Medical update

I went for X-rays this morning. It's probably a more pleasant experience in the States, but here it generally means going to Emerg. and waiting.

After a long pretzel-sit in an uncomfortable chair, the nurse popped her head out and beckoned me inside in the usual way: "Scene? Sane? Scene?"

"It's Sean, ma'am."

"Right. You're in #1. Go sit in there for an uncomfortably long period of time while listening to the meth addict in #2 swear at the security guards. That'll keep you entertained until someone gets around to seeing you some time today between smoke breaks."

"Yep. I know the drill. But it's Canada and our medical care is free. I love it here."

Yes, I'm a patriot.

I waited, listening to the scuffling in #2, imagining the guards and the meth addict exchanging blows. That lasted only an hour or so before they escorted the creep outside. Then the doctor came in and poked at my back for a bit. Then I walked to the X-ray room like a Lon Chaney character. Then I walked back to #1. The meth addict was back again, this time with cops hovering nearby. They gave me a shot of some sort of pain killer/anti-spasmodic and a muscle relaxant pill, and I waited another hour for the doc to glance at the X-rays.

He came back and told me that nothing showed up on my films, and explained that this could mean anything from a pulled muscle to torn ligaments to a herniated disc to a totally screwed-up everything, but at least the bones are fine (except if they aren't and it just doesn't show on the X-rays). Things could improve in less than a week, or in six to eight weeks, or need surgery, or not be fixable even with surgery.

Whew! What a relief! Do I ever feel better knowing, er, whatever I learned.

They gave me a combination of pills (one pill to dull the pain and one pill to make me not give a damn if the first pill doesn't work) and sent me on my way, telling me to rest my back while working it. That made good sense to me, so I'll mime the action of hefting bags of sand, I guess. That should do it.

I'll talk to the family doc in a few days and see what he says. He may not have a clue, either, but at least he'll make me understand why he doesn't know. He'll make me feel better, anyway.

This would have been a lot more straightforward if I'd accidentally lopped off an arm. Easy diagnosis - "You seem to be missing a limb, and the X-ray confirms it." - Easy fix - "Use your other arm."

Yeah, I'm annoyed.
Gotta love that free health care. You really can't beat professional reassurance that your pain is really not a pain at all and you're just imaging it - of course, they never quite say that.
Well, now. I wouldn't blame free health care for that. If I'd paid the doc $1500 out of my own pocket he still wouldn't have seen anything broken.
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