TOE-ING THE LINE?
I live in a relatively small community. We are halfway between Albany New York and Springfield Massachusetts, both of which have an abundance of doctors and hospitals. You would think that we would have to go there for care but it is actually the opposite. The county I live in has three fine hospitals and a lot of doctors.
Doctors who come up here are definitely NOT coming for the salaries because just an hour away they would get more money and 3 hours away in Boston or New York City they would be able to make a lot more money. So it is a given that they come here for the quality of life.
Overall I am very pleased with the healthcare up here. The majority of doctors up here do something very rare – they listen. Of course there are some doctors who have the “reverse DOG complex” (spell it backwards) but that is something you will find in a lot of places and here it is easy to find a doctor who doesn't practice that self-religion. Here the quality of patient care and making sure that patients that want to be in the loop are kept in the loop has has become a driving factor and that has led to higher patient satisfaction.
Many of you know that I am a diabetic. Some of you know about the infection I got in my foot as a result of a fall last October while out in Los Angeles and that it led to the removal of bone in my right big toe this past February. It is still healing. However a side effect, when the bone was removed, that one of the tendons managed to “take over” and my toe now points straight up.
Since there is no bone left in the front joint of the toe, there is nothing an orthopedist can do and I was referred to a plastic surgeon for a consult. That was held this morning. It was agreed that we should try to do a tendon release first as that would be less invasive and, if it worked I would at least get to keep the toe. I was told that the office would phone me as soon as they had an available surgical date which would be in about two weeks.
Within minutes of getting home I received a phone call that they had a cancellation and, if I could get to my doctor’s office today, they could do the surgery in the morning. I figuratively jumped at the change. I’ve had my pre-surgical assessment and tomorrow morning I will go to the day surgical center in Pittsfield for the procedure.
It will be done as an out-patient procedure and I should be home by mid-afternoon. He said that I will have to take it easy for a couple of days but overall it should be a simple procedure.
I will know more after the surgery and, of course, that will be the topic of my next post. l
To me, this is the best type of healthcare – in that the doctor this morning spent a lot of time going through my options and what the risks were in each case. Now, this afternoon, I am all set to go because the sooner it heals the sooner I get to go back to the gym. I've been forbidden to go to the gym since October because of the wound. So I am getting more out of shape and feeling more lethargic. Needless to say it is time.