If you recall, I injured my left knee about two weeks ago and tweaked it again about a week ago. I made an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon and saw him today. What a colossal waste of time. I was there for about two hours and actually saw the doctor for about a total of four minutes. Yep, four minutes.
After waiting quite a while in the waiting room I got ushered to the examination room where I waited even longer. The doctor came in, didn’t sit down, and started asking me a couple questions (when did I hurt it, where does it hurt). I’m the one who asked about the possibility of a knee brace so he said he’d talk to “the girls” to see if they had a knee brace that would fit me (I’m fat, if you recall).
I waited again and in came someone who didn’t introduce herself to me who proceeded to measure my thigh. She then went to get a brace and, no surprise, it didn’t fit. She left and a little while later the doctor came back. He told me she thought that there was no place in town that would have a brace that would fit me. Splendid.
The doctor then told me that there might be a problem with me getting the cortisone shots in the office (I have bone spurs and acute arthritis in both knees and I’m going to get shots before The Big Trip). He was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to get the shots in the right place and I might need to have it done at a hospital in the radiology department so they can do it with x-ray guidance. So off he goes again to discuss it with a nurse. Again, I waited.
The nurse finally came in and told me that the doctor decided I should go ahead and have the shots done at the hospital. Wonderful. I am NOT looking forward to that. I wasn’t too enthused with the prospect of shots in the knees to begin with, but now it’s this whole big deal.
I came away from the appointment feeling frustrated and pissed off. First of all, you see all those beefy football players with knee braces and yet they can’t find one to fit me. Second of all, why did I only get four minutes of my doctor’s time? I’m sure he’s going to bill it as at least a 15 minute consultation but he can’t sit down and talk to me about my concerns? And finally, I’m pissed off at myself for being fat. Regardless of how heavy a person is, however, I think they deserve good healthcare. I really feel like doctors have dismissed me and my concerns because of my size. They simply blame everything on my weight and don’t investigate any further. It’s easier and faster for them to tell me to lose weight rather than really take the time to listen and consider my concerns.
So here’s my plan of attack: I’m going to be pissed off the rest of the day then I’m going to get up in the morning and call around to home health companies to see if they can help me get a knee brace. And if they can’t help me, if larger knee braces really don’t exist, then I’ll just have to muddle through on my own. Companies really need to start making equipment that fit the population they’re serving. Large people are probably more susceptible to knee problems so why not make braces in larger sizes?
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Okay, I just searched for some large sized knee braces and guess what? I found some! Those people at the doctor’s office obviously don’t know what they’re talking about. The ones I found are at a regular mail order company so insurance wouldn’t cover it, but if a regular store has them I would hope that a home healthcare company would have them available. Either way, I’ll be able to get a knee brace. So stick it, Dr. Hill!