HELP - TYPICAL ER VISIT in U.S. > who says the system isn’t broken?

The help plea is to any Fellow Hubbers, or anyone who has experienced or studied possible causes and subsequent solutions – not the 3,300 lobbyists merely interested in their profits.

First, let me explain. I know we all know, that despite the abundant life or death situations we hear daily on the news, we do not want to think any of them will happen to us. Yet the sad reality is there are no guarantees and the ERs (Emergency Rooms) in every hospital across the country are packed wall to wall. According to a report by thedoctors this week, we can expect a minimum 4-6 hour wait with up to a 2-3 day wait in many!

Naturally, prevention is always sound advice but if you’re thinking there is no way to prevent being gunned down by a fellow depressed student, slip sliding into a jack-knifed tractor trailer or avoiding some jerk who thinks drinking poison in a bar will solve all their problems, this isn’t what I’m referring to. Ignoring the mass, drug conflicting intake of our population in general, even one little statistic might be an eye opener for what more we can consider on the preventative end of our health to avoid the following real life experience in our over-booked ER rooms.

75% of Americans are "chronically dehydrated" (compared to 50% of world); 70% of preschoolers drink no water during school day.

Let me share what happened to me in an ER room this week that I have come to understand is atypical – and therefore why I truly believe our system is completely broken.

Last weekend. An ER trip was not planned - is it ever?


Typical lovely Sunday, we tried to get as much yard work in as possible before the triple digit heat would prevent us from working at all. Yes, we were a little negligent, forgetting to drink as much water as we needed and naturally, it’s not the “American Way” to relax for a siesta so we headed to Sam’s for some bulk shopping I needed for a trip next weekend.

We had not even eaten breakfast yet and it was already past noon – it can happen. Carl, my housemate, could not get enough free samples in him but I only nibbled on a few – who knew what was in some of them. We meandered lethargically through, amazed at how many carts were stacked to overflowing with junk food. I remember thinking if people can still be buying hundreds of dollars worth of cheese balls and soda with no food value at all, the economy must still be in pretty good shape.

As we were leaving, the heat enveloped us once again as though we were giants in the land of Lilliputian – thousands of strings weighing us down. After 20 minutes in the cooling AC of the car, I regained my senses long enough to realize – OMG – my wallet! I must have left it on the car, or in the buggy, or who the heck knew where, my brain was a little fuzzy. This was a definite first, and I did not like it! Anyway, back we headed and I am pleased to share that whoever found it, turned it in seemingly untouched.

It took about another hour and a half to find that out and I was going to write about how exciting it was to see honesty and trustworthiness alive and well but as I began, from one minute to the next, I found myself doubled over with excruciatingly painful cramps! Sweat beads instantly broke out all over my face, neck, and body. I was nauseous, dizzy, and almost screaming to nullify the pain! What the heck – had my appendix ruptured or something?

I tried to guzzle some roughage with a bowl of lettuce to push whatever poisons were in my system through, but to no avail. Instead, the next 23 hours had me throwing up or retching my guts out, even with a simple sip of water. Without health insurance, heading to the ER was avoided if at all possible. Undoubtedly, it would cost thousands of dollars but in the back of my mind, I knew a ruptured appendix could be fatal.

My condition was not getting ANY better so finally, I knew I had to bite the bullet instead of the lead pencil I had been chomping down on.

ER experience – what you too can expect

1) Sick and nauseous, dizzied to distraction, they will insist you sign at least half a dozen pages of “fine print”. They do not seem to have time to even let you know what they are, and reading them would be a true feat in your condition. Besides, you don’t have a choice – sign or get out of the way

2) Disclaimers are plastered everywhere to cover the hospital, its staff, the nurses, the orderlies, the doctors (who are all now independently contracted by the way). All the paperwork essentially states that they are not responsible for you, for your health, your cure, or anything similar.

3) As mentioned previously, the average wait time is at least 4-6 hours and up to 3 days.

4) After an hour or two, the first nurse you will see fills out another at least 8-9 pages of red tape to further cover their ass-ets, asking fewer personally health related questions than your local chiropractor or masseuse.

After hours of waiting, what's the rush???

So much for my weekend plans at the Intentional Community Convension - they'd think I was a Junkie
So much for my weekend plans at the Intentional Community Convension - they'd think I was a Junkie

5) Another couple hours to see another nurse who attempts to extract blood quicker than most women shave their legs (which is usually at the speed of a fire drill) so you too may look like a used-up Junkie afterward

6) Pee in a cup and no-one is waiting for the sample, “just plunk it on that side bar over there somewhere”

7) If you’re in too much pain to sit in the waiting room for the next few hours and attempt to lie down on a sleeping bag – they’ll call the cops on you (yep – actually happened!)

8) If you have actual blood spilling from you, you move quickly ahead of the others who have been waiting for hours, even if it is a slight gash on the head from a drunken golfing accident, so if something is wrong internally, it might be wise to slit yourself somewhere before entering.

9) Next needle injection is for saline – Yeah! “Oh darn, that one popped on me” I hear the male nurse say (crap – more “junkie” looking remnants here we go)

10) The Morphine Lady arrives! No-one knows what is wrong yet, but I guess they do not want to deal with anyone in a bad mood or be thrown up on, so morphine is automatically given if you are not allergic.

11) The doctor arrives to say the first blood and urine they tested eliminated all sorts of possibilities. “Did it eliminate appendicitis?” I ask, (seemed an obvious test). “No, we didn’t test for that yet”, he replies nonchalantly. “Did it eliminate kidney stones?” Same reply for each on a futile list. “Well, what did you eliminate?” I finally ask, somewhat exasperated?” “Just a bunch of other stuff”.

So there I am, caught between wanting to say to this Doctor, “What the heck? You’re going to charge me thousands already, at least let me know what for!” and of course, not wanting to seem ungrateful for his expertise and possibly delaying a diagnosis further.

Free Medical Wish List


Diagnosis - EXACTLY the same as I told them on arrival!

OK, I could go on but you get the picture by now. The diagnosis I left with was EXACTLY what I said on the first line of entering the ER – “Acute vomiting, abdominal pain and nausea…” Had some sort of poisonous bug in the garden bitten me? Maybe. Could it have been the free testers at Sam’s? Maybe. The additional paperwork they would have to endure to declare any sort of “food poisoning” would no doubt be avoided at all costs unless I was close to death and they could be blamed for negligence.

I can only deduce, with any degree of optimism, that they did rule out the recent flu threat, AIDS, and any other contagious virus that might have affected hospital staff.

12) More blood, a catheter extraction… more waiting…

13) The smiles were great. Both the male saline nurse and ms morphine coming back by to ask, “Feel better?”

14) Have to mention that the rooms you are wheeled into are kept at about 50 degrees. With a fever, that is no picnic. Do you know why they keep them so cold? Still have not figured that out yet.

***OMG – wait, I forgot to mention the woman who arrives to ask for your “living will” along with repeating all the questions the first 2-3 nurses asked. “Who have you appointed to turn off life-support?” How comforting…

15) Cat scan – delay – more paperwork to be sure to sign off on damage to your kid if you are pregnant!

Preventable cancer proof back in 1975

"About 85% of the people who come to me are either in a cancerous or a pre-cancerous state... There is no doubt in my mind that you can prevent cancer..."
"About 85% of the people who come to me are either in a cancerous or a pre-cancerous state... There is no doubt in my mind that you can prevent cancer..."

Back in 1975, Dr. William Donald Kelley was given the Humanitarian Award by the Int’l Assoc. of Cancer Victims and Friends. He predicted that by 1980, 1 out of 4 of us having cancer was a low figure due to the garbage in our diets and therefore, pre-cancerous colons. Could doctors today be so immune to the fact that we are all so dehydrated, stressed-out, and impacted, they do not even mention it?

The doctor prescribed some sort of anti-nausea pill (Pheneryar? Which the Pharmacists changed to Promethazine) that kept me asleep or zombified for 5 days and MiraLAX (over the counter – better than Metamucil) to flush my system out that takes 2-3 days to work. Ms Morphine was the one kind enough to suggest a citrus drink that flushes you out quicker.

From the leader in health/herbs, Jethro Kloss 1863 > still applies

Therefore, here I am – 6 days after ER, remembering why I know the American healthcare system is entirely broken and why I have taken so much time in my life to learn proper eating and alternatives from people who led the way such as Dr. Jethro Kloss (Back to Eden). Despite it all, I am still too weak and dizzy to sift through anything in my own library for a solution or the many wonderful hubs you may have written that could help.

It took my old friend JJ to remind me "doctors treat symptoms, not causes – get up and walk!" My stomach still feels as big as if I am 8 months pregnant or as though someone shot an overabundance of helium into me rendering me ready to pop wide open any minute. The muscles inside hurt like hell, I am doing my best to drink water and was actually able to keep down almost 4 ounces of carrot juice and three cherries today without heaving them all back up.

If you have ANY suggestions, or experience or have read anything recently – I would thoroughly welcome all relevant links (as long as they are not too long – please). Perhaps someone else will come along to read this and be able to save themselves thousands of dollars from your suggestion(s) too.

I promise to entertain any pertinent advice as long as it is not from someone who still thinks the U.S. healthcare system is not broken.

I thank you so much in advance for any help - - - and now, I have to go back to bed...

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Comments 22 comments

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Well, I hope you feel better! I really hate hospital for a myriad of reasons. Once I got in a HUGE fight with my colleg's hockey team and wound up in the hospital with a broken orbit (that's the rim that holds your eye in place).

While there, I was shoved through a CAT scan not once but twice! I had to pay for each entry which cost, at the time, $1200 a ride! When I asked the tech why I had to go through twice, he told me that something went wrong at first...Explain to me why that's my problem? I mean I don't mind doing it twice, as it only took about 5 minutes each time, but I do mind paying an extra $1200! It's such BS, don't you think?

It was good to hear from you by the way:)

The Old Firm profile image

The Old Firm 7 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

I can't offer advice SEMpro, At best, here' s a link to another who's also being maligned. maybe if enough of you unite something may happen. I know a futile thought, but at least you now know that you're not alone.

SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 7 years ago from North America Author

Thank you dohn121 - I'm sorry for your experience too. You are correct, to have charged you for their mistake makes no sense what-so-ever. My housemate, who was more capable than I at looking around and has worked for a VA hospital for 29 years, says over 80% of the people who land in the ER haven't an emergency at all. Without health insurance, it's the only "free care clinic". When I asked how being charged thousands could be considered "free care", he said none of them pay anything, which jacks the price up for the rest of us as well.

Just saw on the news yesterday (, that Stan Brock has 396 satellite clinics to offer free medical service, usually in remote areas. They were in Los Angeles yesterday and line-ups were in the thousands. They can only stay a couple of days with each visit - he said the hardest part of doing what he does was to see the Moms who held up their kids while leaving, begging them to care for just one more. Going to find out how to contribute. Here's one article's link in case anyone else is interested:

Thank you so much for visiting and commenting dohn - your support and well wishes mean the world to me :)

SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 7 years ago from North America Author

Thank you so much Old Firm - how compassionate of you to visit and comment when our system's affect on you is only remotely long term at best. That in and of itself helps me realize I'm not alone! Thank you for the link - thank you for caring! It was wonderful to see you :)

loua profile image

loua 7 years ago from Elsewhere, visiting Earth ~ the segregated community planet

SEM Pro I've had this book Back To Eden for some time its the original source book... It was once one big book...

Health-care like politics is all about the money...

SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 7 years ago from North America Author

Indeed it is loua - and keeping folks in the dark whenever possible. I did "breakthrough" to the metaphysical reason last night. Wrote a poem, not sure I'll publish but suffice-it-to-say, it's entitled "Today I am free" :) Healing and back to muesli and juices etc. Thanks for stopping by - I appreciate you :)

emohealer profile image

emohealer 7 years ago from South Carolina

Ah, a topic I have considered. Reminds me to find my morphine allergy bracelet. Some serious tips for your current state is purely peppermint. Oil, does not have to be ingested. Apply undiluted oil to your abdomen, bottoms of your feet and wipe remains on your toungue. Pain will subside, everywhere the peppermint touches will feel as if it has an ice pack on it, although externally the skin temp will remain the same. Nausea and cramps will subside enabling you to begin to drink water, hold it down and begin to flush to your system more appropriately. Even if you are feeling better, this will maintain and improve as time goes by at the same time rejuvenating and giving you more energy, Light and Blessings as you recover!

SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 7 years ago from North America Author

You are a Sweatheart emohealer! Thank you :) Rubbing the oil as soon as I finish this and look forward to your healing touch! :) My willingness to ingest the drugs helped me realize the urgency of snapping out of it to awareness. Decades worth of a fear are gone - whew... Have to admit though, not sure I want to rub the excess on my tongue after my feet (teasing). Love you!

MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 7 years ago from Western Kentucky

Chicken broth with mint tea. Steep the real chicken broth with fresh mint leaves. Drink it. You'll feel better in a few hours. You ate something that had something bad in it, did you eat fresh veggies or fruit or drink water from a questionable source? ALWAYS wash your fresh fruit & vegetables with soap and water!!! If they come from Mexico, they may have parasites on them, like amoebas or even dysentery, cholera, or typhus.

Almost anytime I eat in a restaurant, I get sick. The food is dirty.

Your symptoms sound EXACTLY like the ones I had years ago when I was diagnosed with typhus and para-typhus types A & B, all at once! From drinking fruit juices in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. It suddenly felt like a mule kicked me in the stomach and it doubled me down. Did they do typhus and para-typhus titers on you? If not, maybe they should. Especially if you start feeling better, then a month or 2 later this happens again - typhus will cause you to have relapses (with abdominal pain, weakness, and fever, sweats) for several years afterwards, it causes tiny perforations in your intestinal walls. (Chloranfenicol or Choromycetin is the antibiotic used to treat this!!!!)

Or clostridium? Any of these intestinal bugs could cause the symptoms you describe. Were you tested for intestinal bacterial infections?

But whether amoebiasis, clostridium, typhus or para-typhus:



MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 7 years ago from Western Kentucky

I forgot to say to follow that up with fresh mint and ginger root tea. Go light on what you eat for a few days - homemade chicken or beef broth, toast, rice, applesauce, jello. Why the peppermint tea? It kills parasites and calms your digetive tract. Ginger root helps with upset stomach and nausea.

SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 7 years ago from North America Author

Thank you so much MagicStar! I did brew up some mint tea from the garden after Emo's suggestion of rubbing the oil - which felt awesome! I really don't know what they did in the hospital - which is why I wrote this hub. I'll find a naturopathic doctor soon and check for what you say. Thank you so much!!!

emohealer profile image

emohealer 7 years ago from South Carolina

Just following up....nice to know you are already experiencing the healing effects. A toast to peppermint and your improved health!

SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 7 years ago from North America Author

I am indeed feeling the benefits of your suggestion EmoH! Of all the kindnesses in the world, more than even helping someone when in need, following up shows true care and compassion - no "just" about it. Thank you so much!!!

Perhaps this new shift was meant to bring me back into alignment with some of the physical simplifications and necessities of diet and gifts from the garden. Your reminder added the delight of aromatherapy when going for the peppermint oil. Immediately relaxed with a mixture of Ylang Ylang, Lavender and Orange Oil too - smiling from ear to ear... almost as much as from the gentle, caring, healing reminder from a friend :)

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

I am sorry to hear of your illness. Lack of drinking water is a huge problem. Processed foods, junk food, hormone injected animals, fast food—a prescription for disaster.

The health care system needs realigning. I would say privatize Medicaid and Medicare. They admit to 15% fraud (costing taxpayers $100B a year) and claim it can't be fixed. Turn it over to Visa/Mastercard. Their fraud rates are less than 1% because they have a stake in fraudulent claims that a bureaucracy never will have. Allow nurses to do more without doctors to lighten the load. Make health insurance portable, nationwide (not state by state which vastly reduces competition). Detach health insurance from employment. No denials allowed for pre-existing conditions. But most importantly: tort reform. Some doctors pay $80,000 a year in malpractice insurance because of our litigious society.

SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 7 years ago from North America Author

Hi James - was wondering if you'd show up with your suggestions. Lately, there are many avenues to pursue where your voice could be heard in an attempt to make a difference- hope you are indeed pursuing a few of them. Unfortunately, most on the hill, along with the Senators and Congressmen and 3,300 lobbyists in full swing right now, will not consider tort reform as it is for their interests (attorney protection and profit). To suggest they first make their profits and interests less lucrative before considering reform of any other sort, is unlikely.

Appreciate you coming by. I know you know from previous hubs, disease is a gift in my eyes - to bring me back into alignment. If more felt that way, there would be fewer on pills, and definitely fewer attempting to blame the doctors or get away with millions as a reward for their own relinquishment of responsibility. So here we are, once again back to symptoms or causes, sickness or health, blame or responsibility, covering up/pills or prevention.

I do love you Mr Watkins. If the world were on a merry-go-round, you and I would be pumping to keep it going at full gear - from opposite sides, with the same end goal in mind. Oh wait, maybe it is :)

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

Thank you. I love you, too. Now, get well.

JJLBvS profile image

JJLBvS 7 years ago from USA

Glad to hear that you are feeling better, although I already knew tthis from speaking with you. One of the most important things to remember is that the only real thirst quencher known to man is water. Might have something to do with the fact that we are 80% water to begin with. For years now I have been using reverse osmosis water filters in my home, and I dreink on average 1.5 gallons of water on any given day. Keeps the pipes clear and me happy. That and a good walk are all it takes to keep me away from the pill pushers. I may not be in perfect health, but I can't complain too much.

Luv u


SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 7 years ago from North America Author

Aloha JJ - 1.5 gallons a day??? That's a LOT of water! Hoping I don't get sick all over again as the bills come in for the ER. They seem to be coming from so many different organizations, I'm flabbergasted. Every single thing that was done in the hospital is being billed seperately! Yikes - and all for naught with no diagnosis!

Glad you too will be able to head back to work soon. So sorry to hear of your accident. Wish there were clinics here we could go to for follow-ups! Think I'll move to a spot that has one and start volunteering. If we all gave a few hours a week even, things might not continue to spiral so out of affordabiity. Thanks for coming by and commenting.

Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

Emergency rooms are the most inefficient part of the health care system and the biggest rip-off.

I know to stay away from black pepper...I have no problems using cayanne pepper(red pepper):)!!

SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 6 years ago from North America Author

Hi Acer - honored by your visit! Discovered your incredible talent yesterday and looking forward to reading more. Yep, the ER sucks - still haven't fixed the credit they trashed, and I refuse to pay for no service rendered! The bruise and numbness of my arm didn't go away until I found the wand a few weeks ago. I love cayenne - so many amazing benefits. Didn't know about black pepper causing problems though. Thanks - will do my due diligence.

Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

Many local Sages say that black pepper lingers in the digestive tract and is hard to digest:)!!White pepper is a variety of black pepper I think is better for you:)

SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 6 years ago from North America Author

Thank you Acer. Perhaps I'll stick with Cayenne completely :) Since the latter is rich in organic calcium and potassium, it helps the heart and stimulates stomach secretions; improves and stimulates the blood flow, helping overcome fatigue; helps the immune system by developing healthy mucus membranes, the beta-carotene in it working as an anti-oxidant... black pepper must be one of those erie alternatives of choice - like soda vs water lol

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