For a Healthier Country Author: BobRDate:2021-10-13 12:00:40
As most of the daily readers of this tiny corner of the blogosphere already know, I was in the hospital for 5 days last week. It was not at all pleasant. The first 12 hrs or so were spent on a gurney in a room in the ER. After that, I was transferred to the "general" hospital (no Luke or Laura - sorry). I had a private room, which seemed strange, but was very welcome. Everything was top-notch... and I was miserable.
It's quite the helpless feeling, being essentially tied to a fairly uncomfortable bed, with tubes stuck in your arms, and unable to go anywhere (I REALLY like my - er, "our" - bed at home). I would set off an alarm just getting out of bed, so I was unable to walk to the bathroom without getting someone to come in, and unable to just move from bed to chair and back. Sleep was constantly interrupted as blood was drawn, temperature taken, and blood pressure and O2 levels checked. The first couple days I could only have clear liquids, so I was sleep-deprived, uncomfortable, and hungry (with no appetite) 'round the clock.
What made this bearable was the equipment and people working there are absolutely wonderful. It was a rainbow of colors, genders, nationalities, and - with one exception - I felt lucky to have them all working around the clock to get my health back to the point where I was able to come back home. They are part of the Adventist Healthcare chain, which I assume means they are owned and managed by the 7th Day Adventists. Did that matter to me? Not a bit. Only once at the very end of my stay did they send around a "spiritual advisor" who engaged in a thoughtful conversation, and thanked us for giving her something to think about. I'd recommend this chain to anyone.
Despite all of the discomfort I went through on the path to getting healthier, though, I consider myself very lucky. I have good insurance, and an HSA to cover most of the shortfall beyond my copay. I don't know what that will look like, but it's possible I am completely covered, or I could be making payments for years to come. Before the ACA, there were hundreds of thousands of my fellow citizens who would be financially ruined by something like this. Thousands still live in areas where the level of skill, caring, and equipment isn't anywhere close to what was available to me.
This wasn't a near-death experience by any means, and I am not going to wax philosophical about the meaning of life, or to implore everyone to make the most of the time they have here on this earth. What it does reinforce for me is that after seeing from the inside what's possible, re: healthcare, it makes me want to fight even harder to ensure this is available to everyone. Medicare for all, and better Medicare for those who have it! Every other civilized nation on earth (and even some not-so-civilized) ensure their citizens have access to low (or no) cost healthcare. They can afford it - so can we.