“I do not think it means what you think it means.” Or maybe I’m just behind the times. That’s not uncommon.
I happened to be reviewing the game camera mem card just now. Nothing on it but some rodents hanging around and a Corgi and an old man walking around a bush several times. And I kept looking at the way the boot sat on the old man’s left foot and thinking, “Man, that foot is worn all the way out.” And it’s not going to be fixed any time very soon because I’m a high desert hermit and the closest prosthetist I know of is five hours away by highway. Until it actually breaks, the hassle cost is too high. The only real damage to the foot at present is cosmetic and it’s been this way ten years; as far as I can tell, the real functional part of the foot is effectively immortal. So I’m not interested in spending days or weeks in the city far away just to replace my foot.
But the exercise got my mind spinning on a related tangent … what would it cost to replace the whole leg? It’s over 20, pushing 25 years old and hasn’t fit right in this century, plus in the meantime I’ve rather reconciled to the idea of one of those titanium pegs which are goofy-looking as hell but much lighter and cheaper to keep in service than mine*.
Which, given all I went through to sign up for medicare six months ago, naturally led to the question, “What prosthetic stuff does Medicare cover?” A question you’d think would be easy to answer…
Notice something that list doesn’t specifically include? I’m (almost) sure it’s just an oversight, because specifically excluding limbs from that list would be like saying, “I’ll replace any broken part on your car except the steering, suspension, wheels and tires, you’ll just have to get along without those.” I’m (almost) certain this is just a writer throwing together something that’s good enough for government work. Almost. But yeah, the list of covered prosthetic parts on the main page officially includes everything except arms and legs.
It’s just poor writing, though, because if you type “prosthetic limb” into the search window you do get sent someplace else that does specifically say…
So, yeah. In money, I could even afford to do it right now. But it would mean spending more weeks in a city, and I’m not at all sure I’m over how I spent my summer vacation.
*When this leg was made back in the nineties, the prosthetist asked me, “endo or exo?” Which was not a question anyone had ever asked me before. Those space-age peg legs were just coming into vogue at the time, and I made the snap decision that I wasn’t ready to look down at one of those things every morning. Little did I know that they weren’t just a fad, and that replacement parts (like feet, for example) that would fit my new leg were about to entirely leave the market. I had to have my leg extensively revised in 2008 just so I could get a decent off-pavement foot installed.