This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.
CONVENTIONAL wisdom states that no doctor's education is complete until he or she has been a patient, seeing the system from the examination table looking up. Since I have never been seriously ill, I have always felt slightly uneducated. My educational opportunity presented itself about 2 years ago when I began to develop back pain, especially during my daily 6-mile run. Despite switching to bicycling and walking, the pain got progressively worse.
I finally got myself diagnosed. I suffered from "spinal stenosis," a narrowing of the spinal canal due to a partially collapsed vertebral disc, causing pressure on a spinal nerve. Doctor Rick Batzdorf, my neurosurgeon, said that conservative therapy wouldn't work for me since I'm not overweight, underactive, or suddenly symptomatic. Voilá—a 5-day vacation trip to the UCLA Medical Center for a laminectomy (back operation), mostly at Prudential's expense.
To me, an ideal vacation involves a new environment, an
My Vacation Trip to the UCLA Medical Center. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994;148(5):522–523. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1994.02170050080015
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: