Setting the Record Straight

I want to provide some clarification about my recent healthcare related posts. I worry that in my attempt to tell the stories with a bit of humor, I may have been overly broad with the tar, as it were. In addition, I didn’t consider the folks that hadn’t read the earlier stories, (here and here if you’re interested) as I wrapped-up on Saturday.

First off, I am feeling fine. My hearing has improved, my head wound is healing nicely and my doctor refilled my prescription for the only NSAID I can use, Voltaren cream.

As before, I had to explain how I’m allergic to some NSAIDs but not this one, and this time I had to argue to get the real stuff, not a generic. When you have allergies, you want to stick with what works. So, just like the previous time, I had to pay for this out-of-pocket. And, just like the previous time, I didn’t care.

More importantly, I want to make sure people understand that my recent posts weren’t meant to be a sweeping condemnation of healthcare in general. The healthcare providers I have encountered during the past few months have been wonderful. This includes, but is not limited to:

The woman at my doctor’s office who refused to send me to Cranston, RI for an MRI and alerted me to that fact that my insurance company might consider the radiology clinic five miles from my house to be out-of-network. If you’re not familiar with US healthcare, out-of-state is apparently OK. Out-of-network costs more and does not apply to the “high deductible” portion of your insurance plan.

The Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor, who diagnosed my sudden hearing loss and set me on the road to recovering my hearing.

The audiologist, who conducted the hearing tests without making me feel stupid.

The people at the radiology center who almost had me laughing too hard to get a clear MRI.

My wife, who schlepped me from appointment to appointment, advocated for me when necessary, asked all the right questions, wrote down the answers and tip-toed through the bloody mess in our bathroom to take charge of the situation after I fell and cut my head. Don’t ask her how she did that…it remains a mystery.

The policeman, who arrived while my wife was still on the phone with the emergency dispatcher and offered to assist in any way possible.

The paramedics, who arrived in the ambulance a few minutes later and quickly, comfortably and safely delivered me to the hospital.

Our daughter, who joined us at the hospital and safely delivered us home three hours later.

The Emergency Room staff, who made me comfortable from the moment I arrived (except for those shots to numb my head) until the moment I left.

These people have chosen a life of service (my wife might not have known that, but in sickness and in health, and all that), and they are remarkable human beings.

The for-profit medical insurance industry, and the less-than-remarkable people that stand between the people who need care and the people who are willing and able to provide that care, is the problem with healthcare in the US.

The larger, looming problem with US healthcare is the clown car in Washington containing about 550 people (whose healthcare is gold-plated and guaranteed for life), who will decide the future of healthcare for 330 million slobs like me.


Maddie took it upon herself to make sure I got back on my feet and got some exercise, even though the Mrs. drew the line at operating power tools and making sawdust until there were only the normal number of openings in my head. I did manage to collect some fun photos, and almost a nice reflection. Click on any one to start a show and see the captions.

73 thoughts on “Setting the Record Straight

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  1. No words needed, you said it best for all of us: :The larger, looming problem with US healthcare is the clown car in Washington containing about 550 people (whose healthcare is gold-plated and guaranteed for life), who will decide the future of healthcare for 330 million slobs like me.” :-)

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Hi Dan – I hadn’t picked up your fall, or picked you up for that matter … but you’d have been around a long time if I’d had to fly over! Enough of that … just glad you are recovering and all in all things are coming round to being much better. Don’t over do it … but relax and slowly completely recover – and now take care! Cheers Hilary

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The state of healthcare and its bureaucracies are almost guaranteed to make you cry or laugh or do both simultaneously. I am glad to hear that you are doing better, Dan. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So happy to hear that you are recovering – hopefully quickly. Your final statement should be shouted from the rooftops. I’ve regularly advocated for Term Limits for elected officials that does not include healthcare beyond employment, as then we’d see the change we need. Take care of yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As all your other readers feel, I am thrilled you’re better!!
    As for your pictures, that bench just may be a hopeless cause!! But it makes a great subject for a picture. And I’d like to know how someone got home in that weather and didn’t notice they forgot their sneakers!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Yeah, when I see shoes, or one shoe, in the park, my mind just starts to wander all over the place. How on earth…? I’ve been taking pictures of the progression of those benches into ruin. I’m still sad that they were helped along by clueless people, but maybe we’ll get new ones now.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Our healthcare is a challenge, Dan, and I thought you presented it well. In network, out of network. Generic or the real thing. Geez, you almost hope and pray you don’t have to use what you are paying for! The captions on your photos are a riot! I do love the bird and squirrels. Glad you are feeling better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lois. It’s all a mighty challenge, but, as far as I’ve seen, the people in the trenches are there because they care. I’m glad you like the captions. It’s a fun way to look at the photos for me.

      Like

  7. “The larger, looming problem with US healthcare is the clown car in Washington containing about 550 people…” That’s a very accurate description, Dan. Perhaps the clowns will mess this up so badly that the majority of Americans will finally realize Obamacare wasn’t the devil incarnate. Then again, I would feel really bad for the Americans negatively affected and red hot mad if cutting Medicaid does damage to mom’s situation.

    I’m glad you put a positive light on the health care workers who helped you from home to the hospital. There are many caring, wonderful people who got into their field because they want to help and heal others. I have so much admiration for them!

    As for your wife and the bathroom carnage clean-up, I think she deserve a nice dinner out and a box of chocolates. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary. The paramedics were telling me that they work 2, 24-hour shifts each week. On call the entire time, and they were parked outside in about the amount of time it would take me to drive to the station. They were just the nicest people.

      I hope the changes the clowns make to healthcare don’t negatively impact too many people. I feel especially bad for people like your mom, that don’t have any other options at this point. I can’t help but remember the report cards we got when we were kids that had the box “Does not play well with others” – I think the lot of them get that box checked, along with an “F” in economics.

      My wife is still trying to figure out how she managed to do what she did. We’re chalking it up to Adrenalin, or divine intervention, because when she thinks about it, she can’t imagine doing it again.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I had missed your earlier posts but am glad to read that you are on the mend and that you have been dealing with all of this healthcare stuff with your usual wit and humour.

    I could not agree with your more about the state of US healthcare. The front line staff I have no complaint about but the insurance companies wield far too much power and stand in the way of people receiving treatment when needed and preventative care to try and avoid that need in the first place. It’s actually beyond woeful. When I first emigrated here, I expected that paying through the nose for healthcare would make better treatment and a more efficient service. Ha! The quality of provision is absolutely no different from what I received in the UK. In one particular case, it has been decidedly worse. Granted, I have never had a major health problem on either side of the Atlantic to be able to compare that degree of treatment but on a like-for-like basis I can state that the expenditure of money doesn’t translate into improved service or better treatment. What I will state is that, back in the UK, knowing that healthcare was free at the point of need removed a whole lot of stress. Since emigrating, I have found that I actually deliberate over whether or not to go and see a doctor in a way I never would have done back in Scotland simply because I stress about the cost. For that reason, I ended up with a pretty debilitating respiratory infection last winter because I kept hoping I would get better with just over the counter remedies. I never would have taken that risk back home. There are issues with the ACA, no doubt about it, but coming from the background of decades of treatment through socialised medicine, entirely paid through general taxation, my view is that it – if Americans are not ready to accept socialised medicine – the ACA simply needs to be modified to be improved, not scrapped and dragged backwards. Healthcare simply should not be a luxury item.

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    1. Thanks Laura, for the good wishes and for the comparative information. Mostly all we hear is broad generalizations about the problems in other countries. Yet, when I hear from individuals, it seems I’d happily trade my problems for theirs. Access to healthcare should not be an economic decision people have to worry about. I’m not sure any system is perfect, but our needs to be improved, not cannibalized.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I hope you are feeling better and that your hearing has been restored. Thanks for the photos; they made my day. And I love the bench. Rustic is my middle name. I asked my husband to make me a little, rugged table using our old, rotting picnic table. Only a few feet of the table top was good enough for him to use. Worked for me. After adding four clunky legs that he made from scrap wood and a few coats of paint, I have a unique little table just right for the back porch.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Liked the photo’s, Dan. A reflection of Maddie would have been terrific. Sounds like you are getting back to normal (whatever that is) which is a good thing. The idea of making sawdust with extra holes in your head makes it a good idea the Mrs. is watching you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John. Apparently, Maddie thinks every photo should include here. Of course, apparently, my readers agree.

      In terms of “cleared for normal activity,” there’s a doctor’s approval and then there’s the minister of health and welfare approval. Maybe soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. The healthcare issue is such a hot button issue for many that I’ve gotten to the point where I rarely discuss it. I think originally it wouldn’t have been so bad if those of us who had great health care actually could have kept it. That didn’t happen and there are still millions without coverage, just different people. I thought “You have to pass it to find out what’s in it” was demonstrably stupid, just as is the current “Let’s change it just to change it.” I agree that if those making the laws lived under the laws they make, we’d all be better off, except they wouldn’t be. :-)

    As for health care in other countries, there are positives and negatives as there are here. Sometimes it boils down to how much money do want the government to take from you and control. I’m generally on the side of “not very much.” :-) But yes, there are lots and lots of great people working in the healthcare industry and I appreciate you highlighting some of them. We generally hear only the negative, as we do in the airline industry, for example.

    So glad you’re well on the way to getting back to the requisite number of holes in your head!

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Janet. I don’t usually discuss current political issues here. This issue is one that is so important, and I just don’t think they are giving it the thought it deserves. I’m not advocating for one solution or another, just think about what you’re doing, and do the right thing for the people of this country.

      I’m not looking to spend a lot more money, or any more money, if possible, but I’m spending more money every single year, and I’m getting less and lass value for the money I spend. We were encouraged to try the health insurance I am with today, because they are less expensive and, supposedly have high marks for customer service. I’m not sure who they polled, but it wasn’t me. I’ll be switching back to my previous insurance company, if I can, when open-enrollment rolls around.

      Thanks for sticking with me (i.e. reading) on this one.

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  12. Let’s be honest: When it comes to insurance, it doesn’t matter WHAT it’s for (health, car, house, etc.), they do NOT care about the person. Only the $$$. They aren’t in the business of helping people. They are in the business of making money. For themselves. At your expense. Always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – I wish I could argue with you, Wendy, but you make a very good point. I just wish we (people) has a big a chair at the table as the insurance companies on this issue.

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  13. I never heard it that way — but then, I am so over many doctors and certainly this infernal insurance fiasco.

    I’ve been a caregiver and the point man for my brother (died of cancer) and my mom… It is a tough job, midnight runs to the hospital, dialy visits to make sure they are okay and the system is not screwing them up. The nurses were, for th most part, amazing, and the docs were so-so.

    So here is my dilemma… My insurance may be in danger of going wildly up if Congress gets their way. Based on what happened to my nephew when he was on ACA (for real, out of college and just making it as a waiter) he happened to make slightly more in tips than he anticipated when he filled out the forms. As he had a trip to the hospital in all that mess, they dinged him for making more in tips, and instead of being reasonable, they hit him with the cost as if he’d had no insuance. Yup, folks, $15,000 he must now pay. So I am NOT GOING to my PT, because I can’t get hit with the cost like that. If I was risking a hundred a pop that might be one thing, but who knows what they’d charge if suddenly they decide to go retroactive? I simply can’t trust it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so scary, Kate. The really scary thing is that nobody with insurance EVER pays those full costs. My insurance wouldn’t pay for the NSAID cream that I know, have been using for three years and trust. They would pay for a generic, that even the pharmacist thought was a risk, given my allergies. So, would the insurance at least pay the lower amount they would have paid for the generic, toward the name brand? No. I had to pay the full retail cost of that, out of my pocket. It’s more than the money, they want control.

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  14. There are plenty of people to thank and I’m glad your on the mend, Dan. And don’t get me going on Washington. That people who are guaranteed lifelong healthcare (funded by taxpayers) would cut health insurance for millions of those taxpayers goes beyond the pall.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Back when I was working…..(Wow, how the years pass) after a colleague had gone into a rant about the GREED, GREEED, GREEEEEED in the healthcare system, I showed her how well buttered was the bread of the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS) in the healthcare industry. MSRS is the pension system for Minnesota state employees. While there certainly is greed, maleficence and downright mendacity in the industry, their nice rate of return, sure is sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – I’m not suggesting that there isn’t enough greed to go around. What gets me is that everyone who can afford a lobbyist tells Congress that they’re losing money at every turn. Yet, none of them seem to ever report a loss when it comes time to report to their shareholders. Even a lot of the hospitals report questionable losses, based on unpaid bills of full-dollar cost care (that no one with insurance ever comes close to paying). You almost need to be a forensic accountant to figure this stuff out. All I know is that the trend is year-over-year increases in my insurance premium – year-over-year increases in the deductibles and co-pays I have to pay and year-over-year increases in the hassle involved in getting the care that I need.

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  16. I hate when I have to write posts to clarify other posts. Ugh.
    Anyway, this was a great one, although I didn’t need clarification — still you made valid and informative points.
    I’m always a fan of the Maddie photos, and I love Maddie a la puddle, I think the birds in the puddle are my fave today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joey. Maddie a la puddle was very good timing on her part. That one bird in the corner just seemed to refuse to go in the water. Sorry for putting all this out there again, but it seemed I had confused several readers, and I really didn’t want to imply that I was upset with the caregivers.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Thanks for the clarification, Dan. There a lot of great people who really care in the healthcare system. I can’t say the same however for those who actually run the system and the insurance companies. And please don’t get me riled about the select few in DC … I actually witnessed the type of medicine someone within that bracket gets and it shocked me and made me very very angry. God bless all those people who are doing everything they can to make this broken system work and to really help ALL of us. Yep that means us blokes. 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I for one completely got the gist of your post. It was tongue in cheek, subtle humor. Nothing more. It was a great post, and I’m sorry for you that others did not fully understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think they understood most of it, but if they hadn’t read the earlier posts, they weren’t sure if I was really doing well. I also wanted to make sure people knew that I had received some very good care. Thanks for being there on a regular basis, Jennie.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Dan, I am glad you are feeling better. In spite of the strange rules that ‘keep health care affordable’. Did I forget to include ‘NOT’. Who needs that kind of nonsense when you are trying to focus on getting better ? And I have noticed the cactus flower today and the daylilies the last couple of posts. We were doing a bit of traveling seeing granddaughters and more daylily gardens. So with your posts I got to see even more daylilies. and this is a very good thing. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John. I think of your photos when I see those day lilies. Aside from the two by the steps to our porch, we only have one variety, but we enjoy seeing them. You may have misses a ‘not’, but who’s counting?

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Let’s face it healthcare is f’d up. Pharmaceutical companies are one of the biggest problems but it’s much more basic. Doctors don’t have nutritional training . I had a big surgery 10 years ago. The food is the same in hospitals as in prisons – same providers. Nothing fresh nothing nutritious or vibrant. Don’t get me started.

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t stayed in a hospital in over 45 years, but a friend’s wife was recently in this hospital for almost a week. He had high praise for the food, cleanliness and the quality of care. I know it varies from place to place, but I’d go back to this one.

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  21. Love all the critters, Dan. LOL, Birdy bird. I’ll have to remember that one.
    I’m sorry you’ve been through all this. And sorry you felt the need for a disclaimer. Don’t worry about anything but healing. Great big hug.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you like the captions, Marian. Maddie is such a brat. She knows when I’m trying to get an “artistic” photo and she either steps in front of the camera or steps on the think I’m trying to photograph.

      Like

  22. Wow, Dan, missed the bad fall post. Glad you are healing and had a crew of good helpers. Insurance issues always a problem. Love the photo gallery. Maddie and the birdy bird made me smile. Stay upright and watch for possible fall/accident traps. Happy Wednesday! 🌺 Christine

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  23. Glad to hear you are on the mend, Dan!! If only our officials had to deal with the healthcare costs like the rest of us….what a different world it would be. Thanks for differentiating the people who give their all taking care of us…the providers are as frustrated with all of this as we are…our primary Dr is a friend and we get an earful…..again, glad you are better!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I am not upset about people trying to set stories straight. Anyone who knows you, must absolutely know you are a gentleman and show appreciation to health care workers at all levels. The thanks to those in the most recent accident is extra special. I wouldn’t expect less from you. :)
    Your wife loves you as you adore and love her. She will do what it takes to get you back on the mend and take care of you. Faith would do anything for the both of you, no matter what! Smiles for you, Dan. 😊 Bouquets for your “girls!” 💐 💐

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You listed and delineated their individual helpful efforts and this was a super post. I have a friend’s daughter who is an ER nurse, as well as another friend whose daughter does MRI tech work. They come to my mind in the hopes that there are more grateful people than not, out in the world. 🌟

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Obviously I’m really late to this party, but all the same I’m really glad to hear that the hearing problem is correcting.
    As for the dysfunctional state of your healthcare system (and I believe everyone understands that the problem isn’t the front line workers), well, what can I say that you didn’t already capture perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I don’t see our healthcare environment changing for the better in the near future, but the people are very good.

      There are still lingering issues from the hearing issue and the fall, but both are well on their way to being in the rear view mirror.

      Like

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