I guess I’ve been having pretty good experiences with medical care here. I originally chose the Cruz Roja Mexicana for my trauma/orthopedic care because I knew they would have x-rays and because I knew they would be skilled doctors. And obviously as a charity organization the Red Cross is something I can actually afford (so I would be sure to “have” money for when I needed that 800-dollar MRI).
Uh, anyway. The Red Cross has good doctors. It’s a training hospital, though, so as I mentioned when I first laid out this whole spinal-injury saga, they have doctorcitos there watching while you are having your consultation, and the doctor sort of drills them on and highlights different aspects of the conditions and treatments. It can be a little distracting, but at least they are making sure to be careful about what they’re going over.
But the point remains that the patient isn’t necessarily the main focus; it’s actually taken me the course of several follow-ups to have one of my less urgent ailments addressed. I broke my neck in a head impact, but no one ever offered and I never insisted on diagnostics to my back until this last visit on Thursday (when they said I can take off my collarín!). So in a couple of weeks my back will finally get x-rayed.
I brought up minor back pain on my first visit actually, but not until the end of the consultation, so the doc was like “ah we can see to that next time” and never wrote out an order for the radiology. And then I forgot the second time when I had a different doctor. So yeah, this third time I got the order to have a study taken on what will be my fourth visit, a few weeks from now.
Given this delay, and my personal anxieties about communicating with healthcare professionals, I had this whole advocacy speech composed in my head, as follows:
“I like to dance really hard, and I like snowboarding, so can we please check my back just to make sure? And if that’s not convincing enough, I also want you to know that my pain isn’t extreme extreme, but it is substantial enough to show up in my dreams, and a couple of nights ago I dreamed I had back pain and talked to you guys about it and you told me that I was growing wings.”
I was seriously going to say that (it’s all true). But I actually didn’t need to, of course. All I had to do was tell them clearly that I wanted to xray my back.