Sunday, March 25, 2007

Technology sometimes shows what it can go

Erik's bladder was finally checked with some very fancy equipment. The x-ray-monitor showed very crisp, clear lines of all Erik's interior structures. It was clear that Erik has a mega-ureter. Finally, something evolved from my insistence that something had to be wrong beyond the fact that something has been wrong with Erik for over 36 year. As the nurse and I saw this mega-ureter, she was incredulous that this type of test had not been done on Erik before. A mega-ureter is ordinarily a condition that is discovered in the newborn. Thirty-six years of pain and suffering for Erik. Is there a remedy? I venture to say there is none. The doctors who cared for Erik then are probably dead, and the statute of limitations has run out. But what about those who cared for him in the last few years? They just didn't want to bother. A physician seems to be home free if he ignores the patient as long as the patient doesn't die. Erik may live a while longer.

The next test was a nuclear scan. It was amazing to see the flow of radio-active particles down from the kidneys into the bladder. One kidney looked completely discombobulated. That one was the one with the mega-ureter. That kidney has hydronephrosis. The other one seemed to work like what I had seen on the internet. What would I know without the internet? Erik's case looks like something that could show up in a textbook. Thank goodness for technology.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Dental Insurance

Wouldn't it be much better to have just one insurance for the whole body, instead of two, one for the body, and one for the gums and teeth? I suggest everyone lobby to have dental insurance be included in a future revamping of the health maintenance system. The way it is right now, it is as if the jaw and teeth don't count when it comes to health maintenance. I find it rather funny that dentists and doctors don't even talk to one another. I read recently that the bacteria that cause gum disease are the same that also cause heart disease. It seems they know that in Germany. That's where I got the information. They don't really know that here. Or do they not want to know? To clarify the problem, I would like to be the devil's advocate and ask: why don't we have a separate insurance entity for the bones only, or another one called blood insurance in case the patient has a blood disease. How about skin insurance. Skin is the largest organ in the body, and it is so different from let's say our teeth. I forgot to mention that the jaw is usually not covered by either dental or medical insurance. It is the limbo part of our bodies. I had my own experience with that when I had to have a bone-transplant the size of a quarter from the lower jaw bone to the area right above my upper front teeth. The oral surgeon charged me nearly $3,000.- for that, but neither the dental nor the medical insurance felt it was in their sphere of influence. So, I was left with the bill.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

More than a hectic month

I have been on vacation, and then I had to catch up with my work. Today I am going to a St Patrick's party. There'll be musicians and good food and friends. It's a time to relax and let the corned beef and cabbage be the best I have ever had. That's especially necessary because I went to the dentist and the dentist wants nearly $4,000.- from me. I had never met her before, and she didn't pay any attention to the fact that I wanted my teeth cleaned. I told her that one of my teeth, a molar, gave me trouble. She paid no attention. She told me that another tooth, not the one I mentioned, needed a crown. I also needed a new bridge because, and that I agree with, it might have decay underneath. It seems to me this dentist has a hard time making her morgage payments. I am not sure I want to help her with that. So, instead of going to the dentist, I am going to the party.