Adventures In Health Care

As most of you know, I was recently treated to almost 9 days of hospitalization. The details beyond that it was a fairly serious condition, yet far from critical, are immaterial. I had a first-hand look at medicine as practiced by a major hospital in a large metropolitan area. The hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, a large extremely well-paid staff and an excellent staff/patient ratio. In spite of this all, the number of small but potentially serious errors that were made was astounding. Fortunately, I’m a proactive patient, taking nothing for granted and constantly inquiring as to what I was being given, why and monitoring my own progress through lots of questioning. Mind you, I haven’t been an in-patient since my teen-age years and the complexity of care has increased by quantum leaps in technology and knowledge advancements. Regardless, serious errors arise in any complex technology as the potential failure-mode rate increases. Reflecting on these facts, I can only extrapolate how much WORSE a system, not only governed by itself and voluntary high industry standards would be degraded by the addition of multiple layers of bureaucracy that would exist should government become involved. As an example, Teh One™ is all for the Health Care Information Technology Act. In my own experience something inherently simple as the transfer of case information from the Emergency Center to the in-patient floor was a complete disaster. Remember this is from one part of the same institution to another all of which are “tied” together by a single IT network. What if under the End-All, Be-All of Universal Health Care, the gubmint decided to transfer me to an entirely different facility? Total chaos, incorrect or missing information or none at all. Worse yet, information on the wrong patient (assume I was comatose). It doesn’t take rocket science to envision me being discharged to the morgue instead of home now does it?

This was just ONE of many errors made. I questioned some management types about the root cause of these problems and the answer was that their technology was outpacing the ability of the staff to maintain training on the nearly continuous improvements. Do you think some bean-counter inserted into the process would add or detract to the problem? After all, the hospital doesn’t get paid to train staff and the only direct affect is that of patient care quality or quantity. What if the Bean-Counter decided that since I’m of middle-age a particularly expense medication wasn’t cost-effective and the substitute didn’t work. Oh well, JB is over 50 and he had a good life. Think it can’t happen? Take a look at some of the comments we’ve heard from the government health industry types. Oh, he consumed way too much trans-fatty acids…off to the Death Watch Ward with him or her.

Was I a victim of malpractice? I think the answer is a resounding NO, but the facts stand prima-facie, it could have been worse and an extra layer of that bureaucratic nemesis might have made a huge difference in my (Thank You L-rd) nearly complete recovery or pushing up daisies.

Something for all the yammerheads out there to consider. Once again FUCK YOU very much 52%’rs. If this woulda happened post-coital gubmint health takeover I might not be here to pen this screed.

You get what you pay for, or not…….

Carry On…..

[By the way: Our humble thanks for the well wishes and prayers from the pack-JB&CountryRed]


  1. 51
    Tallulah says:

    BTW, the preceding rant was against the InsNorance creeps, not the medical folks. They were really great. The MICU (medical ICU) folks at Vanderbilt are aces. Young, smart, on the ball. And kindhearted. They kept a real close eye on my sister.

    Of course, our clan had gathered as well, and a host of her friends kept coming through in shifts, so she had the most visitors of anyone in MICU. One of the nurses teared up when she heard us all saying the Lord’s Prayer over her.

    Like Spike, her pupils were “blown” (never heard that expression, but it sure is descriptive), and they looked like a corpse’s eyes. Completely dilated, no iris showing At All. No whites, either. She was making only random movements, if that, and breathing hoarsely. I sat beside her for hours, watching for the tiniest sign of life.

    The day she opened her eyes in the hospice, I raced over there in my car. I held her dear face in my hands and said, “I love you, I love you, I love you …” over and over. She looked right at me, and I saw tears welling in her eyes. One tear slipped out of her left eye: I touched it with my finger. “Sweetheart, are you tired?” I asked her, and she nodded three times. I ran into the hall and grabbed my bro-in-law, but he didn’t believe that she was really hearing and understanding anything. But I KNEW.

    The next day, she looked at him and said, “Hi!” He almost dropped his drawers. That’s the day she started having actual conversations. All medically impossible, according to the doctors.

    It was a miracle. And her daughter, back in haste from overseas, has actually had the chance to talk at length with her mother: when she first arrived, my sister was in a deep coma and expected to die hourly. My niece and nephew are absolutely gutted by all this.

    We all are. I fear it’s a matter of the candle flaring brilliantly one last time before it goes out.

  2. 52
    LC hilljohnny says:

    Tallulah, i will pray for you and your family, be strong.

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