Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Just Because You Have Health Care Don't Expect health Care

 I do have health care.

It costs a lot each year, but I don't have any co pays and any doctor that I have considered has been happy to accept what I have.

It's interesting to see what that means in practice, however.

My right hip has become a real problem, my right foot has a toe that has resisted any amelioration from three surgeries over 14 years, and my left foot has just recently flared up with a burning pain spot, probably somehow related to a tendon - I would guess.

But since I am not a doctor and therefore know that guessing is a waste of time, I recently visited a consulting orthopedic surgeon about all three of these irritating maladies.

She referred me to two specialists who are other members of the practice of which she is a part.

My daughter was interested in what came of those appointments.

Here is the email I sent her answering that question.

"I went to the foot orthhopod on Monday.

His assessment is that I need another operation on my right foot - an operation much like two of the three I have already had - but that I couldn't have it, because of the reason for my appointment - and for the subsequent assessment for the need for another operation - the sore toe, precludes any surgery.  

"No surgeries if you have a sore toe".

I had already told him that I was coming to him even though I was going to need hip replacement surgery prior to any foot surgery - and that I had an appointment in a week or so with another surgeon in his practice to talk about that; "no surgeries if you have a sore toe" said he, with the grim look of satisfaction that Nurse Ratched made famous in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest .

So we moved on.

He didn't want to talk about my left foot because he only does one thing per appointment.

When I resisted, pointing out that every appointment for me involves a day getting to Seattle from Lopez Island, and a day for the appointment itself, he relented and prescribed stiff soled shoes.

So I guess I am going to have to learn to live with the left foot pain (although I am not at all convinced that I am going to go through another foot surgery, either).

I am hoping to finesse the sore toe when I talk to the hip guy, because I really do need to get the current one replaced (in the appointment with the the consulting orthopod  who referred me to these two other members of her practice, she said as a starting point 'has no one told you that you have bone on bone arthritis in your right hip?'  I just hung my head like a guilty prankster caught in some heinous act: I didn't think it appropriate to say 'no, but when I brought up my belief in my annual 2017 physical that I needed to begin planning for hip replacement my PCP told me I needed to see a physical therapist; which I did; and the hip got worse; so I went to Italy for a month, and while limping around Venice, it went away; until it came back in March 2020').

So having ostensible health care is really not all it's cracked up to be. 

It seems to me.

I'll regale you with whatever comes of my hip appointment after it happens.

Oh, and the foot guy gave me three antibiotic gel toe separators.

Growing old is becoming an increasingly ridiculous enterprise".

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