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Horse-pitals and Ferguson Missouri and the dollar

Marymount Hospital

Went to the ER of the local hospital on Sunday afternoon because I wanted a problem looked at before my appointment with my health care provider on Tuesday afternoon.  I’d been having some fairly intense pain on my right side under my right arm pit and it seemed to be taking a awfully long time to heal. After all I have Medicare and a supplement and what the heck, may as well check it out just in case.

I had been in hospital a number of times. Mostly so so experiences  A few kind of horrible. So it goes. Was in hospital when I was 18 for a pretty bad motor scooter accident for 6 weeks in South Florida. That was the horrible one since I was in severe pain 4 or so of those weeks and very sick from it. Though I cannot entirely blame the hospital for this. It was small and the doctor who initially had my case – an orthopedist – took a powder the minute I started getting really sick. Fortunately he turned my case over to my family doctor who was significantly more astute and wise. The old country GP type who had moved to Fl. from up north some place.  The nursing staff though competent, was not that responsive or sympathetic. The care being adequate at best.

I was very happy to be discharged.

The second major occasion was when my mother had a heart attack. This was in Central Florida. Her post operative care was adequate at best. She had 3 stents put in and after a day or so, sent home.

The third occasion was an appendectomy I had. The ER experience was one mild interest bordering on disinterest by the ER staff. Though my surgeon was a very nice fellow and told me all about the procedure and what to expect and had a very good bed side manor.  He had been called by my primary doctor ahead of time and knew all about it. Acute appendicitis.  We talk and then eventually I was wheeled down to the OR, put to sleep and out it came. Laparoscopic surgery.

The fourth time was when my mother fell and broke her hip. She was admitted to the hospital and scheduled for surgery but her blood salt was very low and they would not do surgery until they were normal. She eventually had the surgery which went fine but would not release her until she had an normal BM. [Bowel movement] After many enemas she finally did and was released to a rehab facility. But she had contracted a bowel infection along the way. Clostridium difficile which killed her. This did upset me greatly because of the circumstances and the lack of medical competence. Why when she had trouble with her BM did they NOT investigate as to why ? Why was there no a CT done ? Or wasn’t an internal medicine specialist consulted ?

The fifth time was recently as stated above. The ER staff was very competent and very nice and caring but focused on my heart rather than my pains. I can understand this. For one thing cardiology and heart problems are their thing but it would have been nice if they listened more to understand and less to respond. The stay was as pleasant as one could expect under the circumstances. I had the whole cardiac bit with numerous EKGs. Blood workups. Three just to check c-reactive-protein to make sure I did not have a heart attack now or recently. Echo-cardiogram with EKG and a chemical stress test.

All turned out just fine. But the care was great. Nurses coming in not just to take my vitals and draw blood but to make sure I was comfortable, had enough ice water, get me a snack since it was a bit late for dinner and I had mine already anyway. Explain what test I would have and why and when. One even to take my medical history and that of my family. The doctors and technicians came in to explain the procedures and why. The cardiologist on call came in and told me he did not think my problem was heart related since my EKG(s) looked fine but wanted the test done anyway just to make sure. I had not had them done for a number of years, so it really was about time.

My only real problem in that area was high BP when in a stressed or anxious situation. A family thing that my brothers, sisters and cousins all have.  The procedures went well and the people were very nice.

And here is the thing. Not once was payment mentioned. While in the ER a lady came in, I pointed her to my plastic, she took it and did her thing. Whereas in Florida one of the very first things you see is the finance person. And you better have access to money or insurance.

This is where the reference to the events in Ferguson come in and one of the glaring differences between Northern cities and the South.

It’s an attitude and belief that everyone – especially the government – is out to rip them off and enslave them. WHY…because it’s exactly what they would do if give half a chance.  After all, that’s exactly what the federal government has done in the past. And they feel completely justified in this. Since they were ripped off by those damn Yankees before.

They treat blacks and black protesters like filth since that is exactly the way they expect to be treated under similar circumstances and often were.

This attitude is very pervasive in the south and lingers still. It infects nearly everything even health care. Seeing all those they deem below them as malingerers at best.

I was fortunate in that I had a health care provider that had as little use for the hospitals in Florida as I did and saw to it that I spent as little time there as necessary.

I am very fortunate now that I live in an area and have a health care provider that I have a good relationship with and the hospitals are actually concerned about the patients.

I really do not know what can be done about this but it’s a split that is fracturing the country.

The biggest difference in hospital treatment was the ones in Florida were focused on their bottom line instead of the patient. And protecting it at all costs. Even to the patient.

It’s not that I condone their behavior. It is what it is.

And because I like the song.

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