Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Oh Lord, May I Never Get Sick

A few years ago, I had a bulging disc in my neck that pinched a nerve. I was in a hell of a lot of pain, and my left arm was rendered fairly useless for a couple weeks. I knew there was nothing to do but wait it out, but my wife convinced me to go to a doctor. In the world of PPO/HMO, I had no clue what doctor to go to. I ended up going to the one closest to the abode. He ended up being a quack.

Since that son of a bitch got paid for every son-of-a-bitch service he provided, that son of a bitch had me going through every son-of-a-bitch test and treatment imaginable. I got an MRI, I got electric shock, I got a friggin' AIDS test. And every time I got a new test, the technician would ask, "What are you doing here?"

I'd respond, exasperated, "I have no fucking clue."

When it was all said and done, I still had a bulging disc, I was still in a lot of pain, and, only through my self-diagnosis of repeatedly, painfully moving my left arm, did that limb return to normal. That son of a bitch had me in tears--not because of the pain (though that electric shock thing sucked ass)--but because of all the frustration I went through, and all I kept thinking was, "What if I were really sick? What kind of son-of-a-bitch bullshit would I be going through?"

Well today, for the second time in as many months, I have paid another outrageous amount for a prescription. The first one was for that smoking cessation drug. Today was for an antibiotic. I have an eye infection. I was just going to ride it out; but it's lasted about three weeks now, and it's pretty hard reading for a living with a pus-filled eye. So, I just dropped 68 son-of-a-bitch dollars for an eye dropper I'm only going to be using for the next five days.

I mean, I've dropped hundreds of dollars for two prescriptions for non-chronic/non-life-threatening conditions. Yeah, in the grand scheme of things, that's nothing at all. And that's what pisses me off. I can't help thinking, "What if I were really sick? What kind of son-of-a-bitch bullshit would I be going through?"

But hey, there's hope on the horizon. Our government's finally going to a single-payer health system, right?


Oh well, on the bright side, my next-door neighbor's screaming "Feelings" in Spanish at the top of his lungs. Life can't be all bad.


Utah Savage said...

I have a friend who has just been diagnosed with lung cancer. I'm the smoker, she's not. I believe in Western medicine, she doesn't. I'm the healthy one, she's probably dying. She won't go the traditional way of chemo, radiation, and surgery so she will die of her cancer. I'm disabled by bipolar disorder and take a handful of drugs every morning and every night to stay sane and keep my blood pressure and heart rhythm normal. But since I have single payer health care it isn't to bad, cost wise. Why her and not me? I have no family. She has four kids and six grandkids. I wouldn't mind dying. She has a lot to live for.

Shani said...

Don't get me started. There's nothing like taking the best (perhaps the only workable) solution off the table before you even begin to negotiate.

Max Reddick said...

I supposedly have very good health insurance, or so I have been told. But when I need to see a physician, I have to wait weeks for an appointment unless of course its an emergency and then I can be seen immediately after about a twelve hour wait at the emergency room and pay a hundred bucks. And then when I do get an appointment, I don't see the doctor, but a physician's assistant.

Yeah, this whole health care thing is looking more and more like a scam every day. I wonder what the rich folks do?