Modern Medicine

emergency

We have gone to the ER twice in less than a year, once for my kid, once for me. In my almost thirty nine years of life, I’ve only needed to go to the hospital four times. Once for a fractured arm, once because half of my face couldn’t move, once for like a C-section or whatever, and most recently for a severe allergic reaction. I’ve decided the ER is where people go to die, not get help. Not because of incompetence. Just that the very nature of hospitals is for sick people. Where sick people make other people sick. Where sick people get infections from being at the hospital. Where sick people can’t sleep or eat well or get any comfort and die mentally. The lighting is soul ending. The noise, unstoppable. The blood pressure cuff goes off every thirty to sixty minutes, your arm swells until the vein in your wrist feels like it’s going to burst. There is no peace or serenity or really, hope.

***

This latest visit will put me out $1,000. Minimum. My health insurance premium is over $500 a month, but with a tax credit and 80% assistance from my job, I pay about $140 out of pocket. I am lucky. Still, I get why people don’t go to the doctor or to a specialist or take care of minor things. Co-pays. Deductibles. Co-insurance. It all adds up. An old friend of mine said she was being $50’d-To-Death because her daughter required visits to a specialist frequently and this was the co-pay. There is no assistance for these types of costs. Also, it feels more and more like PPO’s have become HMO’s. If I have to see someone “in network” where is the choice in that and why am I paying more? Also, also, why in the hell can’t we just go to the nearest hospital? Why do we have to find our “in network” hospital? Is this a joke? Health insurance is literally the biggest scam of all time. Why don’t we just go where we want, see who we want, and pay them based on our income? Don’t even get me started on the dentist.

***

After all of my kevetching over these costs and the upcoming hospital bills, I had to have three prescriptions filled. One was for an epi pen, which from what I could recall, had gone way up in price thanks to some soulless pharmaceutical CEO. I waited anxiously for my name to be called at Walgreens and when she said “your total is $10” I said “AWESOME” way too loudly. My insurance saved me over $700. So, yeah, I guess that’s something, but also, they get $500 a month from “me”, so OK.

***

I do not like being on drugs. There were several years when I took nothing. Not even birth control. I liked my unexplained mental health issues or physical ailments to be caused by ME and not as the result of some side effect. Now I’m taking three medications a day and have to carry this stupid epi pen with me. I had a three day prescription for Predisone which just ended and thank god. It made my blood pressure rise and I felt restless and hungry and out of sorts. And that’s nothing compared to what other people are experiencing this who have to take it all of the time. Hair loss. Bone loss. Weight gain. Mood swings. Insomnia. Do we even care about side effects when a drug cures ONE thing?

***

The state of healthcare in this country truly saddens me. We literally put a price on human being’s heads. Some lives are worth saving only because they have the means to do so. And the fucked up things is the people who have it the worst are the ones who aren’t poor enough for government aid but don’t have enough to afford decent coverage. I’m guessing that’s most of the population.

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