Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oh the painful irony

I screwed up my shoulder when I was scrubbing the lawn chairs a couple of weeks ago. It was getting better for a while but in the last couple of days, it took a turn for the worse. I'm in nearly constant pain. It hurts to open a can of freaking seltzer water and it kills when I have to shift while I'm driving but I don't have health insurance anymore, so I'm trying to tough it out. Ironically, I have to go get a checkup so I can get my prescriptions renewed but I don't want to go in hurt. If there's something really wrong with it, I don't want to know.

Even more ironic, I ran across this item today.
In Japan, waiting times are so short that most patients don’t bother to make an appointment. One Thursday morning in Tokyo, I called the prestigious orthopedic clinic at Keio University Hospital to schedule a consultation about my aching shoulder. “Why don’t you just drop by?” the receptionist said. That same afternoon, I was in the surgeon’s office. Dr. Nakamichi recommended an operation. “When could we do it?” I asked. The doctor checked his computer and said, “Tomorrow would be pretty difficult. Perhaps some day next week?”
Via Doug J who added this anecdote.
It’s almost hard for me to believe this kind of thing, but I’ve seen it first-hand. When I was in France with my parents a few summers ago, my dad had a nasty flu and was afraid he might need medical attention if he didn’t improve soon. We called up and were told that a doctor could stop by the next morning if he still felt bad.

And we pay over 50% more per person for health care than Japan or France.
I'm thinking if it does turn out there's something seriously wrong with me, it will be cheaper to travel to a country with socialized medicine. A plane ticket is way cheaper than an operation here. And I haven't taken a real vacation in four years.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

It's amazing how the power of a handful of bogus anecdotes will block us from seeing a world of evidence - a world of proof that public health care works.

But when our country listens to Lyin' Bill and buys anti-French bumperstickers from him to put on their Japanese cars, you can't hope form much better than what we've got.

3:44:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Sometimes I despair for the future of this species. Most others cull out the weak and stupid but we've figured out how to let them breed.

8:20:00 AM  

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