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rue-madame's Diaryland Diary

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Ce n'est pas le pied

I am sorry that I forgot to bring the digital camera with me to my podiatry appointment today. The cast was removed, and my foot is a fright. It’s bruised and yellow and has possibly the gnarliest, ugliest suture job I have ever seen. The scarecrow from Wizard of Oz has got nothing on me.

I got a whole new cast, though. It’s red (and still shaped like a potato.) It will be removed and replaced by a “boot” in a week’s time. I will try to remember to bring the camera with me next time because this shit needs to be documented. It is so frick frackin’ trippy!

Dr. K said my foot looked good and that I would be fine to walk around Montreal in July. (Did I mention we’re going to Montreal for the 4th of July?) But looking down at my poor paw, I blurted out “Hey, what’s with the Frankenstein sewing job on my foot? It looks demented!”

A bit piqued, the doctor replied, “When you sew two pieces of skin together, you can’t just leave them flat and sew them up. If you do that, when you heal and the skin relaxes, the scar stretches out. Sometimes one piece of skin can overlap the other, forming a ridged scar. I pulled the skin up and together, that way when the scar starts to form and your skin relaxes, it will just be a neat line without any protuberances.”

Me: (a little ashamed to have impugned his expertise) “Ooooh, ok. Thanks for explaining that.”

(The scar, by the way, won’t be on the side of my foot. It will be on the top, pretty much above where the bones leading to my pinkie toe are. Photo tk.)

TA was there, and as usual, his Docteur Manqué side came out. That boy loooves to ask the questions. He and Dr. K starting talking about autosutures, different brands, how certain brands have a stranglehold on certain hospitals (one reason why Dr. K prefers operating at Yale is that he prefers the materials they provide. Bet you didn’t realize that had an impact on where physicians decide to maintain their hospital privileges, huh?) Dr. K then brought out some insane contraption used to salvage diabetic limbs and talked to TA about redesigning it. It was all anodized aluminum with pins everywhere; there was even a fake skeletal foot in there, with the pins protruding out of it. Creepy.

When I remarked that it hardly looked like a friendly device (I think I called it “a missing prop from The Terminator”), Dr. K said that when patients are faced with the Terminator contraption or amputation, they usually choose the contraption. Yeah, I can see that. Diabetic limbs are way grosser than the bunionette* I had corrected.

* The good doctor has always referred to the bunion on the outside of my foot as a bunionette. For the longest time, I thought it was his way of attenuating the ignominy of imperfect feet. Turns out, it’s a technical term. Poo.

I think it’s interesting that doctors, particularly surgeons, are always looking for ways to improve the tools they use. In that way, they are very much like designers—always reconsidering the ways that they do things, always thinking about finessing and perfecting. Too bad designers don’t make as much as doctors, though.

Nice segue to: I got the information from Blue Cross of CT. I will not be paying $1307 every three months. No, that estimate was incorrect. The insurance company wants me to pay $2,349.33 ($2,911.66 Canadian! 1941,53 Euros!) quarterly. This is totally ridiculous and not financially feasible for me (not right now, and not in the next 6 months.)

Did you know that most personal bankruptcies in the United States are filed by people who cannot afford their healthcare? Do you realize that rising health care costs are forcing even giant corporations to struggle? What hope is there for me--a tiny little individual, a speck--to be adequately taken care of if even salaried employees at places like GM can’t get coverage? I’m not saying it’s better in France (even though there’s a quark particle of me that believes that it is, Jess who signed my guestbook a while ago) I’m just saying there is something fundamentally wrong with the system that’s in place. I’m going to write to my congresswankers and ask them why it is that they’re entitled to decent healthcare but I am not. Why can’t I buy into their group? I pay taxes. And despite chronic asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, I’m in much better condition than most of them!

What makes me really sad is that TA has been talking about not going to graduate school. He can’t defer his dream again just so that I have health insurance! That’s not fair, and it’s a sacrifice I can’t ask him to make. I am going to find a solution to this conundrum if it kills me (and believe me, being dead right now is way cheaper than being alive, people.)

11:24 a.m. - 2005-06-15

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