Health Update: Surgery in my Forecast

Water Canyon BLM

Coach and Workhorse are ready to go

I want to again thank you for your advice, encouragement, and concern the past few weeks here on the blog and Facebook regarding my unexpected health emergency. During my preparations to travel Full-time, I made plans for my health and emergencies, but I really didn’t expect to need it this soon. Do we ever?


My fractured T8 vertebrae continue to put my travel plans on hold! Jagger and I had planned to start our slow migration North to Montana by leaving for the Sonoran desert on January 7th, specifically Ehrenberg, then on to our home base for a late April arrival. That didn’t happen. Now I’m hoping to leave the first week in March. Only time will tell.

Jagger is Ready

Jagger is Ready to go

Preparing for Surgery

After consulting with four doctors over the last month, I’m feeling pretty comfortable that my fracture can be successfully corrected with a “Vertebral Augmentation–Kyphoplasty” procedure. Since the back fracture was identified so quickly, the chances of a successful procedure are greater. I’m told this will help prevent future fractures by stabilizing my spine. The MRI shows while I do have osteoporosis, there are no bulging vertebrae. Only one vertebra is compromised, which can be stabilized. While there is always a risk with any surgery, the doctor who will be performing the surgery this coming Monday morning is confident I will come out of this procedure with little or no back pain. Also with the ability to continue my lifestyle roaming our Country experiencing adventure along the way.

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Southern California is in our future

One of the positive things to come out of this process is knowing that the emergency procedures I set up including my health insurance choice during my early full-time planning, has worked out quite well.

The timing couldn’t have been better for a health-related emergency considering all the remote places I have been over the last four years. Here I’m able to stay with my Son as I heal with loving family members available to care for me. Also, the medical resources in the greater Pheonix area are huge. I’ve been admitted twice to two deferent hospitals with three ER visits. One of those visits was by ambulance, my first not that I wanted the ride. There were many doctors and technicians analyzing all of the data collected by some of the most advanced equipment available. I now know that many parts of my body are in better shape (from all the testing) than I even dreamed which is a good feeling.

I’ll keep you posted on the Retired Vagabond website and Facebook as much as I am able. Thanks for all the support.

Safe Travels…Gary and Jagger

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2 Comments

  1. Sydney February 2, 2018 Reply
    • RetiredVagabond February 2, 2018 Reply

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