“The Art of Medicine Consists of Amusing the Patient While Nature Cures the Disease.” --Voltaire

Post arthroscopic knee surgery Jill Plumb hospital gown
Jill, post surgery. I don't
think she smiled the rest of
the day. 
My wife just went under the knife.  For two years now, she has been living with chronic pain in her knee after a bizarre accident backstage in her auditorium. The surgeon didn't find much. A little scar tissue and some laxity in her PCL, but nothing that would explain the constant pain, and he did little to soothe our fears that her pain wouldn't be ongoing.

My wife isn't a wimp. She has a higher pain tolerance than I do, so when we heard that almost nothing was out-of-whack, we were met with a strange emotion: disappointment.

That injury changed our life. We like to be active athletically, and she's been handicapped, and it has stymied my activities as well. Because it's a worker's comp. case, we felt like they slowed down her recovery to a snails pace, and gave us the cheapest, least effective (READ: cheap), treatment options available.

Broken knee cap x ray torn ACL PCL ripped up picture
Okay, maybe finding "very little" is better
than dealing with this.  
So when we finally demanded this arthroscopic surgery, it felt like a victory. Answers. "Something is wrong, I don't care if you can't find it on your MRIs or fancy imaging machines, her body isn't functioning right!" Then to hear that there wasn't much there physically, and maybe the damage is in the nerves...well, that just sucks.

It's hard to be an advocate for yourself.  To demand better treatment from subpar, or indifferent, medical practitioners. It's hard to get good service in the one area it should be guaranteed: quality of life.

My own doctor abruptly quit the practice this month. I've shared a little of our antagonisms in a few blogs, but realistically, he was what I needed. A no-nonsense, tell it like it is, guy, who was determined to get to root of my problematic innards while caring nothing for how I felt on the inside.

Pinocchio as a mule donkey jack ass with jiminy cricket disney
Yes, he had terrible bedside manners. The man was an ass. An Indo-American gaandu. If he is Hindu, I think he will be reincarnated as a donkey. Can I make it any clearer how unfriendly the man was?

As a parting gift, he failed to send my prescriptions in to the pharmacy. I finally had some medications that kept me mostly pain free, and now I can't receive them, because my doctor took a leave of absence, and they can't approve a RX without a practicing doctor. I can hear him in on the beaches of the Ganges saying, "Take that you fat bastard!"

Hindi India playing sitar on the Ganges river shore beach
I think if I take a leave of absence from teaching, I'm going to learn the sitar. 

It's fine. I don't want medicine. I never did. I hate medicine. I want to get better. I want a cure, not a daily pill. But it's America, and cures are shielded by dollar bills and corporate crutches.

It's amazing how many people on both sides of the political spectrum agree that our health care system is messed up, but can't ever seem to get together and solve any of these problems. I'm so tired of partisanship stopping progress that I'm ready to oust everyone. Vote opposite of whoever is in office.  Obamacare won't solve our medical problems, but than again, what is the opposition offering ... continuing with the status quo, which has seen medical costs inflate over 50% since the year 2000?

Historic Camel cigarette advertisement doctor promotes smoking More Doctors prefer Camels
We are the richest nation in the world, we pay five times what any other nation pays for similar services in the medical field, and yet 36 nations enjoy better health care services than we do! We are basically a third world country, health wise.  How many of us avoid the doctor, because we don't want to pay a co-pay, let alone be treated like we are inconveniencing our doctor? How many of us go years without seeing a doctor, because we can't afford it?

Why do we accept such cut rate medical care at extortionist prices? Because we are in pain, and they know it.

So we limp on, limbs against the gauze wrap, subconsciously yearning for a pain remedy.

(Sorry F. Scott, that was pathetic).


  1. Hoping your wife is soon feeling up to par. Make sure you get a copy of Are Your Prescriptions Killing You. (http://www.amazon.com/Are-Your-Prescriptions-Killing-You/dp/1451608403) Some drugs are downright deadly.

    1. Thanks Penelope. I checked out the book and it has really good reviews. I don't read much non-fiction, but I might just have to get that book (it might just save my life).

  2. OMG, don't even get me started on healthcare in this country! As someone with a laundry list of illnesses, injuries and chronic weirdness going on in the bodily-functioning area, I have serious beef with the healthcare system. Don't even get me started on the "pre-existing condition" load of crap that made it impossible for me to be insured my entire life, so that means as one of society's poorest, I had to pay tens of thousands of dollars for life-or-death medical treatments...
    Grr...deep breaths, Natalie...
    I'm sorry to hear about your wife's knee injury. I don't have much cartilage in either knee (old soccer injury), so I know how debilitating it can be. Hoping she recovers!

  3. You're right man. It's an awkward place to not be able to afford to get sick. It's even more confusing to pay a huge sum each month for health insurance that covers some of the bill some of the time. It's like playing roulette hoping for a low number when Doctor bills come in.

    I do hope that your wife gets to feeling better. I'm sure she needs 2 good wheels to kick you in the butt every once in awhile.

  4. You need to find a good Chiropractor. A lot of them tend to be natural health type folks who have helped me out quite a bit. It can just be a pain to find one worth their weight in bovine defication.

    The largest issue is how much the government gets involved in our medical system. I mean, does it really make sense to charge $26,000 for an electronic wheel chair "because that is what medicare will pay". Yea, friend of mine heard that. Except he makes too much money for medicare. So now he is making car sized payments on an electronic wheel chair for his son.