Thursday, April 28, 2005

Useless surgeons

I have a supposed ganglion cyst in the tip of my middle finger. Not everyone can feel it, but I can feel it all the time. It bothers me when I open the refrigerator. It bothers me when I'm driving. It bothers me sometimes even while I'm typing. I saw a nurse about it about a month ago at Kaiser (CA based HMO), who referred me to a surgeon to have the cyst aspirated. I finally got into see the surgeon and after a very long wait, and this resident examined the finger and started sticking a syringe into it. We're all naturally raised to not question authority, particularly doctors, so it took all the nerve I had to point out to her that she was not injecting the syringe anywhere near where the cyst was. It turns out, she hadn't felt the cyst at all during the examination! She was just jabbing my finger randomly, hoping to hit that thing I was complaining about! Exasperated, she begrudgingly agreed to get another syringe and try again.... and she missed again (but this time insisted that she didn't). She told me I had only two remaining options: surgery, which has a high risk of nerve damage (not a good thing for a finger!); or ignore it. Hmpf. I think I'll wait until my doctor is back from her maternity leave and ask for a referral to a *different* surgeon.