Yes, it's beautiful and cool and lovely here in our own little corner of the California north coast. The small town ambiance with almost everything we need within walking distance of our little rental house. What's not to love?
Well, there's this.
And there's also a health care issue here.
Because we live 350 miles north of the closest big city and airport,
San Francisco, there is very little incentive for excellent health care
professionals to venture up this way. There is one little airport here
with one airline. Getting here is not easy from any direction or by any
mode of transportation. I have to admit, I always suspect that the
medical professionals who are here are not here by choice, but by
circumstance. I have been trying to find a dentist here for several
weeks. I am facing a possible serious dental situation. I went to an
emergency clinic two weeks ago. They are not taking new patients but
always see people who need immediate attention. The dentist referred me
to his dentist in Eureka. I called that dentist. He was out of town for a
week, and not taking new patients until October. He has a waiting list
to get in. I'm on it. His office referred me to two other dentists. I
called the first one, he's only in the office three times a week, and is
not accepting new patients. I called the second one, he is out of town
until July 7th, but is taking new patients after July 21st. I asked my
neighbor, a long-time social worker in the area, who she sees and she
gave me the name of her dentist. I called his office. They are not
taking new patients. See the dilemma here?
My nurse practitioner, who is
leaving the practice in July and moving out of state, told me to
take 3000 units of vitamin D3 per day for my osteoporosis, which I have
been diligently taking. When I saw her last week for a follow-up, she
asked me if I was taking the 1000 units, as she had recommended. I reminded her of what she had originally said, and she replied, "Well, I think the literature is now saying
1000 units a day is enough." Roger's
doctor at the same clinic recommended up to 10,000 units of D3 per day. That doc just moved
here from a southern state so I think he was overcompensating for lack of
sufficient sunlight (and probably losing his mind!). But really, that's
not good medical advice at all. Can I just say, "Holy shit."
Roger is five years
post colon cancer (YEAH!), but he continues to see an oncologist every
six months for blood tests and follow-ups. His new oncologist ordered a CT scan for his
recent visit. The scan was completely normal. For his next appointment
in six months, the doc ordered another scan. We both read the literature
on surveillance of colon cancer and the standard protocols recommended
by US Health and Human Services. Two CT scans in a 12 month period is
considered excessive after three years post colon cancer. After five
years it's crazy. Can I just say, "Holy shit" again.
are very serious issues for us. We are trying to maintain an upbeat
attitude, which is always easier for Roger than it is for me, but the
outlook is pretty bleak. Half the time I want to pack it in and go
someplace else. But guess what, all the beautiful places we love in
California have become highly desirable and therefore crazy expensive.
The median home price in Santa Cruz is over $700,000. That's simply
So, that's the flip side of our cute little
town. We're in the middle of nowhere on a beautiful coast, with lovely
neighbors, a wonderful co-op, a fantastic farmer's market and not a
house to be found or a good dentist or doctor either.