Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Happy to be alive.

I just need to remind myself that I am happy to be alive because today was an infuriating day of dealing with our "healthcare" system.

Never get sick.

Never get hurt.

Never ask questions.

I'm blessed to be surrounded by people who love and support me and help when, where and how they can.

Ok... rant done.



Anonymous said...

Yup. Been reading you on Twitter. One day I'm working, three days later I'm getting my first of five rounds of chemo. Had a stem cell transplant (I'm practically bionic now) and am 27 months in remission from leukemia.

But I'm still not cleared to work yet. After 20+ years of being on my own, I had to move home at age 38. Fun.

And yeah, I have health insurance. Pretty good insurance too.

Keep healing. I dig ass kickers!

Tim Jackson said...

Debutant- I can't thank you enough for your courage and that dose of reality.

I am humbled by YOUR strength. YOU kick ass!

Donna T. said...

Tim - breathe....breathe...the first part of that post is the one to focus are alive to be able to deal with the foolishness. That's a good thing.

debutaunt - wishing you continued (fast) healing...

Smelley said...

So, Tim, first of all, best wishes for a continued strong recovery. You have been an inspiration; I've followed your blog since the first leaked Soulville pictures led me to it, and I've had your recovery in my prayers since your crash.

But here's my own rant, followed by some questions.

I'm a family physician. I work in the healthcare industry that everyone loves to bash. I work long hours for pay that is average.

I see my kids way less than I should.

I've never turned anyone away for inability to pay.

I fight with insurance companies 10 times more than the average patient and I guarantee you that they screw with my life as much as almost anyone's.

I deal with patients who are frustrating in a thousand different ways, many of which are not their fault. But sometimes, there is willful ignorance or disrespect of me and my profession (I don't want to start something nutty, but I'm specifically talking about drug abusing patients and my ongoing battle with vaccine fears based on pure fear and no science) that causes me great grief.

Anyway, wrapping up my rant. Despite the fact that I love people and love helping them and despite the fact that I adore 98% of my patients, the current healthcare climate in this country, from the insurance industry making life miserable, to lawyers driving up costs to insane levels with their sue everyone mindset, to the 2% of patients who frustrate me on a variety of levels, makes me know with 100% certainty that if I were starting over fresh out of college I would never go to medical school.

So, here's the questions. I've seen your twitter and blog frustrations with this entity you call the American health care system, and the complaints have been nonspecific enough and frequent enough that it can almost hurt a fella's feelings. But I'm a big boy; I'm just curious as to what exactly have been your complaints. Are they more insurance related? More related to getting timely appointments? Was your ER care inadequate? Are you unhappy with the reattached thumb? Do you feel that if you'd had your accident in France or Russia or England or Canada you'd have received better care?

Anyway, if I've annoyed the hell out of you, please go reread the first paragraph of this comment and know that it is sincere.

Tim Jackson said...

Smelley- You are 100% correct with your assessments as well and I honestly can not thank you enough for your saying all that you did. I mean that sincerely.

I must apologize for not being clear enough w/ my frustrations; I have had exceptional care from all of the providers (minus 1) and can not thank them enough for taking such great care of me.

My first hospital stay, the nurses and doctors were all amazing and very eager to help me recover and get ready to return home.

My second hospital stay was equally good, for quality of care- since I was on the cancer floor, the nurses and doctors were really happy and upbeat dealing with me because my health concerns were NOTHING compared to the other patients they had. So I got treated like a king.

I have only had one provider frustration and that was yesterday; I was left dangling all day waiting for a return call to let me know if I needed to continue a drug or not (the very important blood thinner shots). I felt like an asshole for having to track people down to beg them to let me know what to do.

Then I got a massive run around from the pharmacy about the drugs. All of this on top of dealing with the endless insanity of the insurance companies and trying to schedule appointments with wonderful doctors but nobody knowing where I should go because of insurance concerns.

Getting to the hospital last week was an 8+ hr ordeal as Hospital 1 waited for answer from Hospital 2 and Insurance Company over who got the honor of treating me.... all while I sat in an examining room in the ER because hospital admitting couldn't process me because of my insurance.

I've got more... but it hurts to type that much. So Smelley, thank you for your comments and for reminding me to clarify the real source of my frustrations- the insurance and the "system". Again with the exception of 1 provider, the PEOPLE I have dealt with face to face have all been very good to me and I feel blessed. I understand your challenges as well and I totally agree with your views- and have heard them from other professionals as well. I know it isn't easy being a Doc' in this insurance/ legal climate, so I respect your situation as well.

Thank you again for providing your perspective in this.

wheels said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

whenever you feel yourself frustrated, just focus on all the good things you have in your life such as your friends, daughter and career. focusing on what you have will switch your energy and bring you back in harmony with the universe


Anonymous said...

smelly, please respond here, not via email, this discussion is great, even reading as a Canadian.