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Old 19-08-2013, 04:54   #1
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Long term cruising w/medical condition

This just occurred to me. How do people with chronic medical conditions that require medication deal with getting their medications while cruising? I guess if your doctor is willing to write you a prescription that you coulkd fill once a year that would help, but my ENT doctor says he has to see me once a year to re-write a prescription for my Nasonex. That's not such a big deal, I can live without that but I have a thyroid condition that I really do need medication for.
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Old 19-08-2013, 05:06   #2
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pirate Re: Long term cruising w/medical condition

In most ports around the world you head for the seediest bar... guarantee you'll find your medication there... or someone who knows where its available...
Being serious however a friend of mine has a Thyroid problem as well... starts of with a 6mth supply and a cover note from her doctor for refills... worked so far...
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Old 19-08-2013, 06:10   #3
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Re: Long term cruising w/medical condition

Where do you plan to cruise? There are a number of places along popular cruising routes that have excellent and low-cost medical care. You can often see a specialist for a 50 minute visit for the amount of a co-pay in the US. Ask for a script and get the drugs locally and any tests that may need to be done.
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Old 19-08-2013, 06:21   #4
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Re: Long term cruising w/medical condition

It all about degree. What condition you have, whats needed, what emergency facilities do you need, where you are intending to go. Theres no general answer.

My wife has one or two conditions that require ongoing medication, she can get long term prescriptions, and such prescriptions can be filled elsewhere. ( Got Uk prescriptions filled in france and spain for example)

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Old 19-08-2013, 06:29   #5
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Re: Long term cruising w/medical condition

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Where do you plan to cruise? There are a number of places along popular cruising routes that have excellent and low-cost medical care. You can often see a specialist for a 50 minute visit for the amount of a co-pay in the US. Ask for a script and get the drugs locally and any tests that may need to be done.
Well no where at this point in time, it was just a thought. If and when I get to cruise it will be in the Atlantic ocean, maybe over into Europe. I was just diagnosed with the condition a few months ago and now I take a daily dose of synthetic thyroid hormone. My doctor said I will need to be tested every so often, maybe once or twice a year to make sure the dose is still correct.
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Old 19-08-2013, 06:36   #6
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Re: Long term cruising w/medical condition

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Well no where at this point in time, it was just a thought. If and when I get to cruise it will be in the Atlantic ocean, maybe over into Europe. I was just diagnosed with the condition a few months ago and now I take a daily dose of synthetic thyroid hormone. My doctor said I will need to be tested every so often, maybe once or twice a year to make sure the dose is still correct.
wont be a problem in Europe.

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Old 19-08-2013, 06:38   #7
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pirate Re: Long term cruising w/medical condition

Most EU countries (except the UK) have private analysis clinics galore... and it'll be pennies compared to US costs... 24hr sometimes even same day results...
In the UK you can wait up to 6 weeks or more just for a blood test result...
Amazing how know nothing morons in the Civil Service and the Gov's managed to screw up a once great system playing Party Politics... and 'Job's for the Boy's'...
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Old 19-08-2013, 06:40   #8
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Re: Long term cruising w/medical condition

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Amazing how know nothing morons in the Civil Service and the Gov's managed to screw up a once great system playing Party Politics... and 'Job's for the Boy's'...
Amen to that, leave the NHS alone. or rather give us back the NHS.

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Old 19-08-2013, 06:42   #9
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Re: Long term cruising w/medical condition

It is a sound advice when a physician requires you to pay him/her a visit at least once a year. Medicines prescribed are based on your weight; mg drug/kg (lb) of your weight. Some patients develop serious side effects after taking medications for a very long time; medicine needs to be substituted and checked for compatibility with other drugs that you're taking. As we grow older, our "plumbing and robotics" weaken; new "Craftsman" parts may be needed to replace worn out parts (knee and hip replacement). The list goes on, for your annual physical requirement...besides, in the US, it is called "Standard Medical Care" and is required by regulations.

As far as obtaining your medications while cruising, in most countries your prescription bottles' "script" will be honored. Some countries will require you to visit a local doctor for your refills; generics might substitute for what you've been prescribed states-side. Blood thinners are the exception; may not be substituted. Pain killers (not the spirit, hic, ones) can also be substituted; opiate based pain killers might be hard to find in some countries. That's all folks! Sail away and have a ball!

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Old 19-08-2013, 06:46   #10
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Re: Long term cruising w/medical condition

What a lot of people don't realize is that the medical system outside the USA is MUCH better than inside. For instance, the best non-drowsy sea-sick pills (Stugeron) are not even available in the US.

I take .125mg Synthroid (Levothyroxin) daily & have for 25 years (12 of those years cruising). It's available everywhere, usually over the counter, no prescription needed. The main problem (for me) is that it's usually only available in .100 or .050, so I end up having to split a pill. But I can usually get a medical friend to give me a 1-year prescription, & Safeway fills it cheaply. Getting a blood test (& getting it analyzed) is a bit more involved, but it's usually dirt cheap compared to the US. Out here, you see the REAL cost of medicine, without the lawyers cut...
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Old 19-08-2013, 06:54   #11
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Re: Long term cruising w/medical condition

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What a lot of people don't realize is that the medical system outside the USA is MUCH better than inside. For instance, the best non-drowsy sea-sick pills (Stugeron) are not even available in the US.

I take .125mg Synthroid (Levothyroxin) daily & have for 25 years (12 of those years cruising). It's available everywhere, usually over the counter, no prescription needed. The main problem (for me) is that it's usually only available in .100 or .050, so I end up having to split a pill. But I can usually get a medical friend to give me a 1-year prescription, & Safeway fills it cheaply. Getting a blood test (& getting it analyzed) is a bit more involved, but it's usually dirt cheap compared to the US. Out here, you see the REAL cost of medicine, without the lawyers cut...
Over the counter? Really? I take 75mcg of Synthroid daily. This thread is just hypothetical at this point, I think I still have a couple of decades of my working like left, unless I win the lotto of have some unknown rich relative leave me a ton of money. I was just curious how people deal with it.
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Old 19-08-2013, 06:59   #12
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Even as a nurse immersed in the US health sustem, I find it cumbersome and expensive. Much easier elsewhere. If you are cruising, get as many as you can before you take off. When you are low (NOT OUT) then start investigating local options. I had a two perfectly healthy pregnancies in the US. I get out of the US, get knocked up, and that's when I had complications. I was in Costa Rica and had my son there. It was a great experience! However, be aware that most countries are not nearly as focused on "pain control" as we are in the US. After an emergency c-section... I got plain Tylenol. That's it. Basically was told "suck it up, women have been having billions of babies for billions of years." (Except they are too polite on Costa Rica so limit be exaggerating a like.
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Old 19-08-2013, 07:06   #13
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Re: Long term cruising w/medical condition

Hiya Diver! You had a c-section without an epidural and post-op Darvocet? Not up to par, standard of care in some countries; that's why it is cheap.

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Old 19-08-2013, 07:11   #14
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Re: Long term cruising w/medical condition

Has anyone had any experience with getting specialty drugs? Here in the US, "biologic" drugs (injectables) are extremely expensive and will only be provided monthly to be covered by insurance. An example would be Humira or Orencia.
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Old 19-08-2013, 07:19   #15
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Re: Long term cruising w/medical condition

Hiya Mari! Talk with your physician, as he/she can get you discounted medication directly from the manufacturer. The cost will be added to your medical visit; still cheaper than going through a mail-order pharmacy. Some medications are not available through physicians sales; be aware of that. Physicians can obtain drugs, in most cases, at a lower cost; not free, though. Treatment for RA is a bit complicated because of the multitude of severe side effects; hence more expensive due to possible liability.

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