues and are out here cruising.

I have Type 1 diabetes and mild asthma. So far, I am managing superbly. I have had guests bring along diabetic supplies and insulin is available virtually world-wide. T2 can be a different story, depending on how you are managing the disease, but you should be able to leave with a good supply and have it shipped to marinas/yacht clubs/friends as you go along.

For me, my asthma was so mild that I have stopped taking any medication now that I am away from the big cities. I am virtually asthma free.

Are there things you can do before you leave to help out with the sleep apnea and managing your T2 better?

Fair Winds,
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Old 23-03-2010, 13:14   #4
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Allen, you might also find that your ability to sleep will be greatly enhanced once on the water and living the lifestyle. It takes about 3 days to get in the swing of things but after you "catch up" on what rest your body thinks it needs you'll find a natural rythum that might cure many things that ail you on the land.
Your eating habits will be different and you'll find you eat better and more healthy foods which only tends to aid the body in adjusting. I would think life at sea and ocassionally on a trip inland is probably the healthiest I've known.
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