Last Sunday, I woke with a gut pain that migrated right and down to where the appendix lives. Realizing this was no ordinary stomachache, I drove to the nearest ER, where I received a CAT scan that confirmed my diagnosis. I had surgery that night, and spent the next day hooked up to IVs.
This was only my second surgery, and it was by far the worst one. Back at home, I suffered horrible pain because I was given no painkillers. I was also not given post-op instructions on how to take care of myself. I had to go online to find out what to do about my incisions.
How did this happen, you ask?
My doctor wanted me to stay an additional night. I’d already been cleared by the surgeon to return home Monday afternoon, so I refused. A battle of wills ensued, and I ended up checking out against medical advice. That’s their term for it anyway. When you do that, they withhold ALL support, including drugs and instructions. In other words, “Go home and die then. You signed. We won’t be responsible.”
I was angry. The reason my doctor gave for wanting me to cough up money for another night was because he thought he saw fluid around my heart on the scan. Well, that fluid, a very thin layer already noted well over a year ago on a different scan, hasn’t bothered me and isn’t a problem, and I saw no reason to go further into debt over something he could discuss with me in his office.
A tech did an ultrasound in the hospital room before I left. I didn’t need to remain there to hear the results. So I signed myself out and went home.
I suffered, but I survived. Fuck them. The medical industry is not holding me hostage. As it is, I’m going to owe thousands and thousands of dollars, despite having Medicare. I can’t afford the additional gap insurance, so I’m responsible for 20%. That’s the same amount I would have paid under the ACA, which cost me a lot less in premiums per month.
I am not happy with the state of healthcare in this country. You shouldn’t be either. Fight for single payer! Fight for national healthcare! We deserve it. It’s a human right under the constitution: pursuit of life.
Now I’m going to lie down again. My incisions hurt.