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Health, insurance, prudence or “do it before the bits start falling off”.

Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
I’m quoting, above, @Richard Smith from another thread. I thought his laconic comment warranted a thread of its own. There must, after all, be quite a few fellow travellers out there.
…because metaphorically my bits are definitely beginning to fall off. It is not a coincidence that I wrote my last thread - alluding to postponement - the day after being discharged from hospital for the fourth time in ten months with the same complaint.

I have enjoyed remarkably good health combined with a high level of general fitness until last year. (My 77th is imminent). But it turns out I have an underlying condition which has actually been around for at least 5 years but was not diagnosed conclusively until last March. I won’t bore you with medical details, but my condition, (abdominal), is potentially life-threatening requiring immediate and dangerous surgery if my body does not quickly self-rectify, as indeed it has so far. Next time it may not. The specialist told me that next time could be tomorrow, next year or even never, but the experience of the past year is far from encouraging. It’s interesting, however, that immediately after a (pre-Camino) undiagnosed occurrence in 2017, I completed the VdlP with no problems.

To go, or not to go. That is indeed the question. I - and my family - can imagine possibly reckless scenarios.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2023
Only you can decide if you should go or not.

I enjoyed my 2019 Camino. There were definite down times and some really great ones. I grew during my Camino. However, for me another Camino is not some huge life altering event that I need to put the rest of my life on hold for while I walk it.

I expect that I will eventually walk another Camino. I am not expecting to die anytime soon although who knows what life brings tomorrow. In the meantime none of my bits are falling off.

When the time is opportune I will walk.
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
When the time is right
I would identify all the clinics and hospitals along the way (or close by) that could treat your condition and have your medical specialist write a letter stating your medical history and bring copies of any imaging reports from radiologists so that the doctors in Spain have a time stamp of your flareups and it’s history. As stated before in this thread, proper insurance coverage that would cover any costs associated with this condition would be a must.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
I would identify all the clinics and hospitals along the way (or close by) that could treat your condition and have your medical specialist write a letter stating your medical history and bring copies of any imaging reports from radiologists so that the doctors in Spain have a time stamp of your flareups and it’s history. As stated before in this thread, proper insurance coverage that would cover any costs associated with this condition would be a must.
I am looking into the insurance side of things, but am getting the impression that insurance companies are unlikely to take me on with my recent history. But it’s not about money. If I was to be hit by an episode in rural Spain, bearing in mind that the onset of my problem is fast, the problems could be critical. Unfortunately, my obsession with my now interrupted annual Caminos is difficult to explain except to like-minded people. Your advice is helpful.
 
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Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2022
As stated before in this thread, proper insurance coverage that would cover any costs associated with this condition would be a must.
Usually travel insurance does not cover pre-exsisting conditions. More for if you get injured or sick because you were away from home. Maybe a flexible flight home so you could change your return if you must. A difficult problem.

@Peregrinopaul , I think you have to just make a calculation how likely it is, and if the risk is low enough, go anyway. Carpe diem!

Seems like good advice to take your medical records and/or maybe wear some medical id tag that gives information?
 
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Corned Beef

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VDLP Part 2/2023
I think you'll be fairly safe with European standards of health care and emergency care - even if it *might* come at a price. All you can do is hedge the cost by finding some form of insurance.

Think of the thrill of completing your Camino without incident - and then planning the next one.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
To go, or not to go. That is indeed the question. I - and my family - can imagine possibly reckless scenarios.
I have no advice but lots of well-wishes.
Insurance sounds both essential and a potential catch-22. But if whatever you're dealing with comes on too quickly to get home in time, you'll definitely need a plan B about both treatment and getting yourself home.
Buen medical-free camino, Paul!
 

ukjohn99

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2009 St Jean to Santiago
I’m quoting, above, @Richard Smith from another thread. I thought his laconic comment warranted a thread of its own. There must, after all, be quite a few fellow travellers out there.
…because metaphorically my bits are definitely beginning to fall off. It is not a coincidence that I wrote my last thread - alluding to postponement - the day after being discharged from hospital for the fourth time in ten months with the same complaint.

I have enjoyed remarkably good health combined with a high level of general fitness until last year. (My 77th is imminent). But it turns out I have an underlying condition which has actually been around for at least 5 years but was not diagnosed conclusively until last March. I won’t bore you with medical details, but my condition, (abdominal), is potentially life-threatening requiring immediate and dangerous surgery if my body does not quickly self-rectify, as indeed it has so far. Next time it may not. The specialist told me that next time could be tomorrow, next year or even never, but the experience of the past year is far from encouraging. It’s interesting, however, that immediately after a (pre-Camino) undiagnosed occurrence in 2017, I completed the VdlP with no problems.

To go, or not to go. That is indeed the question. I - and my family - can imagine possibly reckless scenarios.

I used to say that life is a risk and "to boldly go" but now I am 76 I am much more cautious. I have an existing condition and most insurance companies won't even consider me just because of my age. I live in the UK and before Brexit, at least I had the advantage of free medical treatment in the EU. No longer. I really sympathise with your dilemma . I suppose that we make a calculated decision based on risks or just go with our instincts of what we want to do.
 

trevorcc

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPD to Santiago 2013,2014, Camino de Levante Sept. 2016, Frances March 2018, planning 2020
Having walked 4 times and I hope 5 is in 2022 (I am 72) I always take out Insurance and You have to tell about previous or current issues so read and speak with them. An example my first walk in 2013 I spent 8 days in ICU in Santiago my wife back home did the dealings with the insurance company, like all they wanted me to pay and claim when home which I did not, then they tried to say it was exsiting which it was not after that all cleared up they paid all the bills and hotels extra. The health service in Spain was wonderful better than Oz, the hospital bill alone was 30 thousand dollars all the flight changes were looked after as well....it is not right that visitors to other countries expect those countries to foot the bills take out insurance and you will be fine. in 2016 in Galicia I caught a bad cold but when they read my 2013 hospital report that is kept online the doctor gave me a head to toes checkup he was taking no chances....Oh in 2013 I suffered chronic renal failure where the doctors did not think I would make it.
 
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Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Having walked 4 times and I hope 5 is in 2022 (I am 72) I always take out Insurance and You have to tell about previous or current issues so read and speak with them. An example my first walk in 2013 I spent 8 days in ICU in Santiago my wife back home did the dealings with the insurance company, like all they wanted me to pay and claim when home which I did not, then they tried to say it was exsiting which it was not after that all cleared up they paid all the bills and hotels extra. The health service in Spain was wonderful better than Oz, the hospital bill alone was 30 thousand dollars all the flight changes were looked after as well....it is not right that visitors to other countries expect those countries to foot the bills take out insurance and you will be fine. in 2016 in Galicia I caught a bad cold but when they read my 2013 hospital report that is kept online the doctor gave me a head to toes checkup he was taking no chances....Oh in 2013 I suffered chronic renal failure where the doctors did not think I would make it.
I have read your post several times, and thank you for your very helpful remarks, which shed light on the harsh realities of this situation. I will likely respond again.
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2022
Good news. I've had a quote from Insure&Go after full disclosure for a hypothetical 6 week trip in April May. $2100. Considering the risk they're exposed to, that's a very good quote. Every other company I tried rejected me.
Wonderful!

I sometimes restore art in places like churches or government buildings. For a while I ran my own business, and the only people who are willing to insure me for that kind of risk, such as damaging priceless art, was Lloyd’s of London. It actually wasn’t even that expensive. Luckily I never found out how good the coverage was!
The logistics of that kind of stuff got too complicated, though, and now I only work as a short term employee for other people who have the kind of insurance needed.

And where I live, I feel I’m a little too close to the ocean and I keep on going back-and-forth about either selling my house or buying flood insurance.

Life starts to become all about insurance, and limiting the risk, and it’s all quite sad. Our ancestors, 100 years ago probably never worried about these things the way we do nowadays.
 

Corned Beef

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VDLP Part 2/2023
Good news that you are now seriously considering (yet another) Camino. It gets into your blood.

I'll also be reading your notes on the VDLP as I'm off there next week to a combination of rain and sun.

Our ancestors, 100 years ago probably never worried about these things the way we do nowadays.

Could I recommend you read Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice and some of the old-fashioned ways of collecting on insurance.
 
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filly

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Mid-May Almería to Córdoba
I used to say that life is a risk and "to boldly go" but now I am 76 I am much more cautious. I have an existing condition and most insurance companies won't even consider me just because of my age. I live in the UK and before Brexit, at least I had the advantage of free medical treatment in the EU. No longer. I really sympathise with your dilemma . I suppose that we make a calculated decision based on risks or just go with our instincts of what we want
I used to say that life is a risk and "to boldly go" but now I am 76 I am much more cautious. I have an existing condition and most insurance companies won't even consider me just because of my age. I live in the UK and before Brexit, at least I had the advantage of free medical treatment in the EU. No longer. I really sympathise with your dilemma . I suppose that we make a calculated decision based on risks or just go with our instincts of what we want to do.

Just to reassure you, ukjohn, there is some cover with a still-valid EHIC UK issued card. Please check out this link:


As an aside, I would like to point out that IMHO the Centros de Salud that appear on the various Caminos are always so helpful to pilgrims and rarely charge for non-surgical, non-hospitalisation interventions.

This particular thread reassures me that there are a few more years of hiking left in the old boy (moi!).
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
First, I am sorry to hear to are going through such difficult times and very serious medical issues.

Peregrino paul, you are from Australia, so I don’t know what kind of travel insurance policies are offered there? Here in the USA , there are policies that will cover for preexisting conditions, if the insurance is procured within a week or two of the purchase airline ticket.

We know very little about you medical situation and family circumstances/loved one etc. May Wisdom guide you!

My sister will be 82 and we are intending to walk again in April. So there might be post op years to walk, if you decide to go that route.

You must discern what is the best course of action. If you do decide to risk the trip Godspeed!
 
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Former member 95219

Guest
I used to say that life is a risk and "to boldly go" but now I am 76 I am much more cautious. I have an existing condition and most insurance companies won't even consider me just because of my age. I live in the UK and before Brexit, at least I had the advantage of free medical treatment in the EU. No longer. I really sympathise with your dilemma . I suppose that we make a calculated decision based on risks or just go with our instincts of what we want to do.
Hi there! Just to be 100%, clear that post UK
leaving the EU you still get the ‘free’ medical treatment in EU countries. It was negotiated. Its a massive benefit esp. for those who cannot get insurance or it’s very costly!
 

Peter Fransiscus

Be a Rainbow in someone else's cloud.
Time of past OR future Camino
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
To go, or not to go. That is indeed the question. I - and my family - can imagine possibly reckless scenarios.
You will probably get the necessary advice, but at the end you make the decision to go yourself or in consultation with others. Whatever you decide Be Safe.🙏🏻
 
Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Good news that you are now seriously considering (yet another) Camino. It gets into your blood.
I'll also be reading your notes on the VDLP as I'm off there next week to a combination of rain and sun.
Could I recommend you read Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice and some of the old-fashioned ways of collecting on insurance.
Hey! I missed this post, so a belated thanks. In the meantime I have followed your VdlP with some envy, though I'm a summer guy. Nothing definite arranged yet, but I am pretty confident I will be able to go this year,( in which case I plan to lose more than a pound of flesh before I go).
 
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