24 of the Fifth Month 5770
Two weeks ago, I started to develop a pain in my right quadricep. Over the next few days, it spread down to my shin, and up into my hip and lower back. It hurt so much that I only got a few hours of sleep two nights in a row.
I went to my doctor, and begged the receptionist to squeeze me in. She did. When the doctor examined me, he narrowed it down to “pre-disc problems” or “pre-diabetic problems.”
Well, that narrows it down, now doesn't it?! (sigh)
He gave me hafnayot (referrals/permission) for some blood tests and to see a physical therapist for an examination and treatment.
In the meantime, I found some relief with Paramol (Acetaminophen) and Advil Liquigels (ibuprofen).
When I went to make an appointment at my qupath holim (analogous to HMO), I found that it would only cost me a NIS 27 ($7.00) co-payment, which would cover me for up to four visits. (So is socialized medicine really that bad?)
The male physical therapist who recommended to me was not available until August. I asked the clerk to give me the soonest appointment possible with whoever was available. I did not care who it was with. They are all professionals. Just make the pain go away!!
The clerk gave me an appointment for two days later. It would have to do.
The physical therapist with whom I met interviewed me thoroughly. She asked if I wanted to speak in English. Usually, I would have said no. But, since I was so tired, both physical and emotionally (I'm a big baby, when it comes to pain!), I welcomed the opporunity to speak to her in English. As the meeting progressed, we ended up speaking in “half-n-half,” anyway.
As it turns out, she did not even have to touch me during the examination, not that I would have cared. She only had to look at my bare back while bending forwards, backwards, and sideways. She then said that, yep, it was a “wake up call.” And that now, I had the opportunity to do some work to prevent or at least limit any future problems.
Since I was feeling better, and that it was not the result of serious pain killers, she felt that my body was doing what it needing to do to heal itself. Thus, she did not feel that it was necessary to work on me. “If it's not broke, then don't fix it” were her exact words.
She taught me two exercises to perform everyday, and told me to return for an examination in two weeks. She was very patient with me and with my questions.
With the information she gave me, I walked away with some hope, and feeling a lot less anxious, even though I was still in pain.
Well, I hope this helps the next oleh (immigrant) who needs to tackle walk into his or her qupath holim to request an appointment. It is pretty much the same procedure to visit the eye doctor, dermatologist, dietician, or other specialist, as it is to see a physical therapist.
Now, I have to go do my exercises before I go to work!