Today I was visited by a 52 year old woman with 'failed back syndrome' (unsuccesful lumbar laminectomy), who I see for recurrent epicondylitis (tennis elbow) responsive to injection. She is also a hypertensive, obese diabetic, currently unmedicated as she cannot afford both medications and mortgage payments. She 'lives' in her specialists' sample closets, but has no medical benefits in her parttime job as secretary, and can't afford specialists' visits. I charged her the cost of the injectable meds (which predictably 'bump' her serum glucose), and called it a day. My practice can't afford to care for people like Joanne, but I cannot turn such people away, or allow myself the luxury of ignoring comorbid conditions which will kill them over time.
- Guest Blogger