Last night my wife and I had occasion to be consumers in the healthcare system: a visit to the E.R. (nowadays called the E.D.) for a flare-up of her foot problem. We used digital resources in two ways: digital x-rays, and hospital quality data provided by the government – your tax dollars at work, to enable informed choice, if you use it! We did.
- 11 years ago Ginny broke her left foot just before we went on a long trip. The break wasn’t obvious at the time – she’s had foot and leg pain for decades – but during the trip it got really bad. A nurse in Belgium wrapped it tightly, and by the time we got home, it was back to normal, pain-wise – as okay as it ever is.
- In 2008 a flare-up led us to get a consult at Beth Israel Deaconess in Boston. The ortho diagnosed a non-union fracture, untreated prognosis – a break that was not recognized at the time and “healed” wrong. The x-rays also showed extensive bone cysts – fluid-filled holes where there should be solid bone. This would make it hard to fix the bones because there’s not enough bone to screw anything into. So, at the time, the patient (Ginny) and doctor agreed on watchful waiting. The cysts also weaken the bone, contributing to pain.
- Life has gone on, with the ups and downs that are familiar to anyone with chronic pain.
Current episode and decision to act: