If all goes according to plan, this will be our last day in Tucson. I have an appointment with my primary care provider at the VA hospital and hopefully will get a couple of issues resolved. Or at least get appointments set up to address them when we return in November.
While I’ve been very pleased with my care at the various VA hospitals I’ve been to over the years, I have not been overly impressed with the doctor assigned to me when I transferred to the Tucson hospital. I’m sure she’s competent in her work, she’s just very abrupt. During my visit last year she tried to shortcut our time together, saying she had other patients to see. I explained to her that I understood that, but I was the patient in front of her right that moment, and I wasn’t finished yet.
I know a lot of people who are hesitant to question a doctor or who just accept whatever they say and do as gospel. That’s wrong. You are the customer and they are the service provider. If they don’t take the time to answer your questions in full, in a manner that you can understand, or try to give you the brush off, stand up on your hind legs and demand to get the care you need.
Assuming things get taken care of today and that we don’t have to stay here longer, tomorrow we will leave for our old hometown of Show Low. It’s a 200 mile trip, most of it on two lane roads, and we’ll be climbing from 2,500 feet to 6,500 feet elevation, so it won’t be a fast trip. That’s fine, we like to mosey along and enjoy the scenery.
For those of you who enjoy a good mystery novel, a while back I downloaded Castle Cay by Lee Hanson and just got around to reading it. This is the first book in the Julie O’Hara mystery series and it’s so good that I have already purchased the other two books in the series, Swan Song and Mystral Murder. Check it out, it’s a good read.
After reading Saturday’s blog about saving money on the road, we had a nice spurt in orders for our Guide to Free Campgrounds, as well as some of our other money saving guides, and a few readers offered suggestions for other ways to save money, including fuel saving tips like keeping your tires properly inflated and planning our routes to avoid toll roads. How about you? What are some of the things you do to lower your RVing costs?
Thought For The Day – I believe some people were put on this earth just to test my anger management skills.
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My biggest gripe about Doctors is their showing up late for an appointment. Many times I’ve had an appointment and the Doctor shows up 15, 30, 45 min late and more. I realize sometimes they get delayed beyond their control, but not all the time. The least their office could do when the Doctor is running late, is let you know and give you the option to reschedule not put you in an exam room and let you sit. They think their time is more valuable than yours and most even have a policy of charging a fee if YOUR late or miss your appointment. Like Nick says, it’s time people stood up and put an end to this abusive practice.
I guess we have been lucky with our local doctor Dr John is 90% of the time but even if he is running late, his office manager always asks if you want to reschedule. He has never rushed us when he finally does see us and is great about answering all the questions we have. He is an old fashioned country doctor and we are glad to have him when we need him. He know that we are gone at least six-seven months a year but if something comes up he always gets right back to us if we call. He is also great about getting renewed scripts immediately to the new pharmacy or having Wal-Mart here expedite the script so we get them quickly. My complaint and it should be everyone who has to wait after their appointment time is the fact that sitting in an office full of sick people your chances of getting something is greater. In our case he has a pediatrician in the same practice and lots of sick sniveling kids in fact we both caught upper respiratory infection from one of these coughing not covering mouth rug rats I am sure. I am just thankful for having him. I have heard horror stories from some folks.
Nick, I am so sorry that your experience at the Tucson VA has not been the greatest. I must say that ours really HAS been super! My husband & I are assigned to 2 different clinics. His doc is great, as is mine. My doc is no-nonsense, pretty quick-on-the-draw, but I went in with a list of questions and she went through every one AND reviewed all my test results with me looking at the computer screen at her side. No complaints at all. The Women’s Clinic has been wonderful, as well.
When we began to travel full-time, we decided to track our expenses for the first year or so. We THOUGHT we knew where our money would be going, but wanted to make sure. Our biggest deviance from our “budgeted” amounts surprised us. It wasn’t fuel, campground fees or maintenance … it was EATING OUT!! Easily corrected! We just began shopping more intelligently and cutting back on the restaurants. Healthier on us AND the pocketbook. Fuel is NOT the most expensive item. We keep the speed at 62-65 (except in west Texas, where which we want to get the heck out of!) and don’t have to watch the fuel gauge drop. We generally stay in one spot 2 weeks or so at a time … use Thousand Trails, Passport America, Good Sam, and more. Avoid KOAs, though. We occasionally boondock, but not my favorite for more than 10 days or so. We do not workamp, and we do not work on our own rig … like you, we know our limitations with tools!! It IS a dandy lifestyle. I don’t think I could give it up completely, even if we do go for another home, someday. Just my thoughts.
Be frugal. Watch the pennies. For 3 months, keep a record of every penny spent. Then analyze it. You will be surprised where you spend your money. Some things we do to keep prices down: shop in thrift shops for clothes & other items, eat out for lunch instead of dinner, take home extras from meals unless an all you can eat place/buffet, get water with lemon (senior cocktail) instead of a $2 to $3 drink, take along your own water on trips in the car instead of stopping for a drink at a zippy mart, eat at the rig, buy items on sale, go to flea markets, garage sales (this is a great way to meet locals), go to free events rather than expensive shows or entertainment, go sight seeing in national parks (senior pass or golden age pass get you in free), go to state/regional or local parks they are usually free or low cost, read a good book which you got at a book exchange or used book store, shop at discount stores especially food stores, put you chair out in the shade by your rig and enjoy the day, some one is sure to drop by and talk, go for a walk, watch the sun set, thank God for every beautiful day because there is always something wonderful about today.