Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

New Territory: Pensacola Medicine

It’s payback time. Since AdventureMan and I retired, we have been trying to catch up with all the things we have left undone as we lived overseas. One of those things is catching up on medical work, you know, the preventive stuff.

One of the things I avoided in Qatar and Kuwait were any kind of procedures where something alien entered your body. There are good hospitals, and there are good doctors, but you have to know someone who can recommend them, and they they have to accept you as patients. My strategy was simply to stay well. I had a constant concern, about the cleanliness of the hospitals, about the conscientiousness of the people sterilizing medical equipment, about patient care, about credentials of those putting in IV’s – little things like that.

When I came to Pensacola, LOL, I had the same concerns. We have this illusion that everything is better in the USA, but we are only as good as our rules, and the enforcement of the rules, and when budgets are being cut, code enforcement can suffer. Who is checking on the cleanliness of the facility, etc. can be an issue here, too.

We ran into a couple of breaks. We have friends here, and we also have good advisory people. While our advisory people are not allowed to give specific recommendations, we had a long and lively chat with one and we asked, at the end, “if your Mom or Dad needed a good overall internist, who would you send them to?” and she paused and gave us a name.

The name was also on our short list of doctors we had looked up online. There are all kinds of places that comment on doctors, and this doctor has all A’s.

My visit with the doctor got me started on a lot of other appointments. The first visit, however, had a very funny moment. We were talking, generally, I thought, about weight, and he said “what do you think would be a good weight for you at this age” and I thought and said a number and HE WROTE IT DOWN. “Oh no!” I said. “Are you writing it down?”

“Yes.” he responded. “I agree, I think that is a good goal for you.”

GOAL??? I talk a lot about exercise and trying to lose weight, but now I am expected to meet a goal??? Oh, aaaarrrggghh. Me and my big mouth, why did I pick that number???

My Pensacola medical experience grew this week as I had a dreaded colonoscopy, something older people have to do as part of preventive maintenance. I totally hate colonoscopy preparation, and I also know that the same problems that happen in Qatar and Kuwait can happen here in Pensacola, so I was anxious the day of the procedure.

As I was pushed into the operating room by a young guy, I asked “who are you?” and he said he was the doctor. I interviewed him, asking about his certification, etc. and his record. He could see I was anxious.

Finally, I asked, in desperation, “are you Christian?” and he said “yes,” and then added “Would you like us to pray together before we start?” I was shocked. I paused, trying to deal with this new information – you are allowed to pray in the operating room?

“Yes,” I said, “please.”

They put hands on me and prayed for guidance during the procedure, and safety and a positive outcome. That is the last I remember, I felt so secure, and then I woke up and it was over. The outcome was positive.

There is no such thing as not allowing prayer in the schools or public places. People can pray wherever they want. The only thing forbidden is prayers where everyone is forced to pray together, the same words, words that may not express the same faith. We don’t all share the same beliefs, we don’t all pray in the same vocabularies. But we are free to pray, no one can stop the prayers of the heart.

October 7, 2010 - Posted by | Adventure, Diet / Weight Loss, Doha, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Florida, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Qatar, Spiritual, Values


  1. Wow-what a way to be blessed! And what a way for God to acknowlege that you needed reassurance!

    Comment by momcat | October 7, 2010 | Reply

  2. That was awesome! Glad to hear all your results are coming up A-OK!

    Comment by Ken | October 7, 2010 | Reply

  3. Intlxpatr :

    Your post cracked me up .LOL

    At the risk of being rude Whats” Are you Christian got to do with looking at your **** ”

    However I understood your anxiety .All turned out OK ??

    Comment by daggero | October 7, 2010 | Reply

  4. Momcat – exactly. Some things just aren’t rational. 🙂

    Thanks, Ken, deep down, I guess I always worry about the worst that can happen catching me by surprise. I tend to have a very even life, and occasionally something strikes me out of the blue, catches me by surprise. I hate that, so I guess I worry that tests are an opportunity for that bad surprise to happen.

    LLLOOOLLL, Daggero, it isn’t rational! I am normally so STOIC! It just popped out, and it had nothing to do with anything except my anxiety; if it were the Middle East, I might have said ‘believer’ because I strongly believe we are on the same track. I will take any prayers I can get, and this offer caught me by surprise, and moved me, because there have been some legal decisions against any kind of public praying, but I am guessing that when three like-minded people pray together, that is not subjecting anyone to anything objectionable.

    Everything is fine, alhamd’allah. 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 7, 2010 | Reply

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