Dismissed and moving on

Six months after my ankle operation I made my last visit to the orthopedic surgeon. It took me two hours in traffic to arrive at his office. I had an Xray done, waited a bit and then saw him for about 5 minutes. He wiggled my ankle, said ‘congratulations’ and then I was done. For this I sat 2 hours in traffic and the doctor billed 350 dollars. This is what is wrong with the American Healthcare system. If I had been responsible for the whole amount rather than my 15 dollar co-pay, I would have forgone this useless visit.

And so I am now dismissed from his care. I am 75 percent there, he said, with the remaining recovery requiring another 6 months; one year in total, was what I was told when I signed up for the ankle fusion. It’s pretty good right now so another 25% seems like a bonus. If you saw me walking you wouldn’t have guessed I had an operation 6 months ago. It was a good decision.

I am back at work, managing the in-between-trips period to take care of wrapping up the last trip and preparing for the next. The travel is not letting up although I am not complaining – these are interesting assignments that let me be creative and make new connections: another trip with wheelchair service providers, this time to Mongolia, and an effort to get our colleagues in the Democratic Republic of Congo to become a learning organization. Some of this is chartered and some of it unchartered territory – a perfect combination. I have never been to either one of these places and I am looking forward to them. Axel does not and I don’t blame him – it’s a choice between sitting at a desk in Medford and exploring the world for me; for him it is me at home or being by himself. It is an uneven arrangement and will stay that way for a while.

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