HELP - TYPICAL ER VISIT in U.S. > who says the system isn’t broken?
When to go to ER from "The Doctors" TV show
- Emergency Quiz
• Keep emergency phone numbers, such as your doctors, hospital, poison control and 911 in your cell phone, next to your home phone and in your car. The National Poison Control Hotline number is 1-800-222-1222.
Dehydration statistics in U.S.
Simple dehydration? Worth looking at how serious it is
- Causes of Dehydration - WrongDiagnosis.com
Detailed analysis of 239 causes of Dehydration symptom, alternative diagnoses and related symptoms.
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???
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
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...