Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Foot Hurts

And apparently my health care provider could care less. I pay Kaiser Permanente the total sum of $290 every month for "insurance" for my wife and I. In addition to this I get dinged $15.00 "copay" (who is the co in copay?). I have had appointments with Kaiser less than once per year.
Here is a picture of my foot, and yes that nasty bump on the ball of my foot hurts. Squash is out, basketball is out, hiking is out, walking is not fun.
I called my primary care physician and asked for a referral to a podiatrist. But no... The doctor had to see me before he could make a referral. After a few days I got in to see him and as expected he scraped at it a little with his scalpel and advised me to soak and abrade to reduce the bump. I asked if I should use a cheese grater but he suggested a pumice stone. Of course this didn't work. The bump now feels huge, swollen, and explosively painful.
I called my primary care physician to request the inevitable referral to the podiatrist. I was informed that the doctor was on vacation for the next week. I insisted on a referral, vacation be damned. This was Thursday one week ago. On Tuesday I hadn't heard back. I called, and was at last given the phone number for the Podiatry Department. I called and was informed that the earliest possible appointment was on August 11. Jesus H F_cking Christ. I asked if their strategy was simply to wait for the problem to cure itself or if they were actually hoping that a major infection would lead to my demise and eliminate their need to deal with me.
I emphasized to the shaken receptionist that this was not personal, except for me of course. She persisted in declaring that the appoinment 6 weeks out was the best I could hope for. I advised that this was unacceptable and that this was not the last they would hear from me.
My next call was to the customer service wing of Kaiser. I explained the situation and stated that I wanted to file a formal complaint. This seems to be the only way to get a referral appointment with this organization. The next day, today, I received a call from Podiatry (surprise!). They advised that by some undefined alchemy that they now had an appointment available on July 13th. I graciously accepted this and pointed out that now I only had to walk on my disfigured supurating necrotic foot for a further two weeks. I suspect that if I could get some care tomorrow that this would probably be a minor procedure. In two weeks they may have to remove the entire foot! Well, tomorrow it's back to customer service to file formal complaint number two.
Republicans, I understand are worried that a single payer health care system would result in the rationing of care. Of course health care is npw being rationed by ability to pay, and apparently the will and capacity to bend the bureaucracy to your needs. I suspect the more timid among us just wait until they finally get to see a doctor, get better, or succumb.
Well fair reader, I know that you are trembling with excitement about the outcome of my medical adventure. Stay tuned, maybe I will be able to get live video next time.


  1. Man, you and Seth could get together to rage against the health care machine. You would have so much fun.

    I hope your foot feels better, and doesn't fall off or anything.

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  3. So what was wrong with your foot? I have the same crap and want to get rid of it.


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