By Charlie Schrenkel, L140050
I’m lying on my back on a gurney that is demonstrating its distant kinship with a shopping cart, in that it has one of those prerequisite wobbly wheels. I’m okay. I finally decided that the cataract I have been nurturing in my left eye for some time had to be corrected. Actually, my eye doctor decided, and I agreed.
I have since learned that cataracts can affect anyone from age 40 or so onward to the “golden years,” which start at around age 55. (That was a joke.)
I have been lying here for about an hour as several nurses, each with a different bottle of something or other in her hand, prep my left eye. A little swish of this; a dab of that. A “This will dilate your pupil,” a “This will help numb your eye,”and so forth. My apprehension grows as their nonchalant attitude makes me wonder how I got this far. To be truthful, the nurses are very comforting, since I have never done this before.
Finally, the time arrives. It is my turn. I am pushed or pulled from what the nurses gleefully called the “taxiway” onto the “runway” that leads to the operating room. The doctor is there, or at least I think that’s him, because he has disguised himself behind a very colorful mask. I don’t tell him, but I have followed instructions, and there is not a thing in my pockets! I’m told that a very bright white light attached to a microscope will be placed over my left eye. Sure enough, here it comes . . . .
The nurse is helping me sit up on the gurney. I ask, in my most manly voice, “What’s the matter? Did the doc have a phone call or something? Did I fail; did I say something wrong?”
“No,” she replies, “Your procedure is complete. The doctor removed the cataract and replaced it with a traditional monofocal lens.” I ask how long this took and she replies, “Oh, about eight minutes.”I ask where I had been for those eight minutes, and she says they had given me a small sedative. Boy, am I glad it was small. I didn’t see a thing, I didn’t feel a thing, and the recovery was without problems.
All of us in the motorhoming family will, at some time, have a health problem that creeps up on us and, for various reasons, fail to correct it, either because of a fear of the unknown or because we say to ourselves, “It’s not that bad.” I am sharing my experience with all of you because I see much better than ever out of that eye. Colors are much more radiant and the highway signs have finally been changed to where I can read them much more easily.
One of the major reasons we love this lifestyle is the ability to enjoy the freedom of travel in our houses on wheels; to see sights many only get a chance to see in a magazine or on film; to visit our families and our friends and fellow motorhome travelers, whether in the United States or Canada. Health is a very important part of our lifestyle. It is as important, if not more important, than the care of our motorhomes. We clean the windshield each time we get ready to leave on a trip. We have our motorhomes serviced at proper intervals and check the fluid levels; check the air in our tires; and so forth. We should also check the dipstick in the most important part: our human motor and its accessories.
I sure do like those bigger, easier-to-read road signs.
Safe and healthy travels.
New Accident Insurance Plan For FMCA Members
Family Motor Coach Association has partnered with Global Underwriters to offer members of the association the opportunity to purchase an accident insurance plan that provides emergency room, hospital, and accidental death insurance benefits. This new plan, called the FMCA Years program, rewards members with enhanced benefits based on their years of FMCA membership. This program supplements the accidental death and dismemberment benefits all FMCA members automatically receive (a certificate for members to print and file with their important papers appears online at FMCA.com in the Members section).
Accidents strike without warning, leaving very little room to prepare for the emotional or financial consequences. The FMCA Years plan will compensate families for loss of income due to an accidental death, dismemberment, coma, or paralysis. It provides valuable financial protection, and added peace of mind, year-round.
The FMCA Years plan can be of assistance to uninsured members “” such as those who are not able to obtain adequate amounts of traditional life insurance as a result of age, health, or certain lifestyles. And certain members may be underinsured. Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) benefits can be an inexpensive way to provide immediate financial protection over the lifetime of your FMCA membership without having to go through the hassles of medical underwriting.
The FMCA Years plan offers a number of lesser-known benefits, including a coma benefit, seat belt benefit, felonious assault benefit, air bag benefit, home alteration benefit, and vehicle modification benefit.
When an insured has been hurt and is lying in a coma, the spouse who is acting as caregiver has many extra expenses not related to doctor and hospital bills. The spouse caregiver is spending time away from home, and perhaps a job, to give attention to the person in a coma, who also may have been working prior to the accident. Bills pile up that have to be paid.
The same is true for someone who has been assaulted and can’t function normally. Again, the spouse has all the same problems when acting as a caregiver personally or must hire someone to help out. This all costs money.
If the insured ends up confined to a wheelchair as a result of the accident, the home alteration benefit will aid in building a ramp to the home. Inside the home, doorways may need to be widened, and toilets may have to be reconfigured. The same can be said for the injured person’s vehicle. Coverage is provided to help with expenses associated with modifying the vehicle so that all of the controls are around the steering wheel, for instance.
The FMCA Years plan also provides additional compensation if death should occur while wearing a seat belt and if the vehicle is equipped with an air bag.
The Hospital Indemnity and Emergency Room benefit component of the FMCA Years plan provides compensation above and beyond any expenses covered by your group or individual health plan or Medicare. It provides immediate payment to help offset medical-related expenses not covered under Medicare, Medicare supplements, or your private insurance, such as hotel rooms, food, and transportation. It provides a cash benefit that you can use as you see fit, which really helps out if you’re on a fixed income.
For additional information, see the ad that appears on page 31 of this issue of the magazine; visit www.fmca.com/fmcayears; or call (800) 423-8496.