Okay. If you have been reading this blog, you know the adventures I have been having in the land of A New Brain.
Most recently, I missed the last three steps of the stairs going down to the dressing rooms (and yes, I was holding the handrail – but given my size and gravity and all, there is only so much holding onto a handrail can prevent when a fat old lady decides to go flying out into the space between the cement floor and the third step from the bottom). I landed (needless to say) hard – on all fours. My right knee took the brunt of the damage (along with one toe that got bent in ways it objected to and turned purple and red immediately).
Interestingly enough, my right knee is my “bad” knee – I damaged it some years ago at this same theater during the all-female version of 1776 when something in my knee popped and I had to do the second performance of the day using a cane.
Next day, I have a case of wobbly knee. It’s fine. Until it isn’t. It would suddenly decide to give out with a stab of pain. Fuck me.
I call Kaiser advice nurse and am told – hie thee (back) to Urgent Care.
Second trip to Urgent Care in 48 hours. Fuck, fuck, fuck.
Happily, I have hiking sticks and I can use one as a cane so I can limp myself from parking to Urgent Care – and, it turned out, all the way to and from x-ray too.
First, I would like to state sending me to x-ray was a total waste of time and resources.
They sent me without even touching the knee.
They asked me what happened. I told them. I told them my symptoms and they send me – WALKING to x-ray to see if my knee is broken!
Is it really best protocol to have someone WALK to x-ray with what could be a broken knee?
Also, as I suspected, and I have to believe anyone with a medical background would suspect, the problem was more likely to be soft tissue – something that isn’t going to show up on an x-ray.
But off I limp to x-ray.
Guess what? X-ray is negative.
NOW I get to see a doctor.
Doctor asks how it happened, what are my symptoms, and then (finally) examines the knee.
He is sure the ligaments are okay (whew).
And thinks the problem is I’ve fucked up my tattered meniscus some more.
The meniscus is a problem child because it doesn’t ever heal easily – not a lot of blood vessels in it. And mine is already in bad shape. But the only way to see what the damage is would be to get an MRI – which they aren’t going to do today.
Treatment – a knee brace for a couple of weeks and then see how it’s doing.
The doctor leaves and a nurse brings in a knee brace.
Size – XL.
This fat old lady is not a size XL anything.
The nurse realizes this after trying to tug this thing up my fat old lady leg.
I was not happy before.
Turns out XL is the biggest knee brace they have.
Now I am furious.
The nurse says she has to go talk to the doctor.
I suggest she then go tell Kaiser that they have patients bigger than XL.
She comes back with an ace bandage, which she proceeds to wrap loosely around my knee. So loosely that it can easily be moved around over the knee it is supposed to protect – when I realize that the sharp clips that hold it closed are against the back of my knee tearing up the skin.
NOT A HAPPY KAISER PATIENT.
Now, here’s the thing.
We are all bombarded with news that Americans are getting fatter.
Kaiser is a huge medical HMO in California.
I have to believe that the statistics for how many and how big fat people are applies to the general patient-base for Kaiser.
Which means, Kaiser knows they should expect “x” number of their patients to require equipment and/or treatment suitable for a larger body.
And yet, Kaiser chooses not to provide that equipment/treatment for larger bodies.
Which means those patients are getting substandard medical care.
And I assure you, those fat patients are not getting a break on their premiums because Kaiser is not able to provide the same level of care to them as non-fat patients get.
And that all means, Kaiser is choosing to discriminate against its fat patients.
Now I wish I had taken my old boss up on his offer to send me to law school, because I would love to handle that class action suit against Kaiser.