Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The curiosity of doctors

Once again Erik had to see a doctor. Erik's driver spent 3 hours to take him from Capitola to Redwood City to investigate and what we believed to be a check up of a wrist that had been swollen three week ago. The endless questionnaire was again full of unnecessary redundancy, at least for Erik. There were countless questions about whether Erik worked, and whether he was covered by insurance because he could not be seen unless he was covered fully. Erik has never worked. Erik has never been able to answer his own questionnaire. He does not talk. There is so much wasted effort. Why can't all the information be in one computer file? I believe it can't be done because there is no profit in making things simpler. Enough of that.

After the x-ray, there was another half hour to wait for the first doctor. He looked at Erik's x-ray and compared some of the x-rays we had brought. I gave an account of Erik's medical history; that doctor seemed to want to know something. I am already conditioned not to bore anyone. But none of the information (craniosynostosis, Legg-Perthes disease, Kawasaki syndrome) seemed to elicit any curiosity. Erik does not require a comment. He is uninteresting because things are so complicated that he doesn't fit into one neat little vignette in the doctors little brain. Finally the real doctor came in. She greeted us, including Erik-that was refreshing-and pronounced that Erik's wrist was not swollen any longer and that the x-rays showed some healing. Erik definitely had osteopenia. We knew that already. Good bye! No interest in Vitamin D deficiency, no interest in kidney failure and no interest in the fact that he might not live more than a couple of years. That information is non-existent because Erik, with all his problems does not have a diagnosis. For that, his kidney specialist had said, he would have to have the kidney biopsied, and that would not be warranted because he is is not likely to live much longer. Circular argument that. He has already lived with his problems for over 40 years. Where is the curiosity?


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