The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

URGENT CARE?

Helen Hudson

Posted on October 20, 2022 05:15

2 users

There is nothing urgent nor caring about our mini-medical outlets.

A recent Harvard report says the U.S. spends more on health care than all the other wealthy democracies in the world. We pay almost four times as much for pharmaceutical drugs as citizens of other developed countries. Hospitals, doctors, and nurses all charge more in the U.S. Interestingly, in spite of all that spending, life expectancy in the U. S. lags behind that of its peer countries. Recently, I discovered firsthand just why that is.


Last week, after finishing my laps, I couldn't quite reach my towel on the pool deck. So, leaning my full, body weight against the edge on my left side, I reached out and dragged the chair with my towel on it closer. As I did, I heard three distinctive, crunching sounds come from deep inside my rib cage. I held my breath, thinking I might stave off the terrible pain that was about to descend. It almost worked-- but then-- I breathed.
I had a work shift ahead of me that I didn't want to miss, so I went. A few hours in, I had to hold my side just to get a full breath. 'Maybe I punctured a lung?' A few hours later, the pain propelled me straight to the nurse where I work. She palpated my ribs and said, "You need to get to Urgent Care ASAP! They're open until midnight." At 7:45 PM, I arrived at Urgent Care. "I'm sorry," the receptionist said as I clutched my chest and gasped for air. "Our X-ray tech leaves in 15 minutes and can't see you now. But you can come tomorrow at 8 AM." So much for either 'urgent' or 'care.'


The next morning, I arrived at 8 but was not seen until 9. After taking x-rays, it took another hour until they were read. Finally, I was told, "Well, you could have fractured your ribs, or you may have torn the muscles or tendons. Either way, it'll take 4-6 weeks to heal." "So, you don't know exactly?" I asked. "No, we can't see fractures in x-rays." "Then why did you take them if they have no bearing on the diagnosis?" "Protocol." In what world does it make sense for 'protocol' to take four x-rays that riddle me with radiation, cost a fortune, and have NO effect on the outcome? No wonder our medical costs are soaring. Note to self: I'm no longer made of Teflon.

Helen Hudson

Posted on October 20, 2022 05:15

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest