Sunday, August 16, 2009

"Let's wait and see," he said. Exactly a year later, I went back to him with my foot. He still had no clue, so he decided to send me to a specialist. At the time, my insurance, like so many plans, did not allow me to decide for myself whether or not I should see a specialist. He sent me, after a full year of suffering constant pain, to the best podiatrist in Seattle. He looked at my X-rays, poked at my feet and announced that I had soft tissue damage and now that a year had passed, it was too late to do anything but amputate my little toe. Or I could wear shoes with a straight last, shoes that cost $300 dollars.

The shoes eased the pressure on my throbbing foot, and the following year, my school district offered a new insurance option, slightly more expensive of course, wherein one could refer oneself to a specialist. I jumped all over that. Over the next several years I found 6 different ortho guys who also perused the X-rays and found nothing. I kind of gave up and went with my $300 shoes. Then, after moving from Everett to Tacoma, one of the other ailments I had brought to my "wait and see" doc got so much worse I needed a complete hysterectomy. While in the hospital with a morphine drip, my foot hurt so bad I could not sleep. OK, I thought, one more podiatrist.

My new podiatrist looked at my old X-rays and immediately saw two breaks in my fifth metatarsal. That was ten years ago, and although my foot still hurts, I now have much better ways to deal with it. It will never be cured. That ship has sailed.

All this talk about having a government bureaucrat come between you and your doctor is amusing to me. A bureaucrat might have been helpful, since my own doctor came between me and my health care. Options people, we want options. It may be true that the best health care exists in the USA, it is also true that our system often keeps us separated from it. That's ridiculous.

The hysterectomy, BTW, went very wrong and that will be the subject of a future installment of Rosewoman's take on health care needs in America.

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