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My Daily Life and Thoughts while in San Diego | List of Best Posts
This blog is where I express myself to the world or at least to those who might stop by to read what I post . Maybe God will use what I post (I am a Christian and this blog will have a most decidedly Christian bent to it) to good effect in the lives of my readers.

I may turn some of my posts into a book. I may cease blogging here altogether. Who knows. But for now..I am content to post away in this, my own little corner of the world.

Rather than reading through my now lengthy list of posts you may wish to read what I consider to be my very best posts or you can just read the posts that deal with a single subject category that might interest you.

Please know that I am open to any input on any topic I write about. If you have something to say about anything you see written here please....feel free to speak up in the form of leaving a comment or sending me a PM (private message).

And if you are in San Diego and wish to meet the one and only Carlos (that's me )...drop me a private message. I always enjoy meeting one of my readers!

Thanks.

Carlos

PS. If you want to follow my blog such that you will get an email when I write new posts you can subscribe to my blog.
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Is this what it means to get medical care in the U.S.!?

Posted 06-20-2009 at 03:55 AM by carlos123


Be forewarned that this post is not going to be pretty. I am rather perturbed.

While there were a number of things that happened to me today that are to be commended in how some others treated me, overall my experience was less than satisfactory to say the least.

I have just arrived home from the hospital. It's 1:30 AM (or thereabouts). My one knee is swollen worse than when I set out on my round of doctor and hospital visits today. Mainly due to one doctor poking around trying to drain out some fluid such that the knee has reacted to that by generating even more fluid such that now, in addition the overall pronounced swelling I now have a kind of knot in the head protrusion of additional swelling coming out of where he was poking around.

And if I had not been given some Ibuprofen by a Christian friend of mine as a back up to my Tylenol III's with codeine (that I ran out of today) I would have absolutely no pain killers.

There is no definite prognosis or diagnosis of what is wrong with me.

Before I get to the details of my generally bad experience let me highlight some of the good.

The one nurse who drew my blood was very, very competent. And the drawing of the blood went very smoothly. The pokes and prods were almost entirely painless which is quite surprising given that most pokes and prods of me end up with those doing the poking having to repoke me a few times before my veins cooperate and allow themselves to have blood drawn out of them.

My veins are the kind that move out the way for the needle after the poking has begun.

So this nurse, male, was very good.

Secondly the doctor I got at the emergency department that I eventually ended up with was likewise seemingly very good. Explaining things fully. Taking into consideration my thoughts. Even telling me that gout was a reasonably good guess (thank you yukiko and to my one Christian friend who has suffered from it for 30 years).

It was a joy to speak with this doctor.

Lastly of those things that are good in my experience...the hospital picked up the cab fare to have me driven home at 1:00 AM. I had made it clear to them several times that I needed to know absolutely by 9:30 pm whether or not they were going to admit me or whether I could come back tomorrow as I had no way to get home but by bus.

The doctor, the good one, reassured me on several corresponding occasions that I was not to worry. That he did not know what I had heard of medical care down here but that they would take care of me such that I would not be left being booted out the door into the streets with no place to go or stay.

Hold on...I must go take some Ibuprofen as both my knees are somewhat painful and my main bad one is now throbbing (the more I think about what happened the angrier I start to become).

My stomach "ulcer" and it's bad reaction to Ibuprofen will have to take second place tonight or I won't get any sleep.

Okay...I'm back.

As I was saying...with the doctor's reassurance I settled down to await the results of a bunch of different tests they took on me. They had injected me with a pain medication stronger than morphine I was told, there was a good movie on the television (something they didn't have up in Canada in the emergency room) and I had a nice comfortable bed.

Not bad so far.

Eventually the doctor came back in to try and draw out some fluid for analysis. He could not at first poke into the fluid so after a while of poking with this long needle he got himself an ultrasound and started looking around. Sure enough there were big fat juicy deposits of fluid there. He just had not poked deep enough so he went back to poking only this time with a bigger needle. OUCH!!

With my reluctant permission he continued to poke and do whatever it took to get some fluid out as we had to have it analyzed. There was no way around having to do that.

I settled back in the bed and did not look this time but squirmed and flinched at the very thought of his long and bigger needle hitting bone, cartilage, or otherwise as had seemed to happen a couple of times during his last poking.

Finally some fluid came out. He found a pocket of fluid and sucked up large quantities of it out. A nice yellowish, pus like color. Which led both of us to initially believe that it might be indicative of infection. Anyway he took the fluid out and sent it off for analysis. The nurse orderly that he left instructions to did not seem to know how to process the nice liquid so the nurse went out and asked another nurse and came back confident in his new found knowledge of what to do with my fluid this time.

In the meantime a new roommate had been placed in the other half of the ER room I was in. A bipolar, schizophrenic. By his own words.

He began to rant and rave and otherwise curse and swear which promoted me once to call upon the nurses myself to see if they could either move me to another room or else give him a sedative. But it didn't do any good so for most of the rest of the night...I had to endure his incessant obscenities and manners.

Anyway a new nurse came on duty, whose name was Chris, and I could tell immediately that this Chris did not care about the patients like the first nurse had seemingly cared. We were more of a bother than anything else. Or so he came across. This Chris turned my otherwise okay experience into a bad one.

The doctor eventually came back and explained that, although we were still waiting on a couple of tests, that he thought it best to start me on some antibiotics. Which I agreed to after which they put in an IV antibiotic feed.

I tried to get some sleep but could not through my roommates constant ravings and rantings.

After several hours Chris eventually came back in and told me that the tests were 99% conclusive that I had no gout and that my fever was not caused by bacteria and that I was free to go. So he had me sign some papers and would have scooted me out to face the streets by myself had I not insisted in making the point that I had nowhere to go and nowhere to sleep. And that the doctor had reassured me on both counts.

He went away and eventually came back with a taxi voucher and then attempted to scoot me out again. Not so fast I said.

I was being given a prescription for anti-biotics. And pain medication. Strong pain medication. But why did I have to start taking anti-biotics if my fever was not caused by bacteria? The doctor had rightly suggested that I start with an anti-biotic IV just in case but why a 7 day regime of additional anti-biotic if the tests made it seem that I did not even need them? And why had I had a fever? He had no real answer.

So he went and talked to someone else again and came back with something to the effect that my low grade fever on coming to the hospital of 99.00 was really no fever at all.

I asked him how I was supposed to get pain killers and anti-biotics if I could not afford them? That I had been told by my case manager to specifically request for these things as samples or otherwise so that I would have some.

He mumbled something about something and proceeded to encourage me to get dressed and that he would call a cab for me. That this is the way things were down here insurance wise or some such (this is a rough recollection of what he said to me).

After dressing I went out to the ER nurse desk and proceeded to ask around if I could some kind of painkiller to go since I was not likely to be able to get to a pharmacy at that time of night. I was told that they would try and find Cris. He came back to me and I asked him how it was that I was being let go without any painkillers to go and he said that there was nothing he could do or some such.

So off I went. No painkillers. In worse shape than when I got there given the foot work I did to get there. With no one knowing exactly what was wrong with me and how to prevent whatever it was that I had in the future. No x-rays were taken and no liver enzyme test was done on me to determine if my liver was malfunctioning per Cris.

No one did much of anything to determine if there was any connection between the pain being experienced in my side near my liver and the swollen leg and right side of my body. The swelling is not of just my knee anymore. My ankle is also swollen.

I have a mind to go to yet another emergency room tomorrow and see if I can get a second opinion. Come what may with respect to charges.

Needless to say, I have a bad leg that is not getting much better and after tonight's pokings is in even worse shape. The other knee is starting to bother me. And I am as clueless tonight as I was when I set out on my journey to find out what was wrong with me.

I have quite the headache.

Carlos
Posted in Personal Life
Views 1225 Comments 2
Total Comments 2

Comments

  1. Old Comment
    Oh am so sorry for your bad experience. I have also had bad experiences with doctors whch is why I spend a lot of time trying to keep healthy so I can avoid them. I haven't been to a doctor in 20 years. I would rather go to my Lord in my sleep than try to prolong my life among people who just don't care. I don't blame them, because they spend every day watching people live and die so it must, after a while affect them. My husbands first job was as an ambulance driver. In order to survive, he became so cold that the driver and the attandant would take their card game with them on the call and continue to play. This was a coldness that he never got over, but I understood. If it had been me, I probably would have had to do the same thing or die with every patient that didn't make it.
    In your case, you have symptoms that are not common complaints. You need to be the "sweeky wheel" to get the proper treatment.
    I know you won't forget to pray for Gods healing as I am sure your friends are doing also.
    The mother of a friend of mine is currently in a recovery home after having a double bypass and heart valve replacement surgery to save her life. The place she is in is covered by social security, which is probably equal to the care you are receiving. It is deplorable. Most of the food is actually so wierd you can't even identify it. One day her mother was given a chicken hot dog in a bun. It was so wrinkled that it looked like it spent all day on a hot dog cooker. She wouldn't touch it. When the aid came in he questioned her why she didn't eat. She just gave him the look and he started laughing and walked out with the food.
    Unfortunately, in your present situation, this is the best you can do yourself. Thank God that some help is available and you need to continue to insist on the proper care,
    I will be praying for you and I am sure all your friends will also.
    permalink
    Posted 06-20-2009 at 04:42 AM by yukiko11 yukiko11 is offline
    Updated 06-20-2009 at 06:33 AM by yukiko11
  2. Old Comment
    Thanks yukiko! Sometimes the very best encouragement is a friend's kind words in the midst of being with people who don't really care. Please see my new post for some good news this morning!

    Carlos
    permalink
    Posted 06-20-2009 at 10:38 AM by carlos123 carlos123 is offline
 

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