This is not about a news article as my others have been. It is a personal experience I endured with my client who I care for about four days a week. One of my duties is to take her to her doctor appointments. The woman is 79 years old who had a stroke three years ago and a fall that broke her ankle a year ago. I took her on after her ankle healed. I should add I am a skeptic of everyone and everything including the entire medical industry.
The first appointment we made with her ankle specialist was because her ankle hurt her when she walked. That appointment resulted in a $100.00 ankle brace to hold the ankle in place during her free physical therapy which lasted only a month before she had to pay $39.00 a month and I have to guide her during this. I have now become a physical therapist! I could already see a pattern. The doctor then recommended she see the stroke specialist after we complained that her hip on the same side as her once broken but still painful ankle is. My first question was 'What could a stroke specialist do three years after the fact for her aching thigh?' He did not know but better to find out if anything could be done. If something could be done she would know. I now thought this was an entire waste of time.
So now she, and two health insurance companies, has paid for a doctor appointment, ankle bracelet, physical therapy and soon a second doctor.
Now the second doctor. This doctor walks in saying she doesn't know why the ankle doctor referred her but let's take a look and see. I feel better already! She pushed and poked and asked if she was still in physical therapy. Yes. "Well, there is nothing I can do but sometimes a stroke victim can have small improvements up to five years after a stroke so continue to do physical therapy." Really? That's it? So I said "Her hip hurts her. This was not caused by the stroke but after her fall. 'She doesn't recall if they took an x-ray anything other than her ankle' The specialist glanced at the computer saying she did not see where they did take an x-ray the hip but it could be her muscle rubbing against a bone and she could receive cortisone shots. These shots however can cause a spike in sugar and she does have diabetes....but we can give her the shots. (What? Really?) Then she decides we should x-ray her hip and see if it's something else, could be bruising after all.
While waiting for someone to bring her to the x-ray room I am also thinking. Now we have the cost of the ankle doctor, ankle brace, physical therapy, stroke specialist doctor, and an x-ray. Possibly leading to cortisone shots which leads to a visit to the sugar doctor and depending on what they decide...my imagination goes nuts thinking they will give her a sugar effecting pill that will effect her blood pressure, another pill for blood pressure that will cause heart trouble, another pill for the heart that will cause kidney failure and so we need a pill for the kidneys .....and on and on we go. Plus don't forget the follow ups.
I took her out of there and told her we will consult the third doctor, her regular physician, who started all this to begin with. FUCKED UP BULLSHIT!
Think about this. Really think about one simple recommendation from her regular doctor over a minor complaint about her sore ankle and where it took us, so far. How much money passes through the medical industry on all levels. I have elderly clients that take over 20 pills a day for all sorts of imperfections. One pill usually causes a reaction that results in another pill that causes a reaction that results in 20 pills a day until death. And the major payer is....the one who will die. Everyone else lives and pays their mortgage.
If I am ever ill with a disease, I fully expect to die. But, I promise I am not paying anyone's mortgage. I'll just accept the inevitable and save myself the hype, aggravation and false hope.
Moral of the story....go holistic and don't fall for everything you're doctor tell you.
"We smile because you're the reason my family goes to Disneyland every year"
Thinks every doctor everyday.