Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Drive A Geo. You?

It's been kind of quiet around here. I'm still suffering with my back spasms and the medicine that I'm on makes me feel kind of foggy. I am physically present, but mentally I'm not very motivated. Makes writing kind of tough.

The last three and a half weeks have me thinking seriously about my personal situation and the state of medicine in general. Health care talk is everywhere. It frustrates me to listen to most of it. What angers me the most are people with the Mercedes-Benz of insurance policies making decisions for the rest of us who have something along the lines of a Geo Metro. I get particularly annoyed when I hear people bashing countries like Canada who have universal healthcare. They go on and on about Socialism and long lines to see the doctor and it really gets on my nerves after awhile.

I'm well into my third week of being sick. I work for an employer who offers no sick leave. Three weeks ago I woke up with a fever and a cough. I had to go to work. The fever lasted a couple of days and the cough got out of hand. The cough gave me back spasms which eventually sent me to the local urgent care center.

That was two weeks ago.

My back is still bad. I ran out of muscle relaxants and tried to just push through and hope it got better on its own. It didn't.

Going to the urgent care center costs twice as much as going to a regular doctor's office. But if I go to a regular doctor's office I have to take time off work – without pay. That makes it a no-brainer. So, on Sunday I went back to urgent care and sat for three hours in a waiting room full of people wearing masks because they have the flu.

Don't tell me the healthcare system in the United States isn't a mess. My scenario isn't all that earth shattering. I just have a bad back that will eventually get better. There are millions of people who have to play the same kinds of games but their stakes are so much higher. . .cancer, liver disease, heart failure. Even bad backs that won't get better.

What bothers me most about my whole scenario is that I think it probably could have been avoided.

145 countries mandate sick leave. I have a sneaking suspicion that if I could have stayed home for a day or two when I first got a cough this whole thing could have been avoided.

I'm now more than three weeks in. . .with two visits to urgent care and five prescriptions to my name.

Please don't talk to me about long healthcare lines in Canada.

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