(1000+ posts) Sat Nov-19-11 11:20 AM
Original message Now I want to tell you about the poor bastard in the hospital bed beside me
Our health care system, while as good as can be found if you have access, can be the most frightening thing there is for those who aren't blessed with good fortune.
You can go read about my recent hospital experience if you like, but this post isn't about me. Its about the poor bastard that was in the bed beside me.
They wheeled this guy into the room tuesday morning, the curtain between us held back nothing. I was 1 day head of him in the system, I was the old pro. Here's what the guy's deal was. He woke up monday and although he had to he could not pee. All day he couldn't pee. In the evening he finally did - he peed blood, blood, and more blood. He called 911 and was taken to the local (medium sized city) hospital. They told him they couldn't do what he needed and wished him luck as they sped him on up the chain.
The guy had no job. He had got laid off two years ago from his job running a fork-lift at a medium sized industrial company. He had no money, he had no insurance. He was also divorced and living alone. He had a daughter but she was not likely to show up in aid, she had serious problems of her own. Tests were done and results came back. He needed to have one of his kidney's, or what cancer had left of it, out and it had to come out right now.
And so there the poor bastard was. He had nothing, he had no where to go, nothing at all to fall back on, and now out of nowhere he had a medical emergency that would certainly take his life. The only thing between him and a paper's funeral was the charity of others.
And this was a nice guy. He was a hard-working guy too. He did what he was supposed to do, he played by all the rules, and there he was on the bed pissing blood and dieing. And how in hell could this be? Why had we, as a society, just abandoned this fellow?
Well, we didn't. They to a team of administrators in there and quickly got him into every program they could find that might stand a chance of helping him. They got enough on paper that he could be operated on and so yesterday after a full day's of surgery on thursday, he was still alive. But I've got to ask, how on earth could we have a system capable of doing so much good but that this fellow, who wasn't out there looking for a handout and wasn't working any system for anything that it was worth found himself so far outside of the world of care? This guy was just hours away from being tossed on the trash pile.
Fer christ's sakes, if there is anything on this earth we have to take care of, other than our murderous wars, this has to be it. There is no excuse for what passes as a health care system in this country so long as it is not completely inclusive and paid for completely from the public trust. Nothing else will do.