Showing posts from April, 2015

The Great Australian Medical System is Not Working for this Expat

I've been thinking about this blog for a while, but not writing it. I'm sorry. I hate to be such a whiner.

And it's changed from what I originally wanted to write. Originally, it was just my experience in the Nambour hospital with a broken hip, but it's become more a story about how, as an expat, I don't feel like I am being taken care of medically in Australia.

I try not to be negative about this beautiful country where I am a guest. I think Australia is a great place. If a young person, including my son, really wanted to make a home here, I'd encourage them. In many ways, it's a bubble of sanity compared to what's happening back home.

But, for me, an American just over here for a few years, this medical thing is NOT working.

Actually, so far, Nambour Hospital worked pretty well. We didn't even have to sign anything to get out of there. They will send the bill to BUPA, our private insurance. Then we will see what happens next.

My surgery happened quickl…

Beautiful Australia

I'm working hard on a blog post that is evolving and that is rather emotional for me. I am not ready to post yet, so I'm going to share some of the Australian pictures I've processed and posted to my gallery on Fine Art America for now. Australia is a beautiful place.

Glass Mountains - Extinct Volcanos
Glass Mountains
Lone Fisherman - Noosa Heads
Queensland Windmill
Sheep To Be Sheared
Misty Gold Coast Beach
Wind Surfing Surfer's Paradise

Pain Killers on the Sunshine Coast

You've probably heard that prescription drugs kill more people than illegal drugs do. I guess we all know people who abuse them to some degree. I probably know some. But you don't really worry about it because the pills are ..... legal. Those people's doctors give them the drugs and say it's OK for them to take them.

I don't think about that problem much, but it was smeared in my face this last week. As you probably know, I broke my hip and had to have surgery and stay in the Nambour Hospital on the Sunshine coast of Queensland for four days. The only hospitals I've been in previously were in Tulsa, Oklahoma, so comparing those religiously run private hospitals with a public hospital in a tropical paradise on the other side of the world is comparing apples and mangoes.

And I had a painful surgery and injury. But still. They tried to shove drugs down my throat all the time I was there and freaked when I refused them. I'm sure one guy on my ward was playing the…

Sacrifice to the Creative Gods: A Broken Hip.

I broke my hip. Can you believe it? I'm 62 and I broke my hip last Sunday. I was taking pictures at Mooloolaba Beach in Queensland, Australia, and I stepped in an indentation in the rocks in which moss was growing and DOWN! I went.

So, I spent the last week 200 km from my Brisbane home, in Nambour Hospital on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia. That's where the giant pineapple is located, just in case you're interested.

I was a strange duck in the hospital: I was likely the only American there. I was firmly informed that for sure, I was the only person there with the name of Vineyard!

I'll have a lot to say about my experience in an Australian public hospital and my experience with a broken hip in the next few weeks. 

But for now: I am OK and I will be OK. I am pretty strong and the break wasn't too bad, everything considered. Here's what happened....

Sunday we decided to see some place new, so we decided to look at the beaches north of Bribie Island, a pla…