Jul 28, 2022

thread of stones

Saving this here, because a machine will autodelete it in about 14 days time.

I had the wildest telemedicine experience today and I just had to share. (Over share? I don’t really share much on this app. Whatever. Here goes.) 🧵

I had a minor kidney stone incident in March, and then another, more serious one, in May. Kidney stones suck. Do not recommend. Stay hydrated, kids.

After the May incident I had surgery - shockwave lithotripsy - to blast a stone. Coolest name for a procedure, but really not fun. Also? It didn’t work! Stone is still in there, like a little ticking time bomb. 😬

Got referred to a doc at UCSF for a second opinion on what to do next. First appointment was today, over Zoom. Wasn’t sure what to expect! (I mean, 23 years into this global pandemic I’m obviously still learning how Zoom works.)

Logged on 5 minutes before the appointment. Waited. Meeting started on time, got put into a Zoom meeting. And there was the doc, along with a team of like 7 other people. (!!)

Two scheduling people, someone dealing with medical records, two other doctors, and then probably some med students along for the ride.

It was a crazily efficient call. Doc had looked at my images and my chart ahead of time, asked great questions, let me ask questions, told me what his recommendation was, helped get the ball rolling on next steps. Along the way called on his colleagues for ideas and help.

I’ve had in person doc visits where they walk in with a team, and it’s really nerve wracking. Who are all these people? Are they judging me? Are they all going to ask questions? Are they just here to stick needles in me? (I hate needles.)

But this first visit today on Zoom didn’t feel that way at all. It felt like I was showing up and there was instantly a team there to support and help. They were on it and it felt great. Like “Hey, we’ve got you. Don’t worry.”

It’s just one little reminder that even though things have changed with this whole everything, there are moments you can engineer to take advantage of new ways of doing things to make the experience feel better for people.

Now, if only they could blast this remaining stone remotely over Zoom, that’d be cool. Alas. (The end.)