Thursday, 11 June 2015

Weekly Update #86: Give The Man A Hand!

Dave's latest update on an MRI scan for his injured hand and progress to date on The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond.
Bonus video!
Dave Sim takes a look between the covers of Dan Fogel's new Underground Price & Grading Guide!


Tony Dunlop said...

Oh man, that second video gave me a flashback to my first ussue of Weirdo. It was fairly late in the run; Aline was editor by then. It had a great story by her about Chinese food, and I'm pretty sure it also had Julie Doucet's "rampaging period-monster" strip. What a watershed moment in my comics/comix-reading life. Much like after my first issue of Cerebus, I immediately set out to track down all the back issues I could.

Tony said...

"Issue," not "ussue." Damn, and I even used the preview feature this time.

Tony said...

If you're not eating (you've been warned), the rampaging period-monster

Glen said...

One of the reasons for a doctors referral is so that the MRI technicians know exactly where to scan. A hand specialist will give that information.

Pointing at your wrist when you walk into the clinic seems foolish to me.

Bill Ritter said...

Here's a primary issue: the doctor referral is the center's way of transferring malpractice liability if the reading is incorrect. Really nothing to do with insurance, or with being able to do with's a lawyer thing. And in North America...lawyers prey on the health sector. Very few MRI centers, due this threat of litigation, are likely to do any work without that referral. Or I should qualify further...doubtful any center that producing a quality scan.

Bill Ritter said...

Making sure I understand the issue Dave has in "doctors cover for each other." He does not want the referral because he does not want the films to go to the referrer whom he may not trust as best in trade. Therefore, it's preferred he have no doctor involved (at this stage). Begs 2 questions:
1) Is Dave only taking the images...not the reading (typically the MRI will include a reading of what is observed in the films)?
2) Is Dave aware that even if a referring doctor receives films, Dave is also entitled to receive the same films/additional detail and has no obligation to continue to engage the referring doctor?

and 1 observation
I would be absolutely stunned with Dave being successful at taking said films, walking into any surgeon or specialist, and that individual accepting those films/scans for any further work. What I imagine would happen: the surgeon/specialist would view the films, and request new films.

In my experience (and it's rather extensive, from my prior life), even with dozens of films over several years, new physicians always directed for new scans.

Jeff Seiler seilerjeff said...

Oh, yes, Bill, I believe you are absolutely spot on. I have had very few occasions to go to an ER or a doctor over the last 20 years or so but, on those few occasions, I always got the sense that the doctor was not going to tell me any more than the minimum amount of information that I needed to know, and I ALWAYS left feeling (thinking) that I needed more information. I even, once or twice, asked directly about some other symptom, only to find my attending physician to have selective hearing.

You know, all I wanted, as does Dave, was to be able to make an informed decision/s about my own health care.

The one occasion on which a doctor told me straight up, after a long wait, what was wrong with me, was when any half-way educated idiot could have looked at the same X-ray she showed me and would have seen the same exact thing I immediately saw:

That my right hip was shot. No cartilage whatsoever; bone on bone. Ball in socket, grinding.

And, no, that's not sexy. But, I digress.

What I saw, clearly, immediately, was that my left hip had full cartilage and my right hip had, literally, none.

Unfortunately, Dave, so far, seems to have had no doctor be so straight up with him, nor has he, apparently, the kind of injury that a simple X-ray can detect correctly.

SO,the hunt is on. Even though I agree with Bill on most or all of his points about insurance, referrals, etc., Dave, I will make some calls here in Minneapolis and in Minnesota (read, The Mayo Clinic) and see if a Minnesota miracle can be found.

Stranger things have happened in these environs.

Jeff Seiler seilerjeff said...

Okay, about the Fogel price guide: Not saying I wouldn't buy it, but did anyone else notice that:

1) There were prices listed between $26, $57, and (presumably, though it was difficult to see) $100 for the counterfeit Cerebus #1? Overstreet's price guide, years ago, decided to list that, but with a $0 dollar entry. As it should be.


B) Why no entry for Cerebus Readers In Crisis?



Just sayin'.

Travis Pelkie said...

Because of that one guy on that one cover, Jeff.


That was you.


Travis Pelkie said...

Anyway, now having watched the videos, I'm really going to regret not having pre-ordered that Comix Guide, aren't I? Drat!

Here's the Wikipedia page on MRI:

It is a lot of reading, but in my skimming I came across a few tidbits:

They apparently have up to 7T for imaging (still not entirely sure what that stands for), but most places have 1.5, with newer ones featuring 3 most places. I think it says 7T is available in the Netherlands. Probably not available in North America, although I'd guess if anywhere had it, the Mayo Clinic would.

Something else to consider is that there is the possibility of reaction with any surgical implants or other such things in the body reacting with the field. I presume you don't have anything in your hand like that, but I can definitely see a hospital not just wanting to scan a guy off the street without knowing what might react with the scanner.

As Bill says, I don't think even in Canada that you're REQUIRED to do what the doctor tells you to. I think in this case, you're going to HAVE to get the referral first, and then from there, you should be able to do what it is you're thinking.

Actually, I forget -- where did Dave get the notion from that MRI was what was needed? The physiotherapist? If so, that person isn't able to refer Dave to an MRI clinic?

Here's a page of GE brand MRI machines.

Looks like 3T is their most advanced, I suppose. Not sure how to find out who owns and uses their most advanced, but there is a "contact us" link on the side, as well as an 866 number.

Here's another link with more info and a list of common manufacturers, it appears.

Actually, the machines themselves appear to be relatively "cheap", as most listed here are under a half million (that seems "cheap" in medical equipment terms, I'd think)

Travis Pelkie said...

Part the second, as I couldn't post all of this at once (I got Dave-itis!)

And here's a Chicago area place with a 3T scanner. It mentions that insurance pays the same for MRI regardless of whether it's 1.5 or 3T, so one would presume they are similarly priced if one is paying oneself.

My favorite line from their spiel is this: "Thus, if a picture is worth a thousand words, the 3 Tesla MRI is an encyclopedia."

Elsewhere on the site, it does mention getting the results through film, CD-ROM, or "internet viewing" -- not sure what that might entail, but Sandeep or someone might be able to use that to post online easier.

I'm not positive, but while they don't spell out that you need a doctor referral, it seems like you probably need a doctor referral.

And my search that brought up these results was "MRI Machine manufacturers 3T" and similar, through Bing. Other search engines may come up with other results, or tweaking searches may also help.

Again, it looks like the referral is going to be the "necessary evil" to get the scans in the first place, but I do think, like others here, that once you get in the door, you should be able to proceed with your plan otherwise.

A lot of the wrist injury searches seem to mention sports -- maybe there's a sports medicine clinic in your area that you'd be able to get into faster?

Because as I said last week, just because the injury is manifesting as an inability to do the tiny little photorealism lines, that doesn't mean that the injury wasn't CAUSED by the repetitive motion of signing your name over and over. If that is the cause, doing it again might aggravate the injury, this time beyond repair. Just like you don't want to be butchered by an inept surgeon, neither should you keep doing what you've been doing without knowing if what you've been doing is what injured you in the first place.

Hope this helps. Take care and don't risk further injury.

Michael said...

How about makeing an appointment to see a Dr. let them order the MRI, go get scanned, talk to the Dr about his reading of the scans. then ask the Dr who they would get to do any procedures if it was time that had the same condition as you. Ask for a referral to speak to that Dr and ask for a copy of your scans and lather risen repeat until you find someone you can trust or run out of money.

Anonymous said...

A place called MedCentra in Toronto provides MRIs privately in a few days, but a referral is needed.

This first link mentions the 3.0 MRI, although its not clear that they actually have one:

This link has their locations:

Here is the phone number:

Tel: 416-923-4567

Here are the locations:

St. Michael's Hospital
30 Bond Street
Toronto, Ontario M5B 1W8

Markham Stouffville Hospital
381 Church Street
Markham, Ontario L3P 7P3

Let me say this. The only approach to this is to start with a referral from a doctor. Dave must see a family doctor. The family doctor will actually care. Dave will be able to communicate his needs and concerns with the family doctor. Dave is wrong to think otherwise.

It may be that Dave can get a 3.0 MRI scan for free within a reasonable time through the publicly funded system. If not, simply ask the doctor for a referral to the private clinic.

Going forward, I will not spend any more money supporting any of Dave's endeavours if he will not use the trustworthy resources that are available to him -- specifically, a family doctor who can provide a referral. It's a good enough system for me and Dave's fellow citizens, who include artists, designers, seamstresses, stenographers, musicians and other people who do fine work with their hands, so I cannot accept that it is insufficient for Dave.

- Reginald P.

Glen said...

If Dave had gone to see a family physician when his wrist had become unbearable 2 months ago he would have likely have already seen a specialist and had the MRI done. The Canadian medical system is a very good one filled with capable, professional doctors who care about their patients.

Instead of treating the injury Dave is on an Internet snipe hunt for an 3.0 MRI while he sits at home in pain reading Wikipedia entries sent to him by readers of this blog.

None of this makes any sense.

Anonymous said...

So IS #15 listed as "giant penis issue"?