Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Just survived two health scares...

This has been a painful weekend for me...

First, for reasons I can't fathom I went for a short 3km night run on Thursday night. The run was easy peasy and I did not even sweat. The next morning I felt a sharp pain on my left knee-cap. The following day the pain became almost as bad as a gout attack so I suspected that my gout came back. After limping to see the doctor, I was told that there is no way this can be gout and I tore something on my kneecap during my run. I was given pain-killers and sent my way home.

That turned out to be a smaller problem over the weekend.

My wife who had back pain for the past few weeks went for an x-ray and the results came back over the same weekend. The GP just said it was serious and she has to consult a specialist. The x-ray had a lot of arcane medical terms like "lumbar spondylosis". Googling the terms made us even more worried because some website claimed that it can shorten my wife's like by a decade.

I did two things - I made an appointment with the government hospital and then in desperation, I contacted an ERM  student who worked in the private healthcare sector and asked for a few good names to help with my problem. Before the government hospital could even get back with an email, I secured an appointment at a private hospital first thing Monday morning at 10am.

Paying for an expert is well worth the money.

It saved us time and the doctor was able to explain very clearly what the x-ray meant. As it turned out, the folks who did the X-Ray was too thorough and exaggerated the problem ( keyword spam ). All the expert need to do was to examine the x-ray directly himself. My wife needs to do more physical exercises to strengthen her core muscles so that she does not end up with a slipped disc. The specialist also explained the various scenarios where we would need to see him again. After the session, I was so eager to close the case.

The session was probably more expensive than the government hospital, but early closure and peace of mind are probably worth more than the savings made. I imagine the weekly delays that can come about if we opted for the government hospitals which were probably too busy fighting COVID-19.

I think we got off lucky over the weekend. Health problems in middle age are rarely solved with a combination of physical exercise and money. As a middle-aged couple, the possibility of losing our quality of life and time through a painful surgery is a real possibility.

I am starting to have second thoughts about my own diabetic treatment under government hospitals.

Maybe I should just pay more for more regular sessions and find a doctor who is open-minded about the latest treatments. My current doctor is really great, but he's fighting COVID-19, and my appointments have already been postponed twice.

This is a first-world problem. I never use my hard-earned income for my health expenses preferring to use my investment income to handle my health issues. 

I think the lesson for readers is to better spend some time to focus on health when younger so that you won't end up with chronic problems later like me. The distant second-best approach is to make enough money to pay your out if your health does take a bad turn.

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