Sunday, June 2, 2013

Our medical system

Hello everyone,

       It has been awhile since the last post and some things have changed. But this post will focus on one thing important in my recent life, the medical system.

     On the 26th I went to the emergency room at Rio Grande Hospital in Del Norte Colorado. at about 5 that morning I awoke with an acute attack in the upper right abdomen and mid back. I had such an attack last year at the end of July but it trailed off after a couple of hours and I treated it with natural means. Not this time. I was admitted and kept under watch that day and night and into the next afternoon due to chest pains with it and other factors. Blood work showed an elevated white cell count and I had a low grade fever so the doctors decided to transfer me to where there was a surgeon. That would be the nearby San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center in Alamosa. I would have gone there first but just was wary based upon some rumors and other experiences from folks. So, the local ambulance loaded me up and off I went to Alamosa.

     I want to thank the doctors and staff of Rio Grande Hospital for their kindness and care during this initial part of diagnosis and treatment. Your caution proved to be the right thing and I thank you.

    So, I arrived on the evening of the 27th and was taken to the third floor surgical ward where I would remain overnight being tested and evaluated. I met the first of many on staff who were upbeat, professional, and caring. Both facilities knew up front that I had no insurance and no money as I told them. It mattered not and the focus was on diagnosis and treatment. The CT scan from Rio Grande and other tests were compared to what these folks had done and so I was visited by Surgeon Mike Liang. It was obvious that the gall bladder had to come out and so it was scheduled for in the morning.

   At 11 am on the 28th I went in for gall bladder removal. I was back in my room by 2. I would remain overnight and leave the next morning. The gall bladder was so bad it was infected with gangrene. So, we were looking at a serious event. The entire staff at SLVRMC was wonderful. That includes the folks in the business office who were very helpful in laying out what I needed to do to get this paid for in large part.

   I am now recovering and will start the process of getting help with payments either through medicaid or CICP, the state equivalent. Our system is not perfect, but it does work. Throughout this I met fine people whose goal was my health and comfort and nothing else. Yes, there are those who are bought and sold by drug companies. Yes, there are poor performers in the business. Yes, there are risks. Yet I received prompt and effective treatment regardless of my financial status. They were following their oath. I talked at times about the looming Obamacare debacle and found no one positive about it. In fact hospitals like the ones I used will likely close under the new regime. We hear all the time that folks under this system don't get treatment and we need government to fix it. The truth is the opposite. You WILL get treatment and government getting involved will make it much worse, not better.

      I have not been a fan of western medicine, but there are times that natural means simply are not going to work. Such was the case here. I am very grateful to all involved in my treatment and care and thank them for their efforts. I hope to NOT see you all again in that capacity any time soon, if you know what I mean! I paid into the system for many years so feel no guilt at having the system cover the bulk of my bills and I'll take care of the rest as best I can over time. I was impressed and would have no hesitation seeking treatment locally for most things should the need arise. BTW, while I was treated promptly, I have a friend in Australia under their socialized medicine who still has not had needed surgery after a heart attack in December. He is my age and thus keeps getting put down the list as care is rationed. I'll take our system over that any day! Were I in that system I could very well be dead right now. So now on with life and more usual challenges. Until next time, be well.


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