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BANGKOK 14 November 2018 03:16
Once Bitten

Over 60 - had a health problem - how have things worked out ?

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Only recently have I become more aware of my overall general health  , I’m 67 and it seems that may be due to my past years of not taking good care of my self , primarily poor diet and lack of exercise along with my misguided belief that in the future I would never really get sick , and I would live to a ripe old age without too many health problems along the way .  Up to now all my past years have been relatively free of any real health issues.


So my recent and worrying brush with health issues ( cholesterol / prostrate / blood pressure ) has made me think and wonder about the health problems of other people who are in my age bracket ( 60+ ) and how they dealt with it .


Due to my current health issues I have only just recently started to look through  many of the posts in this health , body and medicine section , and at first glance it seems I’m not alone in having a health problem and seeking advice and comments for age related medical issues .

 

 Having now found out that I have several current health problems , the phrase    ‘’ I should have done ‘’   keeps going through my mind,  I should have taken more care of my self , been more aware of my sedentary lifestyle ( couch potato ) , exercised more and generally thought more about my future long term health .

 

 Now I know of my current health issues I am trying to stay positive and be proactive about life and my future health outlook.

 

I have seen many posts here seeking advice and guidance , but few return posts that actually outline or update some ones health problem and its progress and out come, was the health issue ever resolved, controlled or still on going .

 

Really I’m just wondering how others here in my age group who have had or experienced health problems while in Thailand,  coped , managed and came to terms with being over 60 years of age and having to face a possible uncertain medical future.

 

Hopefully there may be some positive comments posted , where things for some have worked out for the better , may be given a second chance to try to halt , slow down or correct a medical problems , and may be there will be one or two ,   ‘’  I should have done ‘’  comments .

 

Sorry if this is a bit of a ramble on  , but I would like to get the thoughts from other 60+ members on the above subject  .

 

 

 

 

 

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What is in the past can not be changed so probably best to just try to take better care of our/your/self now.  Lipids are more of a danger if there is family history of blockage but probably good for everyone to keep at a reasonable level.  You may want to take a cheap EKG for basic heart test and if any question a stress test (can be physical or medical for those of us out of shape).  Most of us also have blood pressure issues and home testing I have found to be vital to accurate information (it is not just pretty girls causing BP to increase - those white coats are often the cause).  Prostate is also a common problem - but my partial removal was because of cancer in bladder.   Many of us will also have skin cancer issues and this is something we need to be proactive about as most doctors here do not consider cancer as likely.  Routine blood test from an internist used to treating older folks can also be helpful 

 

OK for the bad stress test found blockage and had two stents about 5 years ago - still good and with LDL in 80 range may last some more time.

For bad thyroid with suspect mass had removed - one pill a day takes care of that for last 5 years.

For skin cancer try to keep ahead and remove when found.  Mine has been slow growing types so not a big issue.

For blood in urine cancer found in bladder and removed several months ago.  Bladder appears to have been a good container keeping it in one place.  One never knows what tomorrow brings but for now life is still good and we adapt.

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i abused myself for over 40yrs.till i started having thoughts about my health.eat anything that wasnt good for you,drink till you couldnt take anymore,30yrs.of no exersize,a weight of 18stone,till one day it took hold.i was lucky i had good contacts one was a top professor of medicine who i got to see straight away 2002. what problems i had [well documented] on this forum,the docter new straight away what had to be done.for 5yrs.of test after test,loosing over 3stone before they wood doo the ops.2007 after heart surgery,by pass, i felt like a new man,with a loverly wife.

i am rearly enjoying my life and i dont want it to end,BUT the past few months,a mini stroke and a seizure.

i am sure i found the reason for these mishaps,so i have stopped drinking and cut down on food and getting MORE sleep.

so if ONCE BITTEN can afford it write it all down whats been happening and try and find a top doctor who will see if your ready for the

NACKERS YARD.

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Hi Sheryl, I always enjoy reading your messages as they are very informative.  I am commenting on  today's post because I am an American x pat over 65 without health insurance. 

The reason I do not have health insurance is I relocated to Thailand when I was past 60 and with preexisting conditions  I was denied. 

Now nearing 70 my plan to keep my health is to go to  a Thai hospital or clinic when I can't cure my own illness, colds, sinus infections,  small medical problems.  

In the event of a major medical problem I go to a Thai private hospital for a diagnosis. If it is truly serious as in my case prostate cancer.  I went back to the U.S. for free treatment.  After recovery I came back to my home in Thailand.  

If I ever get to the point where I need constant medical attention or nursing care I will move back to the U.S.

Thanks for all the information you provide. 

 

 

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Thanks lopburi3 for the comments and advice.

 

 Hindsight is a great informer but very unforgiving. If I could go back in time and give my younger self some health advice , I certainly would  but sadly the ticking clock of life cannot be turned back , so the best I can now do is to try and  learn from my past mistakes and other people’s experiences .   Your comment of ,  '' One never knows what tomorrow brings but for now life is still good and we adapt ''  says it all .

 

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meatboy , I think you , me and many people in our age range have come to realize that our past mistakes where health was concerned may have been the catalyst that brought us to where we are now.
 
Your determination only goes to show that once a medical problem has been realized , then action , can be taken .  

 

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Sheryl

As always a great and informative post . On the subject of medical insurance , personally I have had private medical insurance in Thailand with the same company for over ten years ( in patient only) .

 

I have never had the need to make a claim on the insurance policy , and at my age even though the health insurance premiums rise every year ,  I still keep paying .

 

For me personally the other worrying area with regard to reaching 60+ and finding I have age associated medical problems , is how to now cope with the new knowledge that my future may be less certain and unpredictable,  than I believed before my current health issues.

 

Another thought ,   my old grand mother some times used the saying , a shoe shop owner will all ways wear good shoes , so as you obviously have a large array of sound medical advice and knowledge that you offer to others here , I am wondering ( curiosity )  how your personal health is , I hope you don’t mind me asking.

 

 

 

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Blue bruce , just a thought.

 

what if an unpredicted serious medical condition disables and stops a person from flying back home and the only course of action is to seek what may be very expensive medical attention in Thailand .

 

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After a full life, trouble free healthwise, at the age of 65 (I think!) I decided to take out an inpatient only expat health insurance.

There were no pre existing conditions applied.

 

The first year claim free but in year 2 it was found that I had lung cancer. The pre op CT scan also revealed a AAA that needed repairing.

Two thirds of the right lung was removed and thankfully the pathology revealed that the cancer had been arrested at stage 1.

 

This operation was shortly followed by another to insert a 14cm stent to repair the AAA. 

 

The above was done at the Bangkok medical centre Bangkok. Total cost 3 million Baht.

 

The renewal of insurance this year after the 2 big operations, only a 5.2% hike in premiums.

 

I have just recently had another operation in the Bangkok hospital Khon Kaen (within the last week). This one for an Hernia at the top of the scar of the AAA. This one entailed a 20cm slice down the same scar to mesh repair a 10cm hernia. I'm having the 17 staples removed on Saturday. The cost of this procedure 202,000 Baht, This all covered by the insurance with no quibbling.

 

I bought a treadmill to enable exercise after the 2 ops in Bangkok and have rarely missed walking at a brisk pace everyday for 30 mins.

 

Oh, and the other problem I have is I am hyperthyroid since October last year, this is under control with medication.

 

I would never have thought that I would have  these problems only 3 years ago. I thank the Lord that I was fortunate enough to take out medical insurance when I did.

 

As other posters, I only have praise for Sheryl, such a knowledgeable, helpful and compassionate person - very difficult to find someone like this .

 

banK

 

 

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8 hours ago, Blue bruce said:

Hi Sheryl, I always enjoy reading your messages as they are very informative.  I am commenting on  today's post because I am an American x pat over 65 without health insurance. 

The reason I do not have health insurance is I relocated to Thailand when I was past 60 and with preexisting conditions  I was denied. 

Now nearing 70 my plan to keep my health is to go to  a Thai hospital or clinic when I can't cure my own illness, colds, sinus infections,  small medical problems.  

In the event of a major medical problem I go to a Thai private hospital for a diagnosis. If it is truly serious as in my case prostate cancer.  I went back to the U.S. for free treatment.  After recovery I came back to my home in Thailand.  

If I ever get to the point where I need constant medical attention or nursing care I will move back to the U.S.

Thanks for all the information you provide. 

 

 

 

Thailand based insurers won't enroll people at that age but most European based companies will. Even now, at 70, you could get coverage. The pre-existing conditions might be excluded - either altogether or for the first few years - but you can likely get coverage for everything else, and some policies will also give limited cover for things related to pre-exsiting.

 

The flaw with your plan is, as another poster pointed out, a major accident or catastrophic acute illness (heart attack, stroke etc) could leave you in need of costly care and unable to travel. I've seen it happen more times than I can count.

 

I suggest you consult an insurance broker. An expat policy at age 70 won't be cheap, but you can reduce premiums by accepting an excess.

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Hi Once, read most of the posts, but did not see anything about advising you to get a check-up and have a better idea of where you are at... I had always been sort of cavalier about statins, not liking drug companies, etc etc... but I finally was convinced by my doctor that it is really better to get my cholesterol down now any way that is possible as I am not likely to do it with diet alone. 

 

I have several friends in the 60+ area, who are running into problems. So far, ones that can be healed, but since none of us are going to live forever, we do need to look at the future realistically... I am also 60+ and the few things that I plan for may not be the bus that hits me... just have to try and eat better, be more active and keep ahead of the small stuff before it gets big... which means regular check-ups, as much as I do not like going to doctors... 

 

Be well... 

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1 hour ago, banK said:

After a full life, trouble free healthwise, at the age of 65 (I think!) I decided to take out an inpatient only expat health insurance.

There were no pre existing conditions applied.

 

The first year claim free but in year 2 it was found that I had lung cancer. The pre op CT scan also revealed a AAA that needed repairing.

Two thirds of the right lung was removed and thankfully the pathology revealed that the cancer had been arrested at stage 1.

 

This operation was shortly followed by another to insert a 14cm stent to repair the AAA. 

 

The above was done at the Bangkok medical centre Bangkok. Total cost 3 million Baht.

 

The renewal of insurance this year after the 2 big operations, only a 5.2% hike in premiums.

 

I have just recently had another operation in the Bangkok hospital Khon Kaen (within the last week). This one for an Hernia at the top of the scar of the AAA. This one entailed a 20cm slice down the same scar to mesh repair a 10cm hernia. I'm having the 17 staples removed on Saturday. The cost of this procedure 202,000 Baht, This all covered by the insurance with no quibbling.

 

I bought a treadmill to enable exercise after the 2 ops in Bangkok and have rarely missed walking at a brisk pace everyday for 30 mins.

 

Oh, and the other problem I have is I am hyperthyroid since October last year, this is under control with medication.

 

I would never have thought that I would have  these problems only 3 years ago. I thank the Lord that I was fortunate enough to take out medical insurance when I did.

 

As other posters, I only have praise for Sheryl, such a knowledgeable, helpful and compassionate person - very difficult to find someone like this .

 

banK

 

 

 

banK , thanks for sharing your health experiences , it just shows that we never know when health related problems will materialize and if they do , the costs involved in treating them.

 

As I posted earlier I have had private health insurance for many years ,  but on several occasions I have been ridiculed by friends,  ( who do not have medical health insurance )   and ive been called foolish for paying insurance premiums over the many past years , especially as I have never made an insurance claim .   I was told  in no uncertain terms that it would have been better if I just deposited the same amount of money as the insurance premiums payments into a bank every year , then if I ever needed medical treatment , just draw the money from the bank.

 

I would like to hear your thoughts on your brisk daily 30 minutes treadmill walk ,  

 

Your comment '' I would never have thought that I would have these problems only 3 years ago ‘’  is view that make me and I suspect  many other people in our age range , think seriously about the benefits of health insurance.

 
I wish you a speedy recovery from the recent Hernia operation and good health to come .

 

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39 minutes ago, kenk24 said:

Hi Once, read most of the posts, but did not see anything about advising you to get a check-up and have a better idea of where you are at... I had always been sort of cavalier about statins, not liking drug companies, etc etc... but I finally was convinced by my doctor that it is really better to get my cholesterol down now any way that is possible as I am not likely to do it with diet alone. 

 

I have several friends in the 60+ area, who are running into problems. So far, ones that can be healed, but since none of us are going to live forever, we do need to look at the future realistically... I am also 60+ and the few things that I plan for may not be the bus that hits me... just have to try and eat better, be more active and keep ahead of the small stuff before it gets big... which means regular check-ups, as much as I do not like going to doctors... 

 

Be well... 

 

kenk24

 

Good advice ( eat better, be more active and keep ahead of the small stuff before it gets big ) .

 

It does seem we both would be ideal candidates to join the ExPat 60+ Club ,  and from reading through other posts on the subject , I’m sure there would be no shortage of members. Out of curiosity as some one who is a 60+ member ,  what's your general thoughts about being 60+ and mentally dealing with and coming to terms with what lies ahead , and the eventual certain out come , when the grim reaper knocks on your door.  Personally when I start to think about 60+ , I get a bit morbid .

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Once Bitten said:

 

banK , thanks for sharing your health experiences , it just shows that we never know when health related problems will materialize and if they do , the costs involved in treating them.

 

As I posted earlier I have had private health insurance for many years ,  but on several occasions I have been ridiculed by friends,  ( who do not have medical health insurance )   and ive been called foolish for paying insurance premiums over the many past years , especially as I have never made an insurance claim .   I was told  in no uncertain terms that it would have been better if I just deposited the same amount of money as the insurance premiums payments into a bank every year , then if I ever needed medical treatment , just draw the money from the bank.

 

I would like to hear your thoughts on your brisk daily 30 minutes treadmill walk ,  

 

Your comment '' I would never have thought that I would have these problems only 3 years ago ‘’  is view that make me and I suspect  many other people in our age range , think seriously about the benefits of health insurance.

 
I wish you a speedy recovery from the recent Hernia operation and good health to come .

 

I invested in a treadmill because no matter how hot or wet it is outside I could have a regular walk,  previous to my operations I used to walk 30mins or so outside but sometimes had to give it a miss due to the heat or rain.

 

I realise that the "walk" I do now is pretty important to my health, whereas before it wouldn't matter if I gave it a miss for a while. Also, a treadmill gives the option of variable speeds and inclines - it's not as boring as I thought it would be as you can have music as you walk! I generally keep the speed between 4.5-5kph - nothing strenuous and can generate a light sweat, afterwards take an electrolytic drink to rehydrate.

 

I try to stick with a diet that is good for my hyperthyroidism and along with treadmill I feel really healthy, especially considering my recent past. I am more conscience of leading a healthier life. 

 

My weight varies between 69-71kg usually hovers around 70kg. Lipids quite good, although my LDL is a bit high (usually between 138-150), total cholesterol between 175-195.

 

Since diagnosed with hyperthyroidism last October I have been keeping a graph of my lipids, free T3 and Free T4 . I find it very useful in charting how I am doing, if something goes out of range I can usually know what has caused it and can rectify it i.e not sticking to the diet. I get these blood tests done every 3 months when I see the endocrinologist,  or when I have the odd operation!! 

 

If I was still living in UK/France as I was 10 years ago - I feel that my health wouldn't have been as good as it is now. I suppose living on the edge out here in Thailand makes you take more responsibility for your health.

 

You have been eminently wise to have that health insurance, this business of putting away the equivalent each year and tap into it when needed and it being more cost effective is a fallacy. Look at my case - so far 3.2 million baht, you would not have put that into a "fund"  in 10 years.

One big hit and you could be wiped out - and what happens at the next incident. 

 

Thanks for "speedy recovery bit" - Although a 20cm slice down my abdomen the pain is just about gone.....

 

banK

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