Monday, March 23, 2009

Our Medical Sytem

I had to go in for a procedure today. Just a little thing that could have as easily been done in the doctor's office if they'd had the right scope.

Something that struck me as I entered the belly of the beast is the way the system is set up. I felt like I was being infantalized by the system as it is now.

I went in and had my clothes, including my shoes, taken away. I was given one of those gowns that leaves no dignity and nothing to the imagination. I could wear no jewelry that I might have used as a touchstone. I was left waiting for a couple of hours in a curtained cubicle listening to the people around me. I was left staring at a wall with no way to find out or see what was going on behind me (until I started using the blank screen of the television above me--my partner pointed out the screen after I mentioned that a mirror would be useful).

Without my partner there to keep me distracted and to jolly me up when I started getting tense, I might have completely lost it. It was good to know that he was there to keep an eye on things and to act as my advocate. I made sure that they had a copy of the medical power of attorney so if anything untoward had happened, he could step in.

The stuff they give you now for short surgeries basically keeps your memory from forming so that you're awake but have no memory of anything. I'm sure that for some folks, it's good since they don't remember the discomfort, etc., but it makes me uncomfortable--what did I say, etc.?? I have to give kudos to the anesthesiologist since he actually did listen and cut back the amount of everything he gave me so my recovery was pretty quick.

With all of that said, I'll still take our system as it stands now over socialized medicine. From the time I saw my doctor the first time about this, to surgery, for a non-life threatening item, it was six weeks. That includes the two sets of diagnostics that we did in between the first appointment and the actual procedure. So I was basically being seen every two/three weeks which wouldn't have happened elsewhere in the world.

1 comment:

B said...

You have insurance. No doubt that is because you have a JOB. Most productive people in the US have insurance. Most who are not, don't have any.

It is because you have a job provided insurance plan that you have the best medical care. You have the best because if you do not like the care you are getting, you can go elsewhere. Competition is great, isn't it?

Remove the competition (and the profit motive) and the standard of care will decline rapidly.

This way lies Britain and Sweden. In either of these countries, you'd still be waiting for the first diagnostic procedure. As it is, you are done with the whole thing.