GB - Where have you been?

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Gaybutton
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GB - Where have you been?

Post by Gaybutton »

Folks, I have had a few messages wondering why I have been rather inactive on the board lately. I was planning not to say anything about it, but now I think I owe it to the board members and non-members who regularly read this board to explain.

Those who know me well also know for many years I have had a frequent urination problem. I was rarely able to last more than an hour or so without having to go. I had been to urologists before. Some recommended various prescriptions. Two attributed it to my age. Nothing worked.

What is happening now began February 3. I finally got sick and tired of it and decided to try a urologist again, thinking maybe by now they've come up with a new medication to try. I definitely was not expecting what happened next.

I went to an appointment with a urologist at Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital. I explained the problem and the things that had been tried in the past. After a preliminary exam he said he wants to do an ultrasound. After that was done he told me there is something in my bladder that shouldn't be there. He scheduled me for a cystostoscope exam, in which a camera is inserted into the bladder. A very unpleasant experience to say the least.

The result of that was he found that it was a tumor and he will have to do an operation to remove it. That surgery took place on February 15 and I found myself on a catheter when I woke up. The tumor was sent off to a lab to see if it was cancer. And yes, it was cancer.

However, I am extremely lucky. It was in a very early stage and it is completely gone and highly unlikely to recur. It actually had nothing to do with the frequent urination problem. If I had not decided to get myself checked out and just went on living with the frequent urination, who knows what might have eventually happened?

The bad part was my prostate was quite enlarged and that was most likely responsible for the urination problem. When they removed the catheter and released me from the hospital, I ended up in the emergency room around 5:00am the next morning. I was unable to urinate at all. They had to insert a catheter again.

How about that? I went to the hospital because of very frequent urination and ended up unable to urinate at all.

The urologist said I will need a second surgery. I will not have to lose the prostate, but it will have to be trimmed back. He said once I recuperate from that surgery I will be able to urinate normally and the prostate will still function normally for sex (thank goodness). That surgery was on March 4. I was in the hospital 3 days before they released me.

But now I am able to urinate again. No more catheter. The doctor said it will take a month for everything to fully heal and I should make a full recovery.

I feel fine now, but I do get tired easily. This ordeal has taken a lot out of me, but I'm getting better every day. I am not allowed to do much of anything during the recuperation period and am absolutely forbidden from lifting anything heavy - which I rarely do anyway.

I don't like the idea that I have reached the age when these kinds of things are going to start happening, but at least I was truly lucky about how things worked out.

And thank goodness for my Cigna Global health insurance. The total for everything has gone to nearly 600,000 baht - the equivalent of around US $19,550. All I have had to pay out of pocket was the deductible - one for each surgery. Total cost for me was US $750.

So, here I am. I've been trying to keep up with the board as best as I can.

catawampuscat
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Re: GB - Where have you been?

Post by catawampuscat »

Good to hear you took charge of your health issues.
Did you buy Cigna Global health insurance through an agent in Thailand. I’d appreciate name and contact info.
Is there an age restriction?

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Re: GB - Where have you been?

Post by Trongpai »



Is this procedure, REZUM/steam procedure available in Thailand?

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Re: GB - Where have you been?

Post by Gaybutton »

catawampuscat wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:47 pm
Did you buy Cigna Global health insurance through an agent in Thailand. I’d appreciate name and contact info.
Is there an age restriction?
I bought it directly from their web site after several conversations with their sales agent. Their office is located in Glasgow, Scotland.

Their web site is: https://www.cignaglobal.com/

As long as you don't have a history of HIV, I think, but am not certain, there is no age restriction. I do know that once you have the insurance, there is no age limit as long as you pay the premiums.

By the way, since posting about this I had another pleasant surprise from Cigna. My policy covers inpatient. I opted out of outpatient because outpatient prices in Thailand are usually inexpensive enough that I thought just paying outpatient fees out of pocket made the most sense. The surprise was the first two visits - the ultrasound and the cystostoscope - were done as outpatient. The cystostoscope is the most expensive - 20,000 baht. Just on a whim, assuming nothing would come of it, I submitted those bills to Cigna. Three hours ago they paid them - via direct deposit into my Thai bank account. I never thought they were going to pay those, but they did.

I can't recommend Cigna highly enough. They pay the hospital directly - no paying yourself first and having to wait for reimbursement. You only pay the deductible - and they have many choices for deductibles. For those of you who are expats, my advice - if you can get Cigna, then get it.

For me, and I hope for everyone reading this, the lesson learned is none of us are getting any younger. If you have some sort of medical issue or something just doesn't seem quite right, get it checked out. Don't wait. From now on, that's what I'm going to do. I don't think I need to tell anyone what would have eventually happened if I had continued to ignore the problem. I won't make that mistake again.

If I die, it won't be because I hesitated about getting problems checked or was afraid of what they might find. I like my life. I'd kinda like to keep it going a while longer . . .

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Jun
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Re: GB - Where have you been?

Post by Jun »

Good to hear you caught this early and get well soon.

Regarding Cigna insurance, what happens to premiums as you get older or start requiring more treatment ?
I'm not particularly familiar with the workings of health insurance, as we have taxation funded healthcare in the UK, whether we like it or not.

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Re: GB - Where have you been?

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 5:32 pm
Regarding Cigna insurance, what happens to premiums as you get older or start requiring more treatment ?
The premiums go up every year, not by very much, regardless of whether you have made any claims. The premiums do not go up based on whether you have made claims. They go up based on your age.

If anyone has specific questions about this insurance, you're probably making a mistake asking me. I suggest it is better to just contact Cigna and ask them your questions.

With the package I chose my premiums amount to about US $5400 per year, which I think is a damned good deal. I certainly got my money's worth from this miserable experience. They have many package choices. The premiums depend on which package choice you choose and which deductible level you choose. You can pay annually, semi annually, quarterly, or monthly. You can arrange to have the premium automatically deducted from your bank account.

My health insurance is specifically for expats. It is good anywhere in the world, at any hospital, but not in your home country.

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Re: GB - Where have you been?

Post by traveller123 »

Yes I had missed you posting on The Board and wondered if everything was OK.
I'm very pleased to hear of a successful outcome and send my best wishes for your continuing recovery

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Re: GB - Where have you been?

Post by puan »

GB glad to hear you in recovery and things going well. Hope you 100% soon.

Catawampus sent you a PM.

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Re: GB - Where have you been?

Post by Gaybutton »

puan wrote:
Wed Mar 10, 2021 7:36 am
Catawampus sent you a PM.
Thank you.

If he sent a PM, I have not received it.

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Re: GB - Where have you been?

Post by puan »

Oooops GB...my error and miss communication.

I meant to say....

Catawampus, I sent you a private message.

Sorry, my apologies.

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