one foot, two foot

we have official confirmation from the podiatrist that i'm a freak. well, okay, that's probably a bit harsh. i visited my podiatrist for the first time last night and discovered that one leg is longer than the other. Based on generally observable phenomenon (such as which ankle is more warped, which shoulder is slightly higher than the other) one would assume that my left side is longer. however, because nothing can ever be normal even when it's irregular, it's actually my right side that's a wee bit longer. based on the extremely controlled test involving pen-marks on some easily located (if you're a podiatrist) bones in my feet, it looks like almost a half inch longer. when i stand up, the marks are right next to each other. when i sit down? not so much, but again, they symptoms are manifesting like it's the other leg that's longer. this is apparently not all that uncommon, and means that somewhere else in my body i've got a contrasting kink most likely. this morning it occurred to me that it might be the fact that i carry purses, messenger bags, backpacks with the uneven weight on my left side. i should probably stop doing that. the podiatrist laid it all out for me. not wearing heals takes away my symptoms (read:pain), so i could just pick up a heel lift for the height thing and not bother with orthotics (things that would make my misshapen feet walk right, preventing stress on other joints) until i start having pain. then again, i could not have pain until things progress to the point that i've worn away at other joints to the point that i'm really in trouble and will look back and say "if only i had gotten orthotics that day." health care to the rescue! it turns out that my heathcare provider's new philosophy is working in my favor this round. their logic is "we'll pay for all your preventative care, because it's cheaper for us and we look like a good guy. but if you get sick, or have any conditions that require maintenance, look out." so, orthotics (which prevent problems that cause bad things) are free for me. (healthcare detour) it's really stupid. if i get a test as part of a yearly physical, it's on the house. if i get the exact same test to diagnose something specific? i pay. and since they're being such generous guys, starting next year if all you ever do is get physicals and nothing's ever wrong with you ever you don't have to pay for healthcare. no monthly fee, no visit co-pay. nothing. if something *is* wrong with you, there's this complicated hierarchy of deductibles and limits that you start tripping up. if you're perfectly healthy and don't get into any accidents or anything, it's a great plan. if you're a person with some expensive chronic conditions (like, say, my father's rheumatoid arthritis which requires about $1200 in meds/month), it's pretty much a wash with the current plans (because he'll hit that deductible in january, and the max out of pocket by about april). according to the calculator i've played around with, someone like me (who has a few random cheap-ish conditions and is planning on having a baby) has about a 60% increase in overall costs. that's because it'll take me a while to hit that first "we're not paying a thing" deductible, and i'll never hit the cap out of pocket cap, unless of course, something very bad happens to me/mine over the next year. i understand the argument that some punk kid who thinks he doesn't need healthcare shouldn't have to cover my dad's meds, or my mother-in-law's chemotheraphy, but it's a healthcare system designed to benefit the people who don't need it. and that just seems fundamentally wrong. (end detour) so yeah. after all this diagnosis, the dr's assistant came in and paper-mache'd ballet slippers onto my feet. in 2-3 weeks i'll get to go shopping again, and hopefully pick up some shoes with a teeny bit of a heel on them again. this is good, because super-flat shoes are hard to find, especially in winter, and i need me some boots.


At 1/16/2006 02:57:00 PM, Anonymous Blue Cross of California said...

Great blog I hope we can work to build a better health care system as we are in a major crisis and health insurance is a major aspect to many.


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