Week 1 Blog Post

In my life I have experienced a multitude of American biomedicine encounters among them I’ve had a persistent issue that has allowed me to come in contact with multiple professionals in the same field. I have had a persistent knee problem since the year of 2013. In the summer of 2013 I dropped a heavy horse feeder on my upper leg as an attempt to catch it from falling to the ground. After I informed my parents that the pain had not subsided from my knee and I had a persistent bruise on my upper leg for the entirety of the summer we decided to see the doctor. I first went my primary care physician to see what her recommendation would be, she recommended to see a specialist. The first specialist I went to see then sent me to get x-rays at a separate facility. However, I was sent back again to get an MRI after the physician was dissatisfied with the results of the x-rays. I would say that one negative of the American biomedicine system is that a patient has to see many professionals at many places for one professional to be able to treat a condition.

The first specialist I saw said that there were no underlying issues that could be seen in the MRI or x-rays. However, it seemed that they were only using those to rule out what they thought could have been causing me pain such as a torn ACL or meniscus. My family and I decided to just wait and see if the pain went away on its own. The pain however persisted. In 2015 I went to a different specialist by recommendation of my primary care physician. This could be considered a positive in the American biomedical, a primary care physicians ability to redirect patients to the best possible care. This could also be considered a negative if a patient doesn’t have a primary care physician because they would be unable to access the information to where they should go. This could result in overcrowding in emergency rooms.

This specialist went over the MRI and x-ray results and while they came to the same results they offered solutions to the pain I was experiencing. They offered a round of physical therapy or 2 different types of shots with at home exercises. I chose the latter option. The first shots I got didn’t work for me, they didn’t last. However, the second type worked for a sustainable amount of time. I was able to work with the specialist to construct a plan of how long I could go in between shots which was decided to be every three months.

As mentioned in the lectures one of the major weaknesses of the field of biomedicine is its inability to heal chronic conditions and unexplained pain. Both of these symptoms are what I have been experiencing since 2013. The only long-term treatment I have been prescribed is a shot in my problem knee approximately every three months and use of a knee brace when the pain is at higher level than normal. Neither of these options heal the pain forever they just make it more bearable. This is a part of the American biomedical field that could use some improvements.


One thought on “Week 1 Blog Post

  1. Hi Sam,
    I’m sorry to hear about your knee and how long the pain has persisted! I do think doctor’s ability to refer patients to specialists is very helpful and prevents unnecessarily busy emergency rooms. I’m sorry that they have not found a long term cure for your knee problem, a huge downfall to our healthcare being focused on the individual is that we only focus on temporarily fixing a problem for an individual as quickly as possible and not thinking about the impact on public health. You will presumably have to go back for the shot every three months until the pain goes away (which doesn’t sound like it will be soon, unfortunately). This will make you a recurrent patient rather than going only a few times which impacts the public if there is universal healthcare that everyone pays for. This can also be seen when vaccines are not given to children, it seems like an individual issue but it affects the public as a whole.

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