Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Beat as a Dog

I cannot even see straight these days I am so overwhelmed with decisions. I dislike the position I am in, however, somewhat resigned. I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing. Probably does not matter. Sometimes when things get rough, although you have lots of booming ideas in your head it is difficult (or, more so exhaust) to actually share and diseminate those thoughts. Sometimes all you can do is go inward and hope that you will find safe harbor.

Since Vail I have been trying to figure out the best way to navigate new decisions and waters but I am simply still bobbing along waiting for a sign that we can figure this out.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Back in Vail Again

It has been a while since I posted. I have had so many topics I have wanted to cover, but alas, life took over. So, I am writing this as I am sitting in the waiting room at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic waiting to see the doctors -- Dr Steadman and Dr Millet today. The doctors and physical therapists here are the best I have ever met. There is a level of consistency in the quality of treatment in all the different joint areas that I find unparalleled (and I have been searching, desperately to create that closer to home).

I have tried so hard to break the Steadman Hawkins clinic habit, but, I cannot seem to find doctors that 1- are willing to dialogue with me about the problems 2- are willing to think outside of the box, and 3- are willing to tread into non-standard treatment waters. (This is especially important when I am consistently challenged with perpetual joint issues -- first it was hips and knees, now we have added a problem shoulder and bilateral elbow problems. Christ, for a relatively healthy, strong, athletic person it seems very odd to be having all these joint problems. An additional component to the Vail cocktail (and sometimes the most important one) are the physical therapists that I have worked with. They are some of the most dedicated staff I have ever met. These are the staff of the Howard Head clinic in Vail. They focus on the patient, not on the clock. Sometimes I have had PT last for 5 hours and other times much less. Sometimes you have to wait, but I would rather wait for someone that is proactively trying to solve my physcial problem, rather than have an ontime appointment with someone who goes through a standard routine.

In the one session I had here today, they discovered a couple things about my knee mechanics, that no one ever thought of looking at. With scribbles on my knees, I stepped up and down on a platform while two therapists looked, measured, and tracked how I was mechanically functioning. In that process they were able to make modifications to my physical therapy program that have already made some differences in how I walk. I was once again duly impressed. (This is why I keep coming back).

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The secretive world of joint replacements - MontereyHerald.com :

The secretive world of joint replacements - MontereyHerald.com : Here is an article that caught my eye, and ironically, this is exactly what I was talking about with my partner yesterday. The close relationship (almost exclusive) that a doctor has with a particular joint part. This raises my concerns, because, not only do you need a good surgeon for a replacement, one also needs the right type of implant based on age and other factors. As such finding the right surgeon and right part for your body may not be as easy to find. This adds to the overall frustration of taking the step to get a hip replacement. I will add more later.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Importance of Medical Records

Last week, there was a family crisis. 

One of the aging parents in our family took a terrible turn for the worse. As a result, the family needed to surround themselves around her to make sure care was followed through on, etc.... 

Among the myriad of challenges of stepping into an instance of geriatric care (trial by fire), especially of an aging parent, was that the elderly patient went to an Emergency Room that was out of her ordinary hospital -- Kaiser.

As such, the fear was that, when she went to her followup doctor, at Kaiser, she would not have the medical history of the emergency visit unless the notes were physically printed out and carried over, following all proper authorization/records release protocol, or the facility subscribed to a sister health information technology system as Kaiser hosptial. ( There is a compounded challenge when you are not the patient, and there is very poor documentation of Power of Attorney, or Trustee protocol.) This is the niche Google Health is trying to exploit -- medical record transparency.

This stressful moment happened when the family realized, as they were transporting to the main facility, that they did not have in hand, any of the results, from the 24 hour hospital stay, from the first hospital. The downside is that without medical records, the patient, is often victim to needing to have test reduplicated, since, one would hope, the primary care doctor, would follow a similar line of reasoning, as the emergency care doctors had.

The end result was that through some shinanigans and creative thinking we were able to secure the records within 2 hours on the day of Lilian's appointment. It was amazing. And, ultimately proved helpful. The followup doctor was able to modigy his existing diagnoses based on test results from the "other" hospital.

So, the moral to anyone's medical story is always, get a copy in hand of the records from your patient visit. They are typically available, from a primary hospital, within 24 hours. And, there are different cost effective ways to get copies of records. I step back when a hospital records admin staff says to me, well, if we send them to your doctor they are free, if you want them it is a $10 charge and $.25 fee per page. I say heck no. I have always figured out how to get my records legally and free. I refuse to pay for something/service that I have already paid for.

So, there is my pearl of wisdom of the day. Always, get your medical records.

(If you ask for them at the time of your visit, typically, a hospital, is required to provide them to you free of charge. You just have to remember to ask.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Integration Of Joint Replacements Improved By Coating Titanium With Polymer

Integration Of Joint Replacements Improved By Coating Titanium With Polymer Interesting article on how to improve bone grafting to hip replacement parts. I am always looking for the latest and greatest. This site, Medical News today has a lot of good summaries of medical current events. So, I thought I would share this article for those of out there contemplating replacement surgery at a younger than ideal age.


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