Thursday, December 29, 2005

Kindness of Strangers

I wasn't really going to write about the latest, little health bump that cropped up because giving the impression of frailty and ill health is not attractive,now is it? But relaying this teensy anecdote necessitates divulging the continuing saga of "I Returned to the Mother Land to Fall to Pieces".

The long and short of it: Went to the eye doctor to upgrade my glasses. Knew that I've needed it for some time - tiredness in one eye and feeling like it gets red and irritated after writing - but was putting it off for my return to "socialized medicine haven"...

Well it ain't such a haven after all because after being taken off the medical treatment waitlist in November, I've been magically returned to non-gratis, treatment status meaning I don't pass GO or collect $200.

And that's a bummer because the eye doctor found glaucoma in the eye that had been bugging me. He also found, when he ran my medical card, that I'm not entitled to discounted treatment. And, of course, glaucoma ain't cheap to treat what with retail prices running at $50 per wee vial of eye drops (I need two kinds), doctor's visits at around $100 (saw him three times this week) and vision field tests at $100. With coverage, the visits, meds and tests would ALL run for probably $30-40 MAX.

So you know what my doc did? We're pals now, by the way, Dr. Deutsch and I - he said he'll see me free of charge until my socialized plan kicks back in around March because "as a doctor, I have to see you"...

And Doc D. isn't exactly the second string: he's a SPECIALIST with a cushy office in a swanky part of Tel Aviv with a forever packed waiting room. Of course, seeing me a la carte for a month or two versus now having a guaranteed patient for the next 4-5 decades - because this little eye nuisance won't be disappearing - is a clever calculation. But that's my cynicism rearing its head again.

I don't ever remember having a swank/posh/specialist let alone a routine doc (my father doesn't count) offer anything similar in the past...Pretty cool, huh?

And about the eye thing: It's hereditary and creeps up silently so check to see if it runs in your family and if so, get your eyes tested. And, as my brother joked, try not to fall down the stairs and break a hip in the process.

No comments: