Tag Archives: health care

Quit your swining….

Today’s story is brought to you by Tamiflu. Tamiflu: breaking the wallets of sick people since 1999.

So George was all sick and barfy and not right over the weekend. And I was thinking, eh, he seems a little worse than a regular flu, but not too bad. Then Sunday he starts tugging at his ear, so I’m like, A-HA! Ear infection. So off to the doc we go yesterday.

Nope. No ear infection. H1N1. Aka, influenza A. Aka, Swine flu.

Ok, it’s not as bad as it sounds. The media always gets the swine flu thing wrong. Liberals. Because really, only swine get swine flu. H1N1/Influenza A is just more severe than your average seasonal flu, and lasts a little longer. George has already been through the worst of it. The doctor said complications usually come at the END of the cycle, which should be the end of this week. But his fever is already gone.

Speaking of which, the doc was a little shocked that I hadn’t taken his temperature. I said, he had a fever, and she was like, how much, and I was like….. uh……. hot on my hand? She gave me that one eyebrow up in the air look. Is it no longer acceptable to touch your kid and KNOW they have a fever? If so, um, looks like I need a new thermometer for Christmas. I don’t even know where mine is at. Or which end it goes in.

Lucky for me, Hank stayed home from school yesterday, he had a dentist appointment. And when he came out, his eye was blazing red. So I had the doc look at him too…. and he has a raging case of pink eye. Probably related to the flu, the doc says, but he is not symptomatic of the flu. Lovely that I might have spread it all over the dentist office, hmm? Which is a whole ‘nother story, jeeze louise.

Anyway, George’s doctor says, oh, by the way, the entire FAMILY has to be treated for H1N1. With a medicine that costs $50 each. EACH I TELL YOU! You should have seen my eyes bug out of my face when the pharmacist said that — and that is WITH insurance. And Jim’s got the good stuff, too! Guess who is super happy that Jim talked her into stopping at two kids right about now? Of course, it makes sense though since we’ve all been exposed. I mean, on Saturday, when he barfed all over me and the pillow I threw out, the first thing I did after ripping his clothes off was give him hugs and kisses, then I cleaned it up. And it’s not like I put on rubber gloves to do it.

 So I have to hold down George twice a day to pump this stuff in his mouth. Hank only gets it once a day, but I also have to sit on his head and pry his little eyeballs open to put the eye drops in. And Jim is the biggest baby of them all. He has pretty much doused himself with hand sanitizer and last night he freaked out a little when he grabbed the pantry door right after Hank had touched it. Although, I think Jim is more afraid of the pink eye then the flu. Big baby.

Anyway, the house has been throughly Lysoled. Bah.

However, just so everyone knows, even though you have been assured by the doctor that things are okay and your kids seem fine and they’ve started treatment, when your 4-year-old gets diagnosed with H1N1, you wake up every 30 minutes or so to make sure he is breathing. I am sure it will be a fun week for me.

Meanwhile, Hank — who is 8 years old — needs not one, not two, but THREE root canals. THREE ROOT CANALS. And I didn’t really want him sedated, and the dentist thought that was funny. His treatments start in January. Seeing as I have had one cavity ever in my life, let’s blame his other biological contributor for this one.

 The end.

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Fun with anesthesia

So I got to take the day off yesterday. Not so much for fun and relaxation, however. I was treated instead to minor surgery!

I won’t go too into details about the surgery because:

  1. My brother reads this, and he was violated enough as a child by having to deal with four sisters and not another brother in sight.
  2. My Dad also reads this, and I’m sure his senses were assaulted for years by vivid stories from my mother and her similar problems.

So, let’s just say it was an operation that required stirrups, no pants and a recovery that involves the word “discharge,” and not just instructions that you get from the doc. My husband referred to it as me getting “roto rootered” and suggested that maybe I could have avoided the problem if I had just used some Rid-X. So you get the idea.

So anyway, I was justifiably anxious. Not the kind that required Valium, just a butterfly feeling. And generally when that happens, it’s a sure sign that the 30 minutes you are waiting to get brought into the procedure room is like an eternity. Stare at the ceiling. Wonder if you have some bizarre heart condition that will make you expire right there on the table, and also, if you do, will they be nice enough to take your feet OUT of the stirrups before they let your husband come in and say goodbye. Think about whether you should go ahead and color your hair red again (you know, if you somehow make it out of surgery alive). That kind of stuff.

Then the doc comes in, explains everything that you already knew, then leaves again for another 15 minutes. More waiting. More random fantasizing.

Finally, it’s time. Into the room, up on the table, but not before managing to flash your big old butt to absolutely everyone in the room. Joke about butt. No one laughs. Feel defeated that your butt is obviously so big and heinous you cannot even get a laugh by being self-deprecating. Give up. Drugs start. Doc asks a few questions you are unable to answer. My kids names? What? Beats the hell out of me….

“Marney, wake up.”

Ahh, it’s over.

Let me go on a quick rant here. Who the hell decides what types of “procedures” do and don’t need anesthesia, anyway? I have now been knocked out twice in my life, once for this deep-sea expedition of my lady parts, and once for having my wisdom teeth removed. But — I have also had two children CUT out of me.

I’m trying to imagine a couple of doctors sitting around discussing this. The conversation goes like this:

Doc 1 – Ok, we have oral surgery, we’re going to pull out four completely useless teeth.

Doc 2 – Knock ’em out, definitely.

Doc 1 – Next, we’re going to poke a hole in the hole and be in and out in 90 seconds.

Doc 2 – Out cold, no question.

Doc 1 – Ok, we’ve got a woman who is emotionally and physically exhausted, her mind a jumble between the joy and fear of bringing a new life into this world. We’re going to strip her down naked, lay her out on a slab, cut through her abdomen, lift out her guts, cut open her uterus, pull out a huge baby, pull out some other nastiness, stick the ShopVac in there to suck out some more gross stuff. Stitch her uterus back together, push on her belly a little. Finally, put her guts back in and staple her abs back in place.

Doc 2 – Oh, let’s just give her a spinal. She should be awake for that.

WHAT THE HELL?

Anyway, back to my own personal off-shore drilling procedure. I was delighted to be alive, obviously. As they sat me up, I tired, several times, to stand. I have no idea why. It was just what I wanted to do, and the nurse needed to apply very little pressure to my shoulders to get me to sit back. At one point, I think one of my feet was still pinned firmly in the stirrup, yet still, I tried to stand.

Then they bring in a wheelchair, and it is HUGE. And again all I can think is, God, is my butt really THAT big?

“You know, I’ve lost nearly 20 pounds,” I announce to the nurse.

“Good job,” she says, pushing me back into sitting position.

“Why don’t I just walk back to my room?” I ask, trying to figure out why it is necessary for them to wrestle this enormous wheelchair into the room when clearly I am fine.

No answer.

“If I stand up right now… will I just fall right down?” I finally say.

“Yup,” the nurse answers, hooking her arms into my armpits and helping me into the fat-chair.

I have no idea how long I stayed in that chair. Jim came in. I think I mumbled at him. I know I laughed a lot. They handed me a granola bar, and within moments I handed BACK an empty wrapper. Apparently, I was ravenous. I know I got myself dressed again, but I don’t know how. Suddenly, the nurse was pushing me out the door, and we were at the front of the building, Jim opening the car door for me.

“That was awesome,” I heard myself say.

By the time we got home, I was thinking clearly, though I felt like I was drunk. Jim was nice enough to get me coffee and turn on a movie in the bedroom so I could lay down and watch. After a day of dozing, I pretty much feel back to normal. But I have to say, I think I have a clearer understanding of why people abuse drugs! Anesthesia is my new BFF.

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What’s the deal, health care reform naysayers?

The thing that is making me the absolute most crazy about the health care reform debate is the incessant reading and re-reading of proposed bills at various town hall meetings, on fabulous news shows, in countless blogs and uttered from the lips of the average Joe at the office, in the bar or even just hanging out with friends.

“The bill says this” and “the bill says that” and “the bill will add this” and “the bill will take away that.”

Jimminy Christmas, people, am I the ONLY person who payed attention to School House Rock?

I’m just a bill
Yes I’m only a bill,
And I got as far as Capitol Hill.
Well, now I’m stuck in committee
And I’ll sit here and wait
While a few key Congressmen discuss and debate
Whether they should let me be a law.
How I hope and pray that they will,
But today I am still just a bill.

That’s the point of the town halls among other things people, to get the information out there. Yet everyone keeps pointing at the bills and saying, LOOK WHAT THIS WILL DO.

*POINT*

We’re killing old people.

*POINT*

We’re killing choice.

*POINT*

We’re giving free health care to illegals.

*POINT*

We’re rationing health care!

*POINT*

Did I mention we’re killing old people?

*POINT* *POINT* *POINT*

People. It’ s just a bill. And it’s sitting there on capitol hill.

I know that I am way oversimplifying the matter. I know that there are people, on both sides of the issue, that have fiercely strong opinions. Some of them are whack jobs, some of them have valid points. But how in the hell does HB 3200, with all its good and bad points, evolve into John McCain getting booed at his own town hall when he says that he believes the President of the United States is sincere in his beliefs. Why do a group of people boo at the very thought that the President wants to aid the poorest and weakest among us in the battle for affordable and necessary health care.

Seriously, I am sick to death of hearing people say that we have the best health care system in the world. No we don’t. Not even close. The only way you have great health care is if you can afford it, and even then, your insurance company is rationing out care. I can certainly speak to that. An inquiring look at my hospital bill after my last c-section shows that I had to pay, in part, for the stitches and staples used to put me back together. So cutting the baby out, covered. But putting the mom back together…. hold on now, what’s REALLY necessary? And you know what, I have GREAT health insurance.

I cannot reach into my pocket and pull out a magical list of answers. But I know that something’s gotta give. We cannot walk around making ourselves the moral authority of the world, when we poo poo on some of the poorest among us. Walk into an emergency room and watch for a while. There are too many people out there with no way to pay, using the ER as their primary care physican, getting diagnosed only to not get a prescription filled due to lack of money, coming in way too late for their condition to be properly treated.

I don’t know what the answers are. That’s why I voted for my senators and congressmen and asked them to represent me and help find the answers. And of course, one of my senators is Rolland Burris, so I don’t exactly feel fully represented here. But I do know this — it’s only a bill. Why do we even vote these people into office if we have such little confidence that they can properly wade through the proper channels of how a bill becomes a law and represent the people of the United States.

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