Even more thankful

Remember when a few hours ago I said I was really thankful about living in America, and I wasn’t going to get in to some diatribe regarding socialized medicine? After reading the latest from Walter E. Williams, I’m doubly–no, make that triply–thankful:

Before we buy into single-payer health care systems like Canada’s and the United Kingdom’s, we might want to do a bit of research. The Vancouver, British Columbia-based Fraser Institute annually publishes “Waiting Your Turn.” Its 2006 edition gives waiting times, by treatments, from a person’s referral by a general practitioner to treatment by a specialist. The shortest waiting time was for oncology (4.9 weeks). The longest waiting time was for orthopedic surgery (40.3 weeks), followed by plastic surgery (35.4 weeks) and neurosurgery (31.7 weeks).

As reported in the June 28 National Center for Policy Analysis’ “Daily Policy Digest,” Britain’s Department of Health recently acknowledged that one in eight patients waits more than a year for surgery.
(Emphasis added. –R)
Now, class, who remembers what kind of procedure I’m having in just a couple of hours?
That’s right, Nathan. Orthopedic surgery. Orthopedic surgery two weeks after sustaining injury. Two. As opposed to forty. Two.
Two.
Thank you again, God. Thank you.

A moment of thanks

My friends, as I go about my business on the eve of foot surgery, I thought I would take a moment to offer thanks.
Thanks be to God that I was born in America. The United States is, contrary to what a few of our countrymen and very many outsiders would say, quite simply the greatest nation on planet Earth. No, we’re not perfect. Far, far from it. But if you could pick any place to be born and grow up in, surely, this is the place, and this is the time.
I injured my foot the evening of the 17th. Between that time and now I have visited an emergency clinic and been treated, seen a specialist (twice), and had a CT scan taken of my foot. At the two-week mark, I shall undergo surgery to get the foot’s interior cleaned up and have a screw inserted to help hold things together. Hopefully, at the end of four months, the screw will come out, and I’ll go back to normal mobility.
This would have happened in the same way and at the same pace in very few places elsewhere on the globe. I’m not going to get in to some diatribe regarding socialized medicine, but I wonder if I would be as far along in the process in other Western nations. I certainly wouldn’t be here if I were in a Second-World nation, and I might be permanently crippled if I were a resident in the Third World. Thank God I’m here.
Thanks be to God for close friends. Like Drew, who was helping me with a ceiling fan installation when I stupidly injured myself, and who took me to the after-hours clinic so my wife wouldn’t have to deal with that burden, too. And who called this weekend, after being out of town for a week on business, to check up on me, and offering whatever assistance we might need.
Like Nathan and Brent, who do their best to joke around and keep my mind off the injury. For nabbing primo tickets to the local minor league baseball team, so I could have one last hurrah before my mobility is limited for a couple of months. (Thanks so much, Nathan!) Like the folks at our minichurch, who are always so supportive and caring, wondering what it is they can do to help out. I love you guys!
Thanks be to God that I have such an awesome wife and family. If you’re the praying sort, beyond any prayers concerning my injury and recovery, pray for my wife. The Lord knows what she goes through in putting up with me on a normal basis, much less when I’m going to be in a cast and on crutches for a couple of months. Outside of physical pain and lack of mobility, this will probably be harder on her than it will be on me. So please pray for her.
I am so richly and humbly blessed, I can’t even really put it in to words, other than to say thanks. Thank you, Drew, Brent, Nathan, Donna, Bill, Geno, Liz, Brad, Becky, Susan, Larry, Marlie, Carolyn, Veta, Sam, and Brenda.
Thank you, Mom and Dad, for your encouragement. (And yes, Dad, I did feel the eye roll over the phone when I told you what had happened, and I just hear in my head, “I thought I taught you better than that.” Come on, you know you were thinking it. And yes, you did teach me better than that. What can I say? I had a moment of stupidity.)
Thank you, Kelly, for loving me. You are so wonderful and awesome, there are times I can’t believe you’re even in my life, much less my wife.
Finally, thank you, God, for delivering me from sin, for calling me to Your Kingdom, for blessing me with my nation of birth, for my many friends, and my family. You are, indeed, an awesome God!

So, yeah, this is gonna pretty much suck

So the follow-up with the orthopedic surgeon was today, and we went over the results of yesterday’s CT scan. Of course, we got the worst possible news: surgery. I’ve got bits of bone loose in the foot, so those need to come out, and a screw needs to go in to help hold stuff together long enough to heal.
So I’ll get sliced and screwed on Tuesday, be in a splint and bandages until mid-August, then it’s in to a hard cast for six weeks. All that time, no pressure on the foot, totally on crutches. For two months.
Then, after I get the crutches off, it’s back in to the boot for, well, we actually didn’t get that far. The end of the road is approximately four to five months away, when we’ll have another procedure to remove the screw.
So I won’t be doing much swimming the rest of the summer. I definitely won’t be playing softball this fall, which really bums me out. I won’t get to enjoy the little phisch’s birthday party next week nearly as much as I was looking forward to, which really really bums me out.
At least I’ll be in a position to get a lot of reading done and a lot of movies watched, right?

An update on the foot

So I had an appointment with an orthopedist today (technically, the doc’s an orthopedic surgeon), as a follow-up to the emergency clinic visit last week. Had some additional x-rays taken, as the good doctor wanted different angles than the three which were shot at the clinic. He’s concerned by what appears to be a separation between the Cuboid and the Third cuneiform, at the base of my first and second metatarsal bones. We shot a reference x-ray of my right foot, and when comparing the two, you can certainly see there’s more of this separation on the injured left foot.
Now, it could be nothing; it could simply be the way I’m built on that foot. But it could be indicative of this injury, and the severity of it would determine the remedy, up to and including surgery. Since the x-rays are inconclusive, I’m going in on Wednesday morning for a CT scan and 3D imaging. This will give the doc a better look at the intricate bits, see if it’s just ligament damage, or if there are bone flakes getting in the way. Then I’m back in his office on Thursday morning for the results.
Worse-case scenario: I have to have surgery on the foot to clean up any messy bits, and possibly have a screw installed to hold things together while the ligaments heal. This is okay by me, because the worst-case scenario is that if things are really bad and I don’t have the surgery, my arch could eventually weaken to the point of collapse. And we don’t want that, do we?
So Wednesday should be interesting. I’ve never had a CT scan before!