Monday, January 12, 2009

Biological Barometers

Last week, Kerry shared an excerpt of an article that discussed how seasonal changes in weather can affect our bodies and our health. Read it.

On Friday, I had accompanied my wife to her first appointment with a pain management specialist, which was where we witnessed the Ominous Sign. Armed with the knowledge in the aforementioned article, I told the doctor that my wife has the most trouble in the winter. He made a brief guffaw-like sound and said, "Move to Arizona."

I persisted. "A lot of times the pain is worse during low pressure weather. Wouldn't a hyperbaric chamber help out?"

This elicited an unmistakable laugh, which was followed by, "Try to get that one by the insurance company."

I wasn't aware that I was joking about my wife's pain. How could I have been so insensitive?

To make amends, I cleaned out our bedroom's ionizing air purifier, so now it works without sounding like a bug zapper. I just wish I had one in this office right now -- the dog is farting up a storm.


Anonymous said...

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rummuser said...

Your dog may be suffering from the change of climate as well! Perhaps it should also be sent to Arizona!

Square Peg Guy said...

But our dog seems to like the snow so much! You should see him! Then again, the rain gets him down.

Thanks for commenting!

Tao Master said...

I am wondering if the insurance company would pay for a move to Arizona ? This too is my initial visit - good job.

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

that doctor sucks. that's all I have to say.

Square Peg Guy said...

Tao Master, insurance companies would happily pay for nothing. But they know they can't get away with that. So they refuse to pay for any treatment that hasn't been proven effective. In my wife's stenosis case, that includes surgery, epidurals, drugs, physical & aquatic therapy.

In some cases, a pre-authorization is necessary. But even a pre-auth does not mean they will pay for treatment if they decide that the condition was "pre-existing," as Lynne found out recently.

Your website looks very interesting!

Thanks for commenting!

Square Peg Guy said...

Hi Petra:

I was very disappointed with the doctor, as you can tell from my post. But chronic pain will make you desperate. And so my wife is considering letting this doctor inject a needle into her spine. She might even be looking forward to it.

I hope you and your loved ones never get to this point.

Thank you for your support!

Anonymous said...

Another recently new visitor and looking forward to continued reading! it's hard to find doctors who are not desensitized to patients' pain. I'll never forget the orthopedist who refused to give novocaine before a steroid injection. UNTIL he had to get a steroid injection and found out how much it hurts. THEN he started numbing the area first. What a jerk. He had some lame excuse like a numbing agent decreases the potency of the steriod. Bull! I switched docs pretty quick after that.

Good luck to your wife.
Prof S

Square Peg Guy said...

Welcome, Professor!

My wife also had a steroid injection. This was in her shoulder. But the PCP administered that. He's also my doctor and he seemed sensitive when he was removing a wart from my finger. "Doesn't that hurt you?" he asked. "A little," I said. "But it's just a finger. It's not like you're digging into my eye or something."

But I think most doctors need the ability to avoid empathizing too much with their patients. Ideally they would have empathy but can turn it off when necessary.

Thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

The hubster has had three steroid injections in his lower back for disk problems. The first and last didn't help at all but the second seemed to help a bit for a while. I've had injections in the top of my foot, my heel, both shoulders multiple times, both hands multiple times. I need one in my hip but that's the kind they want to do outpatient under an imaging machine to make sure they get it in the right place. I said no thanks. I also need one between two ribs on the right side. I said no thanks. But my PCP is great - he numbs everything first :-) It's those ortho guys who seem to have no compassion for pain.