The Medical-Industral Complex Will Just Have To Wait A Little While Longer For Me

A thoracic surgeon performs a mitral valve rep...
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Went to see the orthopedic surgeon this morning who asked — sort of like ” Wanna latte?” or “Want to see a movie?” how I felt about having my left hip replaced within the next seven months.

Not an option, I said. He insists it will be within the next two years.

Sigh.

Am I the only person (or maybe the only person of the female gender?) in the United States who doesn’t get all excited by the notion of being cut open? Who finds it wearying to keep having to explain how I feel about my health and proposed treatments/medication/therapy/surgery? I feel like I’ve moved to Azerbaijan or some rural outpost of a small African nation where my mouth is moving, but the sounds coming out of it are so unfamiliar as to be disorienting to the listener.

No, I really don’t want: to swallow fistfuls of pills daily; sign up for major surgery; worry that my needs to be treated like a human being are scary or difficult for the medical professionals I deal with.

I think this is deeply cultural. How we feel about our bodies and the people we allow to help us heal is very culturally determined; I grew up and spent 30 years in Canada. Rates of orthopedic surgery are lower there, maybe because the rates of obesity (which aggravate joint pain and mobility) have traditionally been lower and because surgeries aren’t as lucrative or profitable for the medical-industrial complex.

When you see a doctor, do you care if they care about your feelings?

Or do you just want everything fixed now, everything else be damned?

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