Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Medical

While everyone else is gearing up for Christmas (well, the Westerners and Christians anyway) I decided to do something different -- go to the doctor about my back. The blood work and x-rays were ready so I was to see him.

So another meeting with a doctor, another consultation, and another prescription for medications, my third in eight days. I had to spend a minute to ask the doctor which ones of the old prescriptions do I keep taking and which ones do I stop. Oh, and I have to lose weight. Next appointment is on Sunday.

By the time I got home: my back ached, my tooth ached from that cavity I had filled a few days ago, my Repetitive Strain Injury was acting up a little because I was driving around, traffic was lousy, I'm now on a diet, and because of the cavity I can't eat anything hot or cold for a week, and it was still hot outside. I was miserable.

Then, like those corny old Christmas specials on TV, I received a gift. And thanks to this gift everything started looking better again, my misery vanished, and I was back to my happier self...

... prescription painkillers!

Wow, those things work like a charm! It's amazing how much better you feel about things when you're not in pain and discomfort.

Back to health care. When I first saw the back doctor (a neurosurgeon) he wanted me to undergo some blood tests, x-rays, and an MRI. Did the blood tests and the x-ray immediately thereafter, and made an appointment for the MRI, which would be in three weeks. When I spoke to the doctor today he asked about the MRI and I told them I had made a booking for January 11. He immediately said, "no, no that's too long, go back and tell them to get an earlier appointment, if you pressure them they will do it."

I thought that was strange, I thought three weeks for an MRI was pretty good (in Canada it would be). So I went back to the MRI area and told the clerk at the appointment desk that I had an appointment through January 11 but the doctor would like me to have it earlier. So he did a bit of typing on his computer, then said:

"Okay, comeback at 4:30 this afternoon"

So I had an MRI appointment for the same day! In fact, I just got back from it. (Are you reading this Health Canada!?) That's why my next appointment with the doctor is Sunday, to discuss my MRI results.

Now I do not want anyone to worry that I will be spending Christmas sitting in some corner alone in the dark. I'm visiting friends tomorrow morning, and going to another friend's place for Christmas dinner. I have also booked my plane tickets for Canada so in about five weeks time I will be with my family having our usual late-Christmas. And thanks to prescription painkillers I should enjoy it all, even though I will not be eating as much as I would have liked.

Merry Christmas everyone!


A 2 Z said...

Through the public system it takes 6 to 8 months to get an MRI. Privately you can get one the same day BUT it costs 800 smackeroos. You saw a neurosurgeon right away? You lucky dawg! Here in Montreal it takes 2, yes you read right two years to see one. I went to New York to see an back specialist (orthopedic surgeon). It was disapointing. He said it was too dangerous to do surgery on my herniated discs and oh yes and that I had to loose weight. The fact is that just as many skinny people as overweight have back problems. I will go back to the gym but I'm not in the mood to loose weight. You are a brave man to drive in Qatar with painkillers in your system or maybe its the only way to do it! LOL

Glen McKay said...

If you do a search on "clinic" you will find an old post describing the system at the clinic here. Pretty much all specialists, no previous appointments. Just show up and take a number for the specialist you want. The downside is that it has an assembly-line feel to it sometimes, and I do not think I've ever had a consultation longer than 15 minutes, but you do get to see a specialist right away without all the hassle of referrals and so on. I think the longest I have waited is 75 minutes but on average I see the doctor within 20 to 30 minutes. I can live with that.

And the medicines aren't making me drowsy, but I haven't been driving much anyway just in case, or drinking alcohol.