20050315

Med Rant

You know, the state of the health care system these days is pathetic. It is 100% financially driven without and iota of thought for the human element - paitents. Seems like it used to focus more on the care of the paitents...making them well, KEEPING them well. Now it's all about what the insurance companies will and will not pay for. Who the hell came up with that brilliant idea anyway?

In some places you can't find a decent doctor to save yor life - literally - because all the true talents were driven away by the costs of insuraces, leaving a rag-tag group to do the best they can do for you (we hope) without overstepping the very specific bounds outlined by the HMOs.

I took my kid in one time because she stopped breathing. She was cyanotic. I got her to breathe again and took her to the ER. We presented her as: female, 3 years old with pnemonia, lost consciousness following double nebulizer treatment with albuterol. Lips turned blue, complained of stomach pain right before passing out. Shocked her into breathing again, and she vomited, then color returned somewhat. The doctor looked at her after we had to waiting the waitingroom for a couple hours and said, "oh, she's got pneumonia." When asked about the blue lips and the whole not breathing thing, he implied that I imagined it, and she was probably crying and knocked herself out because sometimes, when a kid is hystrerical, they can cry so long they forget to take a breath and pass out but that is completely harmless. I probably mistook the blue for purple, and so chalk the whole thing up to a hysterical mom.

I am not an idiot. I know basic mathematics. I know how to spell relatively well, I have a better understanding of basic first aid than many, and I know my color wheel. I tend not to panic in situations where a clear head is necessary (I usually lose it right before a party...big stuff there) I know the difference between a temper tantrum and a child whispering, "mommy, my tummy feels yucky:" And I know when I am being blown off by someone who for some reason could care less about being a good doctor and saving lives. he was probably preoccupied with how he was going to pay his mortagage or something. I don't know. What I do know is that there was no concern at all for my child. What should have happened, was the kid should have been put on a monitor and been given a dose of the offending medication and watched closely to gage her reactions. Instead what did happen, was i was handed and information sheet on Pneumonia (which they were astute enough to tell me she had) and sent on my merry little way with my mother, vetran nurse of over 35 years who was equally furious with the system and the moroic ass who somehow managed to buy himself a piece of paper that says DOCTOR.

But that is what we have come to.

My mother gets released from the hospital today. Goody! I am glad, but I would feel more comfortable with the thought of her being at home, alone if perhaps tyhe reason for her being in in the first place was resolved. Exertional chest pain. They have determined that the most conservative way to treat this problem is by aggressivly medicating her. Okay. I will defer to the cardiologist. SHE trusts him and that indicates to me that he's actually a pretty good doctor. But as of this morning, she is still having pains and still not on the new mix of meds. So hopefully, sometime in the next few hours she will be given the new cocktail, and it will work because my understanding is, as of now, she can't walk up two flights of stairs without signifigant pain. The sensible thing to do here is give her the meds, then give them time to kick in, then hook her up tho the monitors and stress her in a controlled situation to determine whether they work because it would be a very unpleasant thing to determine that they do not while she is trudging up the sidewalk to get to the front door and had an MI.

Unfortunately, that's not an option BECAUSE THE INSURANCE COMPANY WON'T PAY FOR IT. Cause hey, if she dies, it's not like they'll lose any more money on her, right?

Maybe I have just had way too much caffiene and I am getting more riled up than I should. Maybe I am just a nutter with crazy ideas and I spend my days sitting in a corner talking to my hair. But what I want to know is this: At what point did the medical world as a whole stop working to help the people and why didn't anyone try to stop it?

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