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Parris's knee

Parris had her torn meniscus repaired down in Albuquerque yesterday.

The surgery went well, or so we were told, although the tear was a pretty bad one. Parris was groggy and in some discomfort afterwards, but did well enough on the drive home, and got up the steps and into the house on her crutches without too much difficulty. As the night wore on, however, the various painkillers she'd been given for the surgery -- a demerol drip, and a local -- all wore off, and the pain in her knee got worse and worse. The prescription she'd been given for pain proved to be way inadequate, and barely took the edge off her pain. By one or two in the morning, she was in agony, despite the pills... and of course, she hurt far too much to be able to sleep, or even get up the steps to the bedroom. She spent the night in her recliner in our TV room, dozing fitfully, never for long, and weeping from the pain.

This morning she's a little better, but still not well. We finally got hold of her surgeon, and he wrote her a new prescription for a stronger painkiller. My assistant's on his way to Albuquerque to pick it up even as I type. I can only hope that it will do the trick.

This is so screwed up. The fact that you can't get your doctor on the phone is bad enough, but these days you can't even get his assistant. Just an endless string of phone trees and voice mail messages. And -- largely thanks to the idiotic decades-long "War on Drugs" -- even when you do get a doctor, it's like pulling teeth to get them to write presciptions for painkillers that will actually alleviate your pain. "Well, try some tylenol" seems to have become a rote response. In England, France, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and most of the rest of the civilized world, someone in pain can walk into any chemist / drugstore and buy a painkiller over the counter that is stronger and more effective than what the typical American doctor will write you as prescription.

It is also insane that so many procedures have become out-patient surgery. Parris should have spent last night in a hospital bed, with nurses and other trained professionals to watch over her and take care of her. Instead she spent the night in a recliner crying in pain, with no one to take care of her but me. You can thank the insurance companies and HMOs for that. It's all about saving money, not about patient care.

And people still claim the American medical system is the best in the world. That's a joke. And a cruel joke at that.

Comments

( 244 comments — Leave a comment )
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skjaere
Oct. 9th, 2007 07:42 pm (UTC)
Lord, how I miss the NHS when I am living in the US! That stinks. I hope she feels better soon. At least she's got you there to take care of her. *hugs for both*
callistascully
Oct. 9th, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
Icon love! May I steal and credit?
(no subject) - skjaere - Oct. 9th, 2007 09:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - callistascully - Oct. 9th, 2007 10:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
dkountz81
Oct. 9th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
I'm so very sorry that you are both having to go through such pain. I hope with all my heart and soul that these new drugs work, and that you can both get some sleep tonight. Please know that if you lived within driving distance I would be at your door with a piping hot casserole and a chocolate cake. We love you both.
skellington1
Oct. 9th, 2007 07:45 pm (UTC)
Sympathies and commiseration - our health care system is a pathetic disaster, and you can't get ahold of a real person without spending hours on the phone. If you want to press 3, press 4...

The people who think it's the best in the world just aren't paying attention.

That said...if a situation like that comes up again, and hopefully it never will, you can dig in and fight for in-patient or longer-hospital stays. It'll cost through the nose, of course, but is frequently worth it.
maetang
Oct. 9th, 2007 07:45 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry. What an awful experience! I hope she'll make a swift recovery.
iperkins
Oct. 9th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
Well, it is the best in the world- the best at making money for insurance companies, that is.
everyendlessday
Oct. 9th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
Ditto on what everyone else said. I hope she feels better soon!
silver05
Oct. 9th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
I think everyone except the people in charge of the American health care system know it's one of the worst of the developed countries. I hope she feels better.
sudyn
Oct. 9th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
And people still claim the American medical system is the best in the world.
They have got to be insane! As far as I know, the American medical system is one of the worst - at least in the 'rich countries'.
I really hope things will change over there. )=

Best wishes to Parris. I hope her wounds will heal soon, and that you find a doctor who actually cares for his patients' wellbeing. *crosses fingers*
firerosearien
Oct. 9th, 2007 07:50 pm (UTC)
Imagine feeling like your abdomen is being ripped to shreds, you have NO idea why, or what to do, and not only is your doctor not available, but the one that's supposed to be on call isn't, either...
steppinrazor
Oct. 9th, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC)
Or if they ARE there, they have no clue what's going on either.

And they decide to just blame it on being fat, or something silly like that. X]
(no subject) - firerosearien - Oct. 9th, 2007 08:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - steppinrazor - Oct. 9th, 2007 08:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firerosearien - Oct. 9th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
lovefromgirl
Oct. 9th, 2007 07:54 pm (UTC)
Too right. *shakes head* There's a woman in Oregon who can't afford brain surgery, of all things, so she's resorted to a special offer by a file-manager site -- if she gets five million downloads of a .txt file in the next month and a half, they'll give her $10,000, and she will need it.

May Parris's recovery be swift and the pain be brief from here on out.
texassky
Oct. 10th, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC)
$10,000 won't be a drop in the bucket for that kind of surgery.
(Deleted comment)
the_xtina
Oct. 9th, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Medical System
However, I like to think that most of our health professionals are honorable, caring people.

I don't.
Re: Medical System - ygolonac - Oct. 9th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Medical System - the_xtina - Oct. 9th, 2007 08:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Medical System - ygolonac - Oct. 10th, 2007 02:12 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Medical System - the_xtina - Oct. 10th, 2007 02:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Medical System - ygolonac - Oct. 10th, 2007 02:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Medical System - ornotmajestic - Oct. 10th, 2007 01:43 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Medical System - ornotmajestic - Oct. 10th, 2007 01:42 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Medical System - count_01 - Oct. 10th, 2007 03:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Medical System - ornotmajestic - Oct. 10th, 2007 03:45 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Medical System - count_01 - Oct. 10th, 2007 07:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Medical System - joirerson - Oct. 10th, 2007 05:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Medical System - sartan0 - Oct. 9th, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
alanashinean
Oct. 9th, 2007 07:54 pm (UTC)
The first two weeks I stated working in the medical world pretty much opened my eyes to alot of harsh realities.

All the best to Parris; hope she feels better soon =/
trooper221
Oct. 9th, 2007 07:54 pm (UTC)
Much sympathy
And yes, it is grounds for justifiable murder the way that the American Health Care system makes you watch someone you love go through horrific pain while with-holding pain relief that actually does something.

My wife was actually told to try meditation as a form of pain relief by one ER doc.

Its stories like this that keep me away from the doctors. I'd rather my knees click, lock, and swell than deal with those quacks.
bloodypoetry
Oct. 9th, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC)
Sending my best wishes for a speedy recovery. I hate our medical system too.
claudiag
Oct. 9th, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC)
Blah! I hope she feels better soon. That just sounds nasty. I'm just recovering from a broken ankle, and I have to say that having a leg taken out was the worst experience I've had. It completely killed my mobility!

Did they give her instructions on how to use the crutches? My doctor didn't, and I nearly tore my armpits out because of it. It's not as easy as it looks, and exhausting on top of it. I can't believe how much work it is to just get around on those things! I was running 5k a day before my break, and just getting around my condo made me sweat.
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( 244 comments — Leave a comment )

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