Posted in Issues

The Doctor is Out

My friend A is in the hospital. She had major surgery (hysterectomy) last September, and since then she has faithfully obeyed her physician’s instructions and kept all her follow-up appointments.

But something wasn’t right, and A knew it. She told the doc she was having pain. She was sent to another office for tests but when she got there she was told, “We don’t do that kind of test here.” (I’m leaving out some stuff here because I’m not clear on the complete sequence of events.) Finally A’s physician recommended that she go to the ED (emergency department—the current parlance is that the ER is now called ED).

You probably are aware that your local ED (if there is one left) is a very busy place, treating everything from the kind emergencies one would see on the tv show ER to OOC (out of control) diabetics. People who don’t have health insurance show up at the ED, but so do people that do. A is in an HMO. I found it incredible that A’s physician instructed her to go to the ED.

A went to the ED at 5:00 am yesterday morning and had surgery yesterday afternoon. She had to decide on the spot whether to have one ovary removed (the one that had developed a cyst since the hysterectomy) or have them both out (= menopause. A is in her 30’s.) She told them to take only the afflicted ovary.

A is frustrated with her physician and feels she has been mistreated.* I’m inclined to agree with her, though as I’m writing this I’m thinking that her doc did a “workaround” — that is, once he figured out she needed further surgery, rather than going through the standard procedure for referral to surgery (which may have taken months and perhaps even put her life in jeopardy), he sent her to the ED. What A perceives as mistreatment was actually the best option given our catacomb-iacal** health care system.

I’ll keep you posted.

*I should probably add here that A is very low-income and Latina, but I am loathe to insinuate that there is some class-ism or racism at work here before I know more.

**Me: What’s a word that means complicated…like labyrinthine?

Scout: Byzantine.

Me: Yeah, but worse than byzantine. Baroque. Rube Goldberg-esque.

Scout: Catacomical?

Me: Catacomb-iacal. It sounds more sinister.




This is a personal blog. Expect a potpourri of stuff.

9 thoughts on “The Doctor is Out

  1. I couldn’t bear a post without a photo. So I dipped into The Scout’s treasure trove and came up with this. Oblique thoughts included “Bush administration” and “hiding in the bushes” and “bushes are a way to hide a wall.” I also like how the one on the left is leaning a bit. One thing Bush II did was support funding for community clinics, so I give him credit there.

  2. That type of Bush never even entered my mind. I was thinking of a owie in the bush or around the bush–the leaning left bush as the one bad ovary.

  3. Tell A to hang in there. I had to have an emergency hysterectomy when I was just 24 years old and they left one ovary. It’s only in the past couple of years (I’m nearly 60) that I have experienced the symptoms of menopause. It gets better.

  4. Her ovarian cyst might have ruptured, in which case the advice to go right to the ER for emergency checkup (and possible surgery) is on the money.

    A friend of mine had a ruptured cyst and she had this scenario, opting for a full hysterectomy (she did not plan on children).

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