Thursday, April 16, 2009

L's ongoing medical stuff

Probably one of the worst memories that will stick in my head for the rest of my life is the phone call L. got about her health. We were driving across a long bridge when she got the call from her doctor. She started crying and every question she asked made her sob more. I couldn’t console her because I was driving on a busy freeway. I couldn’t pull over because we were on a bridge. So not only was L. getting all this terrible news but I was helpless to do anything for her in any way.
L. had to go though quite a few surgeries and other “procedures”. The whole quality of life versus surgeries endured was something that came up many times. One of the main problems that we ran into was that she couldn’t work between surgeries (time between surgeries was spent recovering for the next surgery.) but her work is what she had her insurance through. If it wasn’t for worker’s rights laws and understanding people at her work we would have lost her insurance, and become bankrupt and destitute even with all the protection that we thought we had.
Spending so much time at the hospital has led to some interesting observations. Doctors get paid by the procedure and get sued if they don’t offer every option. The only person that is asking if it is a good idea to do something or not is a terrified patient. No wonder our medical system is so messed up and expensive right now. People standing outside the hospital with the I.V. pole in one hand and a cigarette in the other or the obese people that have their family bringing them chocolate cake and fried chicken must really also dis-hearten the hospital staff.
My sister in law was laid off from her job because of the bad economy so since she was not doing anything else she offered to stay for a while and help out L. It was nice for me to be able to go to work and not need to worry about her. One of the things that L. enjoyed while holed up on the couch was that as a project I had copied all the movies over to our computer. She was able to select movies with the remote without needing to get up and down for each movie. Another nice thing was to sign up for Netflix since they now offer streaming the movies through the computer. With the computer hooked up to the T.V. she had access to plenty to keep her from being bored.

No comments: