Stuck in the Medical Followup Rut

Sigh. Seems more and more of life at this point in life is about medical “stuff.” And the past week that theme seems amplified. Some “stuff” I won’t bother you about but I had an interesting visit yesterday with a surgeon.

I have to say that in general the people I rely upon for medical care at the Advocate Aurora Healthcare System are pretty great to deal with. Most of them have been — in MY estimation — exceptional. The “worst” among them have still been better than average compared to my experiences earlier in life. Some of that may be changing mores about healthcare. Some of it I’m sure results from the fact that Aurora posts test results to your personal app so that I can see the actual results and transcriptions of my visits so I can ask intelligent questions and it has seemed that as soon as I started doing that the quality of my face-to-face visits improved significantly. They know I keep myself informed and they have been good about sharing openly.


I had gall bladder surgery some 30+ years ago. At the time I paid little attention to just “who” my surgeon was — I was young and naieve — and before the surgery I never noticed that the guy — a big strapping guy — had hands like a truck driver. The implications being that big hands need lots of room to work and when I woke from my surgery I had a scar from my breastbone to my naval that made it look like I’d had open heart surgery in the wrong place!

And not long after I developed a small hernia that has only changed a little since then. Gradually it’s gotten a little larger, and moved a bit to one side – away from the original incision. And as I’m now in my 70’s and my risk under anesthetic is getting greater as I age — specially with the meds I take — I decided it was time to get that taken care of. Turns out we’ll be waiting till November to do that pending a couple other tests coming up.

But the pre-op surgical consult was very interesting. Before my Appendicitis operation we did a CT scan of my torso. So the surgeon pulled up the films from the scan and we went over them one by one — all three different axis view so that I could see what was going on and what needed doing — as well as a discussion by the surgeon of how they intended to fix the relevant issues. Seeing it all right there in black/gray/white was really helpful freeing. No need to be worried about vagaries. We talked over what was vague and got rid of the issues.

I’m not done with my medical consults — more stuff coming up next week and then I hope I’ll be done with that stuff for a while.

20 years ago when my dad was still alive it was working out that he was back in hospital as an inpatient about once every 3 months. I guess it’s my turn now. I haven’t been IN hospital but twice in the past 18 months but it seems as if I’m a regular visitor to the campus for appointments and tests. Such is life. I’m not complaining — the option to getting regular care — dying — isn’t desirable. It’s simply a matter of fact.


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