I just experienced my personal internal version of global warming.  I caught the classic week-long childhood flu (everything listed on the NyQuil bottle) complete with an escalating fever that reached 102.1 before tapering off.  I usually run a cool 96.8, so that was a bit much. I started wondering at what point does a fever start cooking and killing your brain cells?  I need every one I’ve got.

This is the first time I’ve been sick on the boat other than bouts of Mal de Mer and one freak incident brought on by not enough salt (go figure).  I figured that being on the boat kept me away from the hordes of sniffling coughing humanity and that outside living kept me strong.

Think again.

While radiating so much heat that the dog wouldn’t sit near me I had time to think about how fear of illness is one of the things that prevents people from cruising.  What if I get sick? is a common refrain when justifying not going anywhere.  As my temperature crept up, my buddy boat and I considered options for health care.  I wish I could afford health insurance but I can’t – in this country.  And that means that I cannot also afford any fines that might penalize me for not having health insurance. I have heard about a Cruiser’s Health Insurance, good anywhere in the world.  I’m looking into that.

My Buddy Boater has Kaiser and he called in to see what they would do for him if he had my symptoms.  They were going to sell him a dose of Tamiflu for about $100 (on top of his monthly charges).  Wow.  Tamiflu that isn’t useful after being sick for 48 hours and has a ton of side effects.

The local walk-in clinic said they would charge $100-200 for the check up and any medicines would be additional.  I didn’t want to pay them to tell me to do what I was already doing – constant fluids, chicken soup, rest.

Fortunately this morning I am on the mend.  And the answer to What if I get sick? is the same whether you are on a boat or on land.  You take care of yourself the best you can.  And hopefully you have a Buddy who brings you ice and Kefir and ginger ale.



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