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My love-hate relationship with the medical system

Last week, I mentioned how we were going to see a specialist about a cyst that is growing next to our little guy’s eye. This week, we made the trek to the hospital for the evaluation. The ophthalmologist poked and prodded and confirmed what we already knew and then told us to come back later...

WP_20150731_007Last week, I mentioned how we were going to see a specialist about a cyst that is growing next to our little guy’s eye. This week, we made the trek to the hospital for the evaluation. The ophthalmologist poked and prodded and confirmed what we already knew and then told us to come back later for a CT scan. He thinks the cyst is probably not connected to the bone, but he needs to make sure before operating. The CT scan should remove all doubt.
He told us that our next appointment would be for the scan, then a second appointment to review the results of the scan, and then a third appointment in order to do the surgery. This is the part of the story where my blood pressure starts to rise. I must admit that I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the medical system.
On the one hand, we have phenomenal medical treatment available to us these days. Seriously, at least two of my family members would probably be dead right now if it weren’t for modern medicine. So, I’m incredibly thankful that it exists and that it has saved the lives of people I love.
On the other hand, that fantastic care is contained within a complex system of insurance companies, medical networks, business structures, liability concerns, bureaucracy, obscure pricing and billing systems, etc. With so many cooks in the kitchen and hands in the cookie jar, it’s hard for a simple-minded pragmatist like myself to have much confidence that we are getting straight answers. Something tells me that expensive imaging and a minimum of three more trips to the doctor to take care of a little bump by my son’s eye might not be entirely necessary. Then again, maybe it is necessary. That’s the thing—I just don’t know, and I have so little trust in the system that it’s hard to have confidence in what the medical professionals are saying.
I know some people who go to the doctor every time they sneeze (slight exaggeration). They have a lot of faith in the medical system. Perhaps a little too much faith. I consistently find myself on the other end of that spectrum. Does that make me a cynic? Maybe it does.
I don’t mind that good medical care costs money. I don’t mind that doctors take care to do the job right. But my crap detector starts to go off when a situation starts to feel like it’s unnecessarily complicated. I’m trying to keep a level head about it all, but it’s a struggle.

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