I haven’t written this week as I figured no one needs to hear my whining. Every post I have saved as a draft was a pile of complaining.
But, now that I’m on the mend, I’ll explain what has been going on. Pain is a way of life for me, for almost six years I’ve had constant pain in my back, hip and left leg. I deal with it. I’ve adjusted how I live and move, I gave into using a cane and wheelchair to be mobile, I’ve accepted it.
Like I said, it is part of my life. Well, since JournalCon it has gotten worse. I had a different kind of pain in my left hip. It was no longer the normal dull meow, it was a screaming, stabbing, damnit do I have jagged metal in the place of my hip, type of pain.
For a couple days, I dealt, then it got to the point I could barely walk three steps, with my cane. Last night, I hit the wall. Nothing I was doing was helping, I couldn’t sit, it hurt, can’t stand, it hurt worse, laying down made it worse.
I ended up doing some relaxing breathing (Lamaze type breathing, actually) to work through it. The pain wasn’t getting any better, in fact, I ended up laying awake, crying for almost an hour trying to wish it away.
Eventually, exhaustion got me and I fell asleep. When I woke up, today it was even worse. Now, we don’t have insurance, Tony’s a student, I’m a housewife, we don’t have it. Nor did we have the cash upfront for a doctor’s visit and there are no doctors around that will take payments.
Off we went to the Emergency Room. Yes, I know in the long run it will cost us more but, when it comes down to having food for a couple of weeks or paying a doctor’s visit, well, you have to have food to live.
The closest hospital to us is about a 45 minute drive away, we headed up there, drove through Burger King to eat as I have not been up to cooking and we knew by the time we got out of there it would be late and we would be starving.
We got there, Tony wheeled me inside to fill out the paperwork to even be triaged, while he parked the van over in the parking deck (which is a good thing as I do not like parking decks.) I waited just over an hour to be triaged, and after they triaged me I was sent right back to a room, which in this hospital, never happens.
A nurse came in to get me settled, debating the merits of having me move to the bed vs staying in my chair. Before we decided on that the Physician’s Assistant was there. She had me stand up, while she checked out my back.
I was leaning on Tony and the nurse (mainly Tony as I know he won’t break and I really don’t want to hurt a nurse) when the PA poked down the center of my lower back. Unfortunately she was pushing on the spots of my back that no one is allowed near. If you touch this part of my back, I scream.
And, I did. There’s no stopping it, I’ve tried to control it but even nominal pressure there sends shockwaves of pain through me. She looked at my hip, then ordered xrays, pain meds, and a muscle relaxer.
I took the pills, got shipped to xray, where they twisted me in a billion different ways, not a one of them in the least bit comfortable, then left me, flat on my back on the xray table.
Now, laying like that, just hurts on a normal day, by that point I was breathing so quick I thought I was going to pass out.
Then, they had to redo the xrays as they weren’t coming out well.
After the second xray they had to start waiting a minute or two between each one as it was overheating. The one thing you don’t want to hear when you’re being xrayed is that the big, radiation thing above you is overheating. I mean, Jesus, what in the hell is causing that and am I going to end up getting a megadose of scary shit and mutating?
When they were waiting for this set to be checked, again, flat on my back on the torture table. By now, I know they could hear me breathing and know how much pain I’m in. I ended up flipping to my good side and waiting out.
Back onto the stretcher, only know the back is at straight up, it’s way in the air (xray tables are much higher than a stretcher) and one guy is pushing me back with the stretcher this high up. Of course, with the stretcher in this position, he’s having a hell of a time controlling it and I got to see several walls up close and personal.
I’m back in the room for a little while watching bad television, when the PA comes back, tells me there is nothing new on the xrays, it’s from the nerve issues, I get more pain meds, a few prescriptions and sent on my way.
I’m contacting a teaching hospital in VA to see if I can get into their program so I can see a doctor regularly, possible physical therapy, and get into their pain clinic. I can’t risk another week like this past one, I really and truly hit the final wall of pain for me and just couldn’t deal with it.
It sucks living in the US without any health insurance. Doctors demand payment upfront, specialists are outrageously expensive, medications are to the point that even with insurance many are screwed. I haven’t been taking care of my health issues due to this. I coast on over the counter drugs, and those given to me by others.
My life, no, our life has suffered for it. There are many times when we have plans and I just can’t do it. There are days when I can barely move at all due to it. I’m missing out on life because of pain and lack of insurance.
And, I don’t have it as bad as many people. I have a very supportive husband. He takes care of so much more than he should have to, in order to help me. I have chronic pain due to degenerative disc disease and the subsequent nerve damage, I have PolyCystic Ovarion Syndrome that is going untreated but, I’m not dying from lack of medical care.
Too many in the USA are. That is just sad. We’re one of the wealthiest countries in the world, yet, many people suffer in pain or die due to inadequate medical care. Government programs do not cover a lot of us who have no insurance (in fact the majority of people who don’t have insurance are ineligible for Government assistance.)
Isn’t it time that something is done about it? From this one ER visit, with xrays, a couple of pills, and a few prescriptions, that was probably well over 1000 dollars in medical bills. We’ll be paying on that for years.
Shouldn’t basic health care be a right? We’re spending how many billions of fucking dollars in Iraq, yet, we can’t spend money to help USA citizens to have some basic fucking health care? We can send money all over the world for this and that, while people suffer here?
Something is wrong when we can spend billions of dollars to kill people but, very little to help our own citizens life healthy lives. Something is wrong when we can spend money to put people in jail for small marijuana violations but, not help our citizens. Something is wrong when politicians are spending extreme amounts of money to be elected, while the citizens they supposedly serve can’t go to the doctor.
Something is wrong when we spend millions and millions of dollars on unneccesary bullshit, everyday, while people are hungry, in pain, and on the streets.
Somewhere, the USA got off track. We’re more worried about killing people and updating our damn terrorist threat level than taking care of the people living here. We’re fighting over who served what time in the military over THIRTY FUCKING YEARS AGO, instead of worrying about people who are here, now.
And, it is wrong with both sides. We argue over a fucking ribbon in a picture or whether or not he was injured or not. We argue over whether all citizens should have the same rights (hello, duh, of course we should) to marry the person they love.
We argue over every damn thing instead of seeing the big picture. And it is ruining us. It’s killing our country, it is splitting us into groups that hate and name call and treat one another like shit.
It is just fucking wrong. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of arguing over dumb, petty things instead of working for the good. I’m tired of hurting. I’m tired of fucking politicians playing us for idiots. I’m fed up with it all. I’m sick to death of the people making the decisions for all us coming from families who never have to worry about whether or not they can go to the doctor or eat. Or worry about the school their child is attending as they can just ship their kids to a good, well financed private school.
I’m tired of being told that vouchers are the answers to school problems, even though those vouchers wouldn’t be enough for the lower middle class or poorer families to send their children to private schools.
I’m tired of hearing the President saying stupid shit about things he can’t even pronounce. I don’t want to hear that God speaks through him, damnit. We’re supposedly a country without a state religion, yet, our elected officials keep forgetting that. If you or I were to announce publically that God was speaking to us, or through us, we’d be carted off to the funny farm. Bush does it and he’s praised for it.
I’m tired of being told (by politicians) that they know where we’re coming from while they are standing there in a suit that is worth more than my car. I’m tired of the majority of politicians being white, Christian men.
Fuck it, I’m tired of all of it. I do what I can; I vote, I write my elected officials, I work the polls some years, I write letters to the editor. I do all the things I can.
Yet, it isn’t enough. Obviously, it isn’t enough as I’m still sitting here in dismay over where the USA is going and how things are run. I’d run for local office but, damn, I’m a woman, I’m young(ish), I don’t have a perfect background and the biggie, I don’t have money or a family name to carry me.
I don’t know what to do, other than keep on keeping on, with what I can do. And hoping and praying that my fellow Americans wake up and realize how fast this handbasket is heading to hell.