Saturday, November 24, 2007

Can you say 'KICK-BACK'?

My mother is in 'the home'. You may remember that she almost died in May. Since then she has been doing quite well. So well that she has been walking more. If you know anyone who is 75+, you know that this is important.

So, she has been walking more but this has wreaked havoc on her feet. Dr. GodQuack, referred her to 'orthotics'. We were not sure what that meant, so we asked our sister-in-law (we will call her Darling), who is a nurse to take my mother for this 'orthotics' appointment.

Turns out orthotics means she needs something for her feet. I understand this, I have flat feet and have to wear arch supports. I figure it is pretty much the same thing, from the information I got, although my mothers problems would be bunions.

Darling takes our mother to this orthotics appointment. The first thing she notices, is that it is not at the hospital. It is in fact a glorified shoe store on the main drag in town. The sign outside says something like, "CAN'T STAND? COME ON IN" or something equally as retarded. You will also notice, its a two story building.

The next thing Darling notices is that there is no wheelchair access. Surprising, since this place is supposed to cater to people who have problems walking. She gets my mother through the door without the wheelchair and is confronted with not one but two (albeit short) flights of stairs and that is just to access the first floor. I kid you not. Dr. GodQuack sent my mother here knowing full well she could barely walk without a walker.

Here is where it gets even better. They inform Darling that it will be ninety bucks just to look at my mother's feet and when they are finished it will cost $400. What? None of this is covered under the health plan. My mother lives in a home. The home takes all her pension and gives her $100 per month as comfort money. My mother is expected to pay for this out of that.

Clearly she cannot do this. But she has 6 kids, we will work it out. She needs it, we will find a way to get it. The kicker is, the $400 is just for the inserts. No shoes, just these stupid inserts.

My question. What part of this shit is $400 dollars? The placing of the feet in shoe boxes full of foam. By, I am sure, trained professionals? The pouring of the rubber/plastic into this mold. Teamsters? The fancy stitch work. Sweatshop? Are they hand stitching this shit with silver thread? These fucking things better be pretty damned impressive is all I can say. I paid fifty bucks for my arches and they are not that impressive looking.

It will be interesting to see what four hundred bucks gets ya. And how much does Dr. GodQuack get kicked back to him?

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