My blog posts usually are confined to posts about road adventures, family, occasional recipes, and a lot of funny sights, avoiding hot topics like politics, religion, current events.
Since we returned home from our recent travels abroad, there's been a fair amount of catching up to do — unpacking, household chores and some purging and drop-offs to local thrift stores.
That said, some of the most important things we've been doing involve healthcare.
Most fellow bloggers reading this post will already much about topics mentioned here, so there won't be a lot of medical info. Much more extensive information is available online.
Also, the purpose of this post is not to persuade anyone to participate in any of the procedures or vaccinations mentioned herein.
Those decisions are strictly your own, as they should be. Everyone should do what he/she feels most comfortable with for their own well being.
These medical procedures are what we've done in the past couple of weeks.
Screening mammogram: As any female can attest, this procedure can be uncomfortable 😟, but at least brief. After telling myself I was done with it since reaching age 74 this year, I reversed that decision. Many sources recommend screening mammograms every other year from ages 40 to 74. New guidelines do not include recommendations for women after age 74, as there is limited data on whether mammograms save lives in that age group.
My re-thinking that previous decision was the result of losing two female friends, Linda and April, within the past four months. Both had been previously diagnosed with breast cancer, which returned and was especially aggressive for both.
Prostate Exam: This is the male equivalent of an uncomfortable procedure (no details here). Grenville went for an exam this week. The American Cancer Society recommends men start cancer screenings at age 50. Screening is generally not recommended in men over 75 as potential benefits are outweighed by the risks in this population.
2023 is the first fall and winter virus season where vaccines are available for 3 viruses deemed responsible for most hospitalizations – COVID-19, RSV, flu.
RSV Vaccine: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common respiratory virus that can cause mild, cold-like symptoms. While most people recover in a week or two, RSV can be serious especially for infants and older adults, more likely to develop severe symptoms that need hospitalization.
There's no maximum age for getting an RSV vaccination. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends adults 60 and older can receive a single dose of the vaccine. This will provide protection against RSV disease in adults 60 years and older for at least two winter seasons, when RSV normally circulates.
Updated Covid: Here we go again. The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against potentially serious outbreaks this fall and winter. Updated vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are available now in many retail pharmacies. In most cases there is no charge.
Returning from our recent trip abroad, several group members posted on a messaging app that they'd been infected with COVID symptoms, some more severe than others. Since we're traveling out of the country (again) in a few weeks having as much protection as possible is never a bad thing.
Flu Shot: All persons aged 6 months of age and older, with rare exception, are recommended to get the annual influenza (flu) vaccination every season appropriate for their age and health status. September and October are the recommended best times for most to get vaccinated. More information can be found online at the CDC and other websites.
This week, I completed the RSV and COVID vaccinations and will get the flu shot within a couple of weeks. We have Medicare and supplemental medical insurance. There was no cost for any of these procedures or/vaccinations.
As stated earlier, every medical decision is a personal one to make yourself or with input from your medical professional. Personally, we hope that everyone stays healthy and takes advantage of all preventative measures available. (Our screening results were thankfully negative. The vaccines may produce soreness at the injection site, usually upper arm.)