Day by Day Cartoon by Chris Muir

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Broken ankle - the sequel

Second time - broke my right fibula. Tripped on the stairs going down to let the dog out Tuesday about 1 AM. We had pulled the carpeting up in preparation to rebuilding the stairs to match the new wood floors.

Broke it the first time about three years ago - about six inches up from the ankle. Ruined my summer.

Well, this time it is a break just above the lower end of the bone - the part that constrains the ankle from sliding off the end of the tibia. I had an appointment set up for 10 AM this morning, yesterday - and someone in the office cancelled it and made a new one with the orthopedic surgeon I had look at the first broken fibula, and who I expected to fix my torn left knee meniscus next month - on Monday. Four days from now.

Now, since I don't consider myself the personal property of anyone, not even an MD, I raised hell. The doctor's answering service has a rule - after 5 PM, they are prohibited from leaving a message for the doctor. I hung up on the nice lady - didn't swear, kept my cool.

About 15 minutes later, I got a call from a third doctor in that office - could I come in RIGHT NOW?

Yes, I could. Got my wife to drive me over.

He examined me, and I have surgery set up for 7 AM tomorrow to have a plate and screws installed to reinforce the fibula until it heals.

I'm going to have words with the original ortho guy - if he figured on capturing all my surgery work by cancelling an appointment I had set up, he's got another think coming. The knee repair will be the last work he sees from me. If it was someone on his staff, without his knowledge, I will hope suitable disciplinary action is taken.

Can you imagine Joe the Mechanic calling up Fred the Other Mechanic, who you had a brake job set up with and cancelling it so he could get the work? Just because you had seen Joe a couple times in the past and this time he wasn't available when you really needed those brakes fixed?

I can't afford losing the better part of a week at work just so my "regular" surgeon can get my business. This injury is the kind you get fixed NOW - not at someone else's convenience.

Is this a glimpse into the future of American medicine under Jugearscare?

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