Daily Archives: August 5, 2010

Orthopedic appointment

So I had my orthopedic doctor’s appointment this morning, the first step on the road to doing something with this gnarly back pain of mine. I was totally blown away by the care and professionalism of everyone that I saw from start to finish. You must understand, I have gone through 37 years with socialized medicine and lived to tell the tale!!

Here, in the USA, you spend a lot of money on health insurance. I know Obama wants to change things around – I say leave it how it is!! Every penny spent on insurance is worth it, in my very-limited-to-one-appointment experience.

So, my appointment was for 8.30. I knew there would be forms to fill out, so I printed them off the internet and filled them out beforehand. Gotta love a clinic that is online! We showed up, saw the doctor’s sports car parked out front with the personalized number plate, and presented ourselves at reception. We waited perhaps 10 minutes until we were called in. (Ten minutes? Ten minutes? I have never been seen so quickly).

A nurse asked me a brief synopsis of the pain, made some notes and told me they would be coming to get me for x-rays shortly. “Shortly” meant five minutes. (Five whole minutes. Seriously, totally gobsmackage!) The x-ray tech was so gentle with me, took some pics of my spine and sent me to wait in an examination room. “The doctor will be with you as soon as he’s finished with a patient.” And he was!!

OrthoDoc walked in, suave and sophisticated and totally personable. He carried a computer thingy in which he took notes and stuff. He was interested in us as people – and has a great sense of humour. (We talked about the interesting things he has seen on x-rays, I related a story of one of my kids swallowing lego and seeing the lego clearly on x-ray). He called up my freshly done x-rays on his computer and we were treated to a lovely picture of my spine. Which looked to me like a spine should. Thankfully – but then I am a mommy not a doctor…. Anyhoo…. He didn’t see (or say he saw) anything hinky on the x-ray. He gave me a physical exam too, testing my strength in both legs as my left one feels numb and weak from the sciatic pain.

He prescribed a steroid pack for me – said that if there is an inflammation that this course of steroids will knock it dead and ease my pain. He warned us that the steroids might make me moody. KoD joked that he wonders what that would be like. (What a total sweetie. I guess my PMS gets quickly forgotten!!) OrthoDoc also is sending me for an MRI in case I have anything else we need to know about – we just have to wait for insurance to approve payment for the MRI (apparently the way things are done here) and then I can go get imaged. Within the week. Within the week!!! No waiting 9 months for the hospital to squeeze me in. No paying 600 bucks and bankrupting myself in the process for the privilege of going private.

The doctor told us that we would see him again after the MRI is done and the results have come through. On the way out we saw a lovely young woman who took our copayment and explained the whole getting the MRI approved procedure, and was totally bubbly and vivacious and patient and calm even though it was a crazy busy morning.

45 minutes after we entered the doctor’s office we left (45 minutes!!!), the KoD dropped off my prescription at the pharmacy, went back later to pick up my pills. I have started the meds, feel a little weird – still in major pain, but hopeful.

All in all, a very positive start to dealing with the US healthcare system.

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When was the last time you thanked him/her?

My KoD is awesome. We all know that. He does dishes, runs me baths, puts kids to bed. He goes shopping with me and won’t let me shlepp a thing. He discusses everything with me, respects and values my input with every decision he needs to make, or that we need to make together. He does plenty more besides. Maybe because of previous marital experience I cherish it all and value being treated this way even more. Every little thing he does for me I appreciate and I always make sure to thank him. He makes me feel special. He also appreciates all I do for him and for the house and the family and thanks me too.

So my question is – how much does your spouse do at home to help? Does s/he appreciate all you do? How often do you take the time to say (and mean) a simple heartfelt “thank you”? How much is it taken for granted that you do x and s/he does y?

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