Monday, October 6, 2008

A Muscle Ache or A Heart Attack And What This Country Is Coming Too

That is a loaded title. Don't you thing? Let me tell you, readers. You had better have some kind of insurance in this country or friends you headed over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Because the bare facts are this, without insurance, you are a nuisance, a piece of paper, a bad debt. And the truth is the uninsured are soon to become the norm. Of course that's just this writer's opinion, but after a morning in the emergency room, I'm no longer the confident, motivated person.

Now, to be honest the whole situation began before the hospital found out my husband, who is a contractor for the company that employs him--part of the outsourcing trend--didn’t have insurance. We were greeted by a woman who hated her job. The disgust shown in the way she walked into the room.

Assistant: “Why are you here?” She said this as if a child had come to ask for a snack before dinner.

Husband: “I’ve had a dull pain that developed in my left shoulder Friday night and has grown worse over the weekend. I have a history of heart attacks at an early age in my family and I need to know this pain has nothing to do with a heart attack.

Assistant: “Do you have any history of heart attacks in your family?”


Husband repeats the above.

Assistant looking over her glasses and down her nose at him: “Did anyone in your family have a heart attack before the age of sixty?”

Husband, who is a saint: “My brother died of a heart attack at 48, my oldest brother died of a blood clot to the brain at twenty-five, my next to oldest brother had a stroke at 52, and my sister had a heart attack at 54.”

Assistant: “Normally pain for heart attacks do not start in your shoulder blade. You would be aware of the pain of a heart attack.” Assistant takes blood pressure it is 181/104.

Now, I’m no dummy. That is HIGH.

Assistant: “It is high due to your pain.” Once again she speaks to my husband as if he is a child in a clipped disgusted tone. Then she says. “We’ll run an ekg just for you, but you’re fine.”

I hoped she was right. But she was really bothered to make sure Husband wasn’t having a heart attack. And then she gave the zinger. “You shouldn’t wait from Friday night until Monday morning to come to the hospital if you think you’re having a heart attack.”All that is true, but gosh if you were going to meet her, would you hurry?

Husband: “I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t a warning. I’ve been told that discomfort in the left shoulder that moves around to the chest could be a warning. The pain began to move around to the front of the chest this morning. I came. I’m trying to be careful.”

Assistant sniffs and leads us to a room. Here we are greeted by the nurse, who loved her job, and told Husband that she would do the ekg. This was training morning and an EMT from the fire department was there. He turned out to be the most helpful. When I expressed my concerns about Husband’s blood pressure, he explained the numbers to me and told me it wasn’t unusual to have a higher reading during pain.

Thank goodness it was determined that Husband had a pulled muscle by his shoulder blade and no heart problems. The doctor then wrote out a prescription for—Yes You know what—the dreaded pain pills. Husband explained he could not take them. No way, no how. So instead he wrote out a prescription for a muscle relaxer.

As we were checking out, there were two trainees and a trainer, who obviously wanted to show them she knew her stuff.

Trainer: “Do you have the money for the bill?”

Husband: “How much is it?”

Trainer: “Well, it will be days before we know that?”

Husband: “Why did you ask then?”

Trainer: “Because we want to make sure you can pay.”

Husband: “I can’t decide that until I know my bill. How about sending it to me?”

Trainees step out of room.

Trainer: “We’ll collect if we have to.”

Husband: “I’m sure you will.”

And he left with me not far behind.

This is a scene that is being played out all over America everyday. People are putting off going to the doctor and hospital because they don’t have insurance. These are hardworking people, who pay their bills and taxes. I realize that some people work the system and always will, but the normal citizen without insurance is not about walking away from their obligations.

So, friends, who have insurance, don’t get all warm and cozy. Unless things change more and more workers will lose their benefits, along with their jobs. And those that have it won’t be able to make the deductible when the need arises. We are a nation of excess, but we don't care about the health of our citizens.

What is the answer? I’m not sure. I don’t have it. I only know that each day I get up and come to my paper and write. But I know that something has to change. Each person has to care. What can we do to change the way things are done in this country?

And that’s my two cents worth. J


Brad's Kimberly said...

Yes, you are right. Did you know in Costa Rica, health care is $25 per month and that is everything if you want to go to the doctor? It's a beautiful country, they have excellent doctors in San Jose, and everyday can be a party if you have a SS check. HUMMMMM! Let's move to Costa Rica if they don't take care of us!!!

Koddy said...

Having an insurance is having peace! If you need to overcome your erectile dysfunction I'm sure you should try viagra online and I assure you that you will notice the difference right away!

Melany Flemmings said...

Very interesting article, I just love reading your article. In fact I have never come across such a wonderful piece of work. Thank you very much for sharing.

cheap hotels in louisville kentucky