I have written, actually vented, about our health care system previously, but this one may win the grand prize for just plain silly.
Somehow I injured my right ankle ten days ago. Three trips to medical provider offices later, I am still having a new experience with this sort of problem. Years ago I had casts on both ankles for ligament damage which happened on the basketball court. Not all at once, of course, but various twists and sprains during the several dozen years I imprsonated an athlete.
This time is different. Not only do I not know for certain how I injured the ankle, but the pain this time is like an unwanted guest who comes and goes at will. One day I can hardly walk, the next day the ankle is stiff but I can walk without even a hint of a limp.
On to the cure.
First, a visit to urgent care, which produced no certain diagnosis, a prescription for prednisone, and a blood test which came back negative for gout.
Next, a visit to my primary care provider, who was not available so I saw a different primary care provider. She diagnosed a sprain and recommended rest, support (Ace bandage), and hot and cold treatments; whatever was more comfortable for me. And if that didn’t clear up the pain, see an orthopedic specialist (one floor up). That regimen helped a little, but this morning Mr. Pain dropped back in for a visit.
At around 10:00 a.m. I called for a referral to the orthopedic office. About five hours later I got the call to come and pick up the paperwork and proceed to the orthopedic office. There I was told my insurance (HUMANA Gold HMO) requires a 24-hour waiting period.
As I left the building, having seen no one except the receptionist at the orthopedic office, the person who made the referral called to tell me the waiting period was 72 hours.
I am left to pray that Mr. Pain will stay away for the weekend and I’ll actually get to see an orthopedic specialist Monday morning.
Thus ends this particular vent.
But wait, if you have a way to do so, I recommend reading an article in the November 13, 2015 Raleigh News and Observer: “The agonies of our health care nonsystem,” by Burgetta Eplin Wheeler. A few quotes:
“The United States is the only developed country in the world that doesn’t have universal health care.”
“One way or another, we’re all paying. The bottom line is that we are choosing to be a country that perversely prefers to spend $1 million on medical bills for the dying rather than $1,000 on a colonoscopy for the living.”