Last fall I got a cold which turned into a persistent, horrible cough that made my lungs hurt so much I found myself at Emergency one night. Since we’d just returned from a holiday in Europe, the medical people responded with a cautionary scan to check for a clot, which can develop during long air travel. There was no clot and all proved well, and eventually my cough got better too.
But the scan picked up something described as “ground glass” or “white shadow” along the bottom of the lung. My doctor, who’s scrupulous, wanted it checked further. I took a breath test and had a follow-up visit with a specialist in respiratory medicine. He said the breath test results were good news and the shadow/glass probably nothing to be concerned about. Except that he wanted one additional scan and blood test done.
I wondered aloud whether this was necessary. He promised we wouldn’t go further, it was only to be sure. My kids tell me I should be glad, but I’m ambivalent. It feels like over-doctoring; I think of the expense. (Being Canadian, I don’t pay directly, but everyone pays for everyone via taxes.) As a relatively recent migrant to B.C. I’m remembering a recent news item in the media here, illustrated by an editorial cartoon in our local paper, The Delta Optimist: