Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Medical Update

For the last few days I have been running around to various doctors in a hurried effort to find out what is going on with my leg/foot. To be perfectly honest, I am really frustrated with the whole medical care situation. I guess part of my frustration though is from being off the trail and getting no closer to accomplishing my goal of hiking up to Maine. Having to pay out of pocket to see an Orthopedist in short order was also an minor annoyance. I pay a good chunk of change every month for health insurance, but it seems that the good doctors and those that aren’t booked solid for the next three weeks don’t take insurance. I knew it wouldn’t be easy finding the medical care I was looking for on or just after the Fourth of July weekend, but I figured, hey, you never know. Perhaps there would be a cancellation.

By ponying up some good cash I was able to get in to see an orthopedist who did his best to get a definitive diagnosis for me in short order. X-rays were negative, so I went for an MRI, which showed that at least one of my ailments is Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome of the distal left leg. It wasn’t a stress fracture, but I was told that it wasn’t necessarily far off. That was actually the good news. In addition to that I have nerve damage in my leg and/or foot. My big toe is partially numb and when I press on the area where I was showing the Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, a good part of my foot tingles. Are there any neurologists out there that can offer some assistance? Bueller? Bueller? The soonest I was able to get an appointment with a neurologist was the 16th. I even tried the pay cash scheme without success. Being the Capitalist I am I tried to take it a step further. I offered to pay a premium on the visit in addition to the normal doctor’s fee in an effort to get them to fit me in. The concept bounced off the receptionists like bullets off Superman.

Perhaps my expectations are a little unrealistic. I keep thinking about pro athletes that have some crazy story like: being shot several times, involved in a head on collision, have a barrel of hydrochloric acid poured over them but yet are somehow ready to play the following day. Then again, professional sports teams have a full staff of specialists and medical equipment on hand to evaluate the injury within hours and answer the question: “What is my goal and what am I willing to sacrifice to achieve that goal”.

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