Friday, August 9, 2013


     OUCH! The pain in my foot and ankle is unbearable. For many years I suffer tendinitis - the inflammation of the nerves and tendons in my feet. The worst part is not the pain, though. Its the helplessness, the vulnerability of my situation. I need to call Sonny, my 18 year old son, to just get up from the couch. Yesterday, we went to see a doctor at the Keiser clinic. I wrote before about my experiences with that insurance giant. I agreed to choose that insurance, because it was so much cheaper than others, and tried to have an open mind, to believe that, like my husband said, it changed for the better. Yesterday, it started pretty well. The Nurse Practicioner, who led my case before, when we were in Keiser, called me upon my request. My foot was so painful, that I couldn't imagine going to see her and then - be also sent to a podiatrist. She assured me that a podiatrist won't do anything for me that she couldn't do. She also convinced me to go do some lab tests before meeting with her. A little later, she called to say that she couldn't meet me that day, but I could have an appointment with another lady doctor. 
     Fine, I figured out the way to do all those things. In the Keiser clinic's lobby they have wheelchairs. I drove Sonny and myself there (fortunately, my right foot, which I need to use for breaking and accelerating, is not the one affected by tendinitis) then he got a wheelchair for me and pushed me in it everywhere I needed to go. There were very few people in the lab, so I finished there much sooner than I anticipated. That was good, right? Well, after that, we had to wait for close to two hours for the appointment! The night before I had very little sleep, due to the constant ache in my foot, so I sat and dreamed in the wheelchair. In about an hour, I moved to the usual chair, because my bottom began to also fall asleep on the hard seat. 
     Finally, my name was called. The nurse took us in. It could be again my imagination, but she seemed a bit morose towards me. The doctor came in, looked at my poor foot, said that there is nothing that they could do to alleviate the pain, because my stomach is in such bad shape and can't tolerate the anti-inflammatory medication. She looked like she enjoyed giving me the bad news! She didn't offer any physical therapy or anything else that could help me. "Take Tylenol" - she said. Tylenol is as likely to help me as a sip of water. I asked about some other things that my previous insurance covered. Not anymore! After three hours at the clinic all I gained were a sore bottom and a very irritated disposition. 
     In the evening, Roberta, God bless her, kept hovering around me, asking if she could somehow help me. I felt so bad! I'm supposed to take care of her! Sonny also was there at my beck and call. Taka, my blessed husband, ignored me completely. He was busy putting together a table that will hold the new TV. One time, I almost fell down while passing him. He, as I expected him to do, didn't move an ear or a muscle to help me. A little later, he came and gave me a lecture about taking care of myself. If I didn't have these experiences with him in the course of the 25 years that we were married, I might've argued and whined and accused him of being insensitive, but, by now, I know that it would've been all in vain. 
     At night, I hobbled into the bedroom and collapsed in bed with a moan. Taka started again with the admonishments about me being too lax about my health. I stopped feeling philosophical and asked: "How can you be so insensitive? If a stranger waked in with such pain, I would've ran to help them!" In answer, he walked out of the room, leaving me to try and fall asleep with the TV blaring and the lights on.
     A few hours later I was still trying to find a position in bed that would help me sleep. Taka came back and laid down. Suddenly, he asked: "So, how are you?" I didn't expect that. He continued: "Didn't the doctor give you anything to help with the pain?" The next thing he said was: "I could give you some wine to make you sleepy". Since it was already almost five o'clock in the morning, I politely declined this strange offer, but was very pleased that he made an effort, totally uncharacteristic of him, to show that he cared.

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