This is, by no means, a political journal. I just want to point out how stupid this health care system is currently.

This morning I woke up with an odd pain in my left foot. Its almost like a stabbing pain in the joint connecting my big toe to the foot itself. That being said, it hurts to put pressure on it, it hurts to touch it, it hurts to move it much at all. My walking consists mainly of hobbling around or an over-exaggerated step, to put as little pressure on the toe as possible. It didn't work as well as I thought it would.

I've done my morning routine by now and I'm trying to get dressed for work, which is a very slow process. It becomes even slower when I try to put my shoes and socks on. I thought to myself that since I would be working at both jobs today I would have to wear sneakers for the comfort but also the supportability. Yes, I had already thought this far ahead.

After 5 minutes of stopping and starting I had my shoes on and as soon as I stepped onto the foot, pain shot through my entire left leg. It took everything I had left in my to stand up again, but I realized the way my shoes were curved, it was going to make walking today a pain all over. So, I took my shoes and socks off and called my father.

He didn't answer.

I called the Podiatrist's Office (which is literally a stone's throw from my apartment complex) and asked if I could come in and have someone look at my foot because I wasn't sure what was wrong with it, but it hurt really badly.

The woman on the other end asked me if I had been there before.

I replied that I had come in many years ago for some ingrown toenail surgery (yes, don't ask), but hadn't been in in many years.

To which she informed me that she had nothing available for today, but she could schedule me an appointment for Friday morning.

I told her that because my foot was hurting now I really couldn't wait until 2 days from now and she thanked me for my time and then we hung up. Great! The foot doctor who only looks at feet will be busy looking at feet until Friday morning. Just, not my foot!

- - -

Luckily there was a secondary podiatrist office just up the street who I could call for an appointment.

The nice lady on the phone asked me the same question. "Have you been in to see us before?"

"I have not," I replied.

"Then we do not have any appointments for this morning," she bemused.

Fantastic!

- - -

Finally I was able to get in touch with my father, who recommended that I call my primary care physician and the orthopedics office just up the street as well (we're surrounded by doctor's offices BTW) to see if I could get in to see either of them as soon as possible. He stated that what I was describing sounded like Gout, although I was far too young to be experiencing anything like that, so to have them take a look at my foot and get an x-ray. Thank goodness we have a physician in the family. Too bad he's on the other side of the state.

- - -

I called both offices and tried to schedule an appointment with both. I first dialed my primary medical doctor and left all of my information with them so they could call me back and schedule an appointment. Then I called up the Orthopedics office and was put right through to an actual person who set me up with their foot specialist @ 1:30 PM this afternoon. Not the quickest appointment, but definitely a lot more manageable than Friday morning!

- - -

After ending that phone call I was feeling pretty good. I had my appointment for that afternoon, all I had to do was wait.

I got a return phone call from my primary doctor's nurse saying that they had an appointment for me at 11:30 AM.

I thought that that would be perfect, so I scheduled that one as well, knowing that if I could take the earlier one and they could tell me what's up, then I could just call and cancel the other one before it got to be time for that appointment.

I had just written both appointments down, when the phone rang again.

It was the nurse from my doctor's office again.

"Michael," she said, "this is the Nurse from Dr. K's office again."

"Yes?" I replied.

"I just pulled up your chart and it tells me that we haven't seen you in 5 years," she questioned.

"Okay," I asked.

"At this office, when they don't see you for 3 years, they don't consider you a patient anymore," she said. "That means you have to start all over again and I don't have an appointment for you today."

"Huh," I replied.

"Goodbye," she responded.

- - -

WTF?

Good thing in the mess I didn't call and cancel that second appointment. Then I would have been screwed each way.

Guess I'll just hang out until 1:30 PM.

Michael out-