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TUESDAY, JULY 12, 2016
Ok, let's say that your cat, because he is curious, get himself sorely injured. Now let's also say that your cat now has a bone injury and is a Canadian citizen. Well, let's just say that your cat is me.

SO this cat has a fractured Talus (ankle bone) which this cat's doctor performed surgery on eight weeks ago. The surgeon told the cat that he would need to keep the ankle in a cast for seven weeks. After seven weeks, the surgeon told the cat to wait one more week. The surgeon was leaving town, but he would recommend a replacement surgeon who would evaluate the cat's injury after the additional week was over. The idea here was this: there might be Avascular Necrosis (bone death) associated with an injury like this - it would be best to wait one week and then remove the cast as long as there was no conclusive evidence of bone death.

Today the cat went down to the hospital and met the new surgeon. The surgeon sent the cat for x-rays, and when he looked at the x-rays he hummed and bit his lip... The image did not provide any conclusive evidence that there was no bone death in the ankle. Contrary to the original surgeon's prognosis (remove the cast UNLESS there IS evidence of bone death) - this surgeon played it the other way (ONLY remove the cast IF there is conclusive evidence of NO bone death). The surgeon conceded that a CT scan could confirm the health of the bone structure, but wanted to avoid unnecessary testing - so he told the cat to hang out for two more weeks, get a CT then and take it from there.

So here is this cat, who has a little nephew-cat that he loves very much and wants to take camping in August, dangling in limbo. A CT right now would either confirm that the cat can begin building his strength up again, or indicate that surgery is needed. Now the cat will have to wait and if there is required surgery, then it will demolish his summer plans with his nephew-cat (and eradicate this cat's first holiday in four years) Some doctor played it safe and I think he has done this cat a great disservice.

I will leave this sad cat story here, at its descriptive climax because if I were to wax prescriptive right now I would be irrational and vindictive.

Who feels for this poor cat? Is this doctor a dog? Does the Canadian Healthcare system do enough for its poor cats? Are pet-metaphors stupid?


Sorry to hear about your ankle.

Your article raises an interesting - whether a patient receives better care when viewed as a customer. Putting the debate of public vs. private, itself aside, I'm more just thinking of how the doctors view the patient. In a pubilc system, they'd be less inclined to view them as a customer, just purely as a patient, while in a private system, because the hospital operates as a business, I imagine they operate with the idea that all patients are customers, and that you want to maintain that customer's loyalty.

Dollary figures are, after all, the world's biggest motivator.

Hope you get some good news about your ankle.



I think you, I mean the cat, should stay in the cast. I've never heard of "Bone Death" before, but it sounds scary. I wouldn't risk taking off the cast early and dying, or taking it off late and dying, or whichever one whichever doctor said is bad...dying isn't good.

I think your doctor was definitely a dog though.

And plus, it's Canada's health care system, what do you expect from a country who's biggest hero didn't finish his one legged run across the country. In Canada we strive to be in the middle, we're proud of mediocrity, and this is true not only in our lame and boring history as a country, but also in our Health Care System. At least this story happened to a cat, if it was a human I might feel sadder.





Sorry about the ankle Scott. But you posed the question in a mathematical way that force me to answer: If you have two doctors saying two polar opposite outcomes, then you need a third opinion to settle it. (Might as well take advantage of the fact that third-opinions are free in Canada.)

I think the cat analogy is ok but could have been utilized in a better way by saving the surprise for the end. "If you feel sorry for the cat, then what if I told you that this story isn't about a cat, it's about a hear me roar."

Otherwise this would be a great piece against healthcare, if you just took the cat part out but left the dog part in.



@Alamir: I think Scott means the Cat is a Quantum Cat with an ankle that is superpositioned in the two states. To open the cast would collapse the state of the ankle into one of the two states, thereby solving the mystery.



I thought of that when I read the title. And then I just got lost in the story about "dead bone" and didn't make the connection to Schroedinger.


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