Saturday, February 03, 2007


ER outwrestled by Mama ER news -- it was sort of like a 'near arm-far leg takedown'

I swear, knowing what to expect next regarding Mama ER is like trying to anticipate the next part of speech the president will butcher.

Just now, one of the docs told me that the biggest worries with her are not the stroke, not the staph and not her heart, which is in the best shape it's been in in years. The biggest concern is her general poor health and the chance that she could get another secondary infection.

AND, he looked me in the eye -- after I told him I wanted honest prognoses -- and told me that she could walk again in three months, if she gets the right kind of therapy in the right place, and if she is willing.

He said that all the different stuff has to be considered when ascertaining "quality of life."

For example, if she were to remain on the feeding tube for the rest of her days, that would not necessarily be "unnecessarily prolonging" her life, IF the tube is in place because she cannot swallow, AND she is learning to walk again, AND she is "there."

My own observation is that she is as "there" as she was before the stroke -- acknowleging that she was confused even then, presumably because of hospital psychosis, which any of us would develop after facing what she has faced and been in the hopsittle so long.

The issue that drove me to drink -- actively, on purpose, and I ENJOYED crying into three manhattans and a shot of Maker's bourbon and getting my cigar soggy last night, IN PUBLIC -- has to do with logistics and the reality of the evils at the crossroads of medical science, government and free enterprise:

This hopsittle has been taking a hit on Mama ER since about her 10th day here -- and she got here on Nov. 1. The next place she will go will have to be willing to take a write-off, as well, on a lot of the expense.

What happened late yesterday was the hopsittle in Fort Smith, which was ready to take her on Wednesday, sort of balked, wanting to see how she fares this weekend. But what really sent me for a loop was the call I got later from a woman at the Oklahoma City location of the same brand of hopsittle in Fort Smith, asking hard questions, since the OKC hopsittle is the backup if the Fort Smith hopsittle can't take her -- and we all really want Mama ER to go back closer to home.

I'm at the hopsittle now. Mama is sitting up and opened her eyes when I spoke to her. I'll stay a couple of hours, then I'm going to Stillwater to pick up Bird and go watch Oklahoma State wrestlers in a dual with No. 2 Missouri.


I so get it. You've reached that "magic number" where decisions are being made not necessarily for medical reasons as much as free-enterprise economic reasons.... that point that all of us hate and rant and scream about when it happens. This is the time when you start pulling out the really ugly nasty names to fling about at the decision-makers. "Sumbiatches" being one.
Well, I don't begrudge them.

This *is* though why I'm for a health-care amendment to the Constitution. Fot what we're pissing away on war, we could keep everybody in this country fed, clothed and healthy.
my dear friend, my prayers are so
with you. I work in medial
insurance. It makes me sick to my
stomach. The way they govern our
health care. They are all money
hungry, barbaric, bastards. I have
been so discusted. Watching what
they will not pay for. They are
nothing short of a dictorship.

The goverment needs to step in.
Women in forein countries get
better medical care than we do.

If I can be of any help thur this
please call me. Big Brudder has
my #.
We live in a dualistic society my friend.
ER don't ever think a Hospital has taken a hit. It tain't so, son. Maybe some that are out in the far counties of the State may be in trouble for lack of money, but not where your mamma is.
The people who take the hit are the middle class without health insurance, or Medicare. I had surgery two years ago. Total bill for the docs, surgery, and 48 hours in the hospital: $38,000. Because I had health insurance the "write off" by all of the above totaled $18,000. $14,000 of that was by the hospital alone. So I had to pay my 20% which then equaled $4,000. If I had not had health insurance my bill would have been the whole $38,000. No write offs, no reductions, no discounts, the whole friggin thing. If I were below the poverty line that cost would go away. But because I owned my home, cars, and had excellent credit, for me it would not have gone away.
No ER, these Hospital aren't going to close down for lack of payment.
By the way next time you're at the Hospital see if you can slip past the carded entry door into the physcians dinning area and see what $5.00 of their money will buy for lunch.
Oh, I know. The doc said the other day, "This hospital makes a lot of money. It can afford to take a hit." That's what I meant: that they weren't going to make any money off of Mama ER. And they can afford to not make any off of her because they do make so much money in general.
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