Saturday, September 21, 2013

1149. Health care of a 60-year-old client with a twisted 2nd toe and an aortic aneurysm

Saturday Sep 21, 2013.

Today one broad-shouldered man in his 60s came to buy Z/D big bag. "I just sold the big bag," I said to him. "I don't stock more than 2 as I have no shelf space."  He told me that he had gone for his foot operation at Alexandra General Hospital one month ago after I had advised him to go take care of his health. He was limping badly and I noticed his left foot's 2nd toe turning upwards and onto his 3rd toe. Normally 2nd and 3rd toes point straight ahead and so it was abnormal. He had a large bunion a the side of the big toe and he had worn thin sharp shoes when he was younger, resulting in this abnormality..

The foot surgeon operated and he felt so much better. I was happy for him. But he had a much more serious condition. He had phlegm in his lungs. "Could be TB or the start of lung cancer," I advised him to seek medical help as the condition lasted more than 4 weeks. "Early detection means early cure."

"My wife always felt distressed when she hears me having great difficulty in breathing," he said. He then told me he had a 5-mm aneurysm in his aorta as diagnosed by the National University of Singapore doctors.

"I read from a newsletter from Singapore General Hospital or some newspapers that there is now a cure nowadays for aneurysm," I said. "If you don't go for treatment, this weakening of the aortic blood vessel will rupture when you cough a lot and you will die from internal bleeding to death. I am surprised you survived the general anaesthesia for your un-twisting your 2nd toe. Did you let the surgeon know about the aneurysm?"
"No," he had not bothered with his health. He had to work though the foot surgeon advised him to put up his foot and take medical leave for some weeks.
"Singapore is a developed country and there are excellent medical facilities. You are not living in an undeveloped country and yet you don't bother with your health care, causing worries to your wife."  He is working and should he die due to neglect of his health, a family loses a breadwinner and a husband and father.

He said he would seek prompt advice on his aneurysm. I still remember once I had a dog that suddenly died. All his membranes and tongue became white. I suspected this dog died from a rupture of an aortic aneurysm.

He had a painful right knee which he attributed to gout as it occurs when he drank mutton soup. His other foot had slightly twisted 2nd toe and bunion of the big toe but that should not be a surgical priority for him, The aortic aneurysm is a potential killer and I hope he seeks good advice to stop the 5-mm swelling of the aorta from bursting and draining his body of blood.

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