We’ve all had the experience… going to an “expert” and having doubts about their expertise.  My experience was a medical event.  

I went to the Emergency Room with my left leg swollen to twice its normal size and the color of a lobster with a sunburn.  On top of that, it hurt like the dickens!  After the normal red tape and delays, I was put in a partitioned room and told the Doctor “will be with you in a  moment…”.   In a place where the meter is running, “moments” seem to take a long time.

A few moments later, (Translation: long enough undress, put on a backless gown and freeze my buns to a refrigerated vinyl table) the Doctor appeared in the doorway.  He observed me sitting there with the gown draped above my knees, looked at his chart and then looked at my legs and casually asked: “So, WHICH leg is bothering you?” 

I wondered if I had gotten a Doctor who had skipped his class in Symptoms Recognition.   Was he paying attention?  I bit my tongue, pointed to the swollen leg and answered his question: “This one.”  He was very quick with the diagnosis…”Your leg is swollen. ”  DUH!  I wondered how much this was going to cost.  I knew the meter was running and I still hadn’t been told anything I didn’t know before I went in.

In hindsight, the diagnosis was correct.  With physical therapy and a compression wrap, I was able to solve the problem.  My leg is back to normal and any swelling I have goes down overnight.  So, what’s my problem?    If the solution to the diagnosis had turned out to be amputation, would I want the Doctor asking, “So, which leg is it?”  A fifty-fifty chance of cutting off the proper leg is not what I’d call good odds….

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