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while i'm not an entirely michael moore theorists, i do like that he makes me think.  sicko, his recent movie, made me think.  it was hard to listen to peoples' stories because i've always worked for a company that has had great health coverage and made it a priority benefit for their employees -- for that i'm entirely grateful after countless emergency room visits, 2 children, a few surgeries, and tons of medications.

well this weekend, i'm starting to even hate how i'm being treated even though i still do have great coverage.  on saturday, the day of festivus for our family, i awoke to a kidney stone.  i went with my daughter to the grocery store in the QC for our weekly donut treat in the morning.  before i left i noted to my wife 'i feel like someone kicked me in the <nuts/family jewels/gonads/groin/pick-your-word>' and i left.  honestly i barely felt like i was going to make it home.  i came in, buckled in pain and went to my secret stash of demoral (after 2 previous incidents it is my new american express card).  it wasn't working (probably because it was 3 years old...yeah, i know...lecture me later).  after a few minutes of trying to deal with the pain, i called out to lisa and said 'find someone to watch the kids, we need to go to the er, like 10 minutes ago.'  in my neighborhood we have a private hospital (gilbert hospital) which promises to get you seen in less than 31 minutes.  since it is a private hospital, it isn't usually covered by health plans.  who cared, i needed to get some IV meds ASAP.  i went in and was immediately placed in a wheel chair and brought to a room -- before they even asked my name -- they let my wife deal with stuff.  48 minutes later i was discharged.  in that span of time i did:

    • brought in immediately, placed in a hosp gown
    • vitals taken
    • iv w/saline put in
    • morphine injected...oh sweet morphine
    • taken for a CT scan
    • saw the actual doctor 3 times
    • full explanation of details
    • received prescriptions and discharged

booya.  i say.  sweet.

but this rant is not about my problem.  not more than 2 days later we were back in the emergency room.  on monday, my wife (a cyclist) was out for a ride with her friend.  at about 10 minutes until the end of their ride, she was struck by a car.  (note: i was in los angeles.)  because of where we live, she was air-evac'd to a trauma center in scottsdale (about an hour drive from our home).  they took great care of her.  the aftercare...hmmm...this is where i start getting pissed.

today i start making calls to meet with an orthopedic surgeon for her.  *every* doctor i called, their first question had nothing to do with the injury, how my wife was doing, etc. -- their first question was "what level of insurance do you have?"  argh.  even when we were calling dr. offices to find out who they normally refer, they asked what our insurance was.  i said 'pretend we're paying cash in a briefcase, it doesn't matter...the health of my wife does.'  they just didn't get it.  one dr. we called, their second question was 'were you in an accident and is insurance involved?' -- technically yes and no.  our claim stuff hasn't made it's way through obviously.  but when we explained the accident they refused to make an appointment and said they don't help those situations.  un-friggin-believable.

i guess america is such a litigous society that people don't care anymore really...and i mean in the sense of *care* about people.  medicine has turned too much into business, not health.  which is a sad state of affairs.

oh well, needed to get this off my chest.  the medical industry is weird.  if you go in for something and they don't diagnose anything because they can't figure it out -- don't you think you shouldn't have to pay?  i mean in the tech industry if you don't deliver the answer, you are expected to compensate accordingly (or not bill).  i think i'm in the wrong industry.  "doctor" is quickly approaching my list of easiest jobs in some regard (although meteorologist for a news station is still #1).

thanks for being a soundboard internet.  you are too cool.

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