Again, I have been remiss in posting anything for a while. However, I do have an excuse, since my little “adventure” in August I have been having all kinds of problems with cognition, memory, and severe neck and head pain. Just the result of having my head used as a piñata and soccer ball. Along with having to deal with my regular physical problems, ones that I have more or less grown accustomed to, I now get to deal with the additions that are the result of getting the crap kicked out of me. I good friend has advised me not to comment on this blog regarding the actual event, legal reasons, so I will refrain.
I will however speak about how I am being “treated” by the wonderful public hospital that I use. Wishard Hospital, as I have said before, has some truly fantastic staff. My local clinic is terrific, and Dr. Seele is a great doctor. When I got hurt in August, I had some deep concerns regarding injury to my brain and central nervous system. The ER seemed more concerned about the damage to my face, and treated those injuries as if they were the important ones. If you have ever seen my face, you would realize that it is not an area that I am all that concerned about. I was once told that I had a face made for radio, and to an extent, I would have to agree.
Several weeks after I was beaten up and knocked out, I was still having problems – dizziness, increased numbness in my limbs, cognitive and memory issues, vertigo, and an increase in what can only be described as PTSD. I contacted the wonderful neurology department and was again told that someone would get back to me, or if things kept getting worse, go to the ER. It is a shame that the ER is the fall back for everyone within Wishard, and it is no wonder that the ER staff is so overworked. If the doctors and staff at the varied clinics would simply set up an appointment with a patient, rather than passing the buck, the costs of the running the ER would drop dramatically.
Off to the ER I went again, this time to have my neck X-Rayed. There were no apparent fractures to the neck, so I was sent home, again. I have had enough broken bones to know that there may well be hairline fractures that do not show on an X-Ray until the bone starts to heal. Then they show as shadows or calcification along the bone. But what do I know; I am just another number in the vast pool of numbers that is public healthcare.
It is now a month and a half post injury, and I am still having severe problems with my neck. If I tilt my head back, as you would to finish a cup of coffee or look at the moon, I am struck with a lightning bolt of pain, and my arms and legs go numb, I get nauseated, dizzy, and end up with a massive headache. Neither heat nor cold help the problem, and I end up in bed, trying to get my neck into a position that takes away the pain.
I have called neurology again. After being routed around to various extensions and people, I finally was able to leave a message for the nurse that I was having problems. This was Monday, October 8th, and I was advised by the message on the machine that it could take 48 hours to get back to me. So today, October 10th will be 48 hours. I am waiting to see if in fact I get a call, and what exactly will be the result of the call. If I am told to go to the ER again, I am going to park myself outside of CEO and Medical Director Lisa Harris’ office until I get someone to listen.
While I try not to politicize this blog all that often, it was started as a place to vent and inform, I get more and more fearful as we come closer to the implementation of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). If our public hospitals are so incapable of communicating within themselves now, how is it going to be when more and more patients further overload them? Will the use of the ER become the continual fall back for every department? And what will that do to the ERs? And to the costs of medical treatment? Is it not more cost effective to see a patient in the doctor’s office versus sending them to the ER? I would think so.
I will be patient (no pun intended) and wait to see if I hear back from neurology. If and when I do, I will let you know how it goes at the ER.