Friday, January 29, 2010

More public healthcare accolades

Well the bad news is that the Reece's Peanut Butter Cup -> Broken Rib -> Lung Infection debacle wears on. I still keep Tom up at night coughing. It could also be some kind of rare virus or infection I picked up in SE Asia. So my GP suggested a chest X-ray. It showed scar tissue in my lungs. Good! Nice strong sinewy lungs...they oughta serve me well for a long time. Who wants wimpy little tissue paper lungs? Everyone thinks Clint Eastwood has a nice leathery face, why can't I have nice leathery breathing organs?

Anyway, I don't know where they're going with this, but today I got sent for a CT scan, which I remember being a big deal in the US. Like you had to choke up a hunk of cancerous tissue first and then, maybe, after a series of appeals to your insurance company, you might get approved for the partial payment of getting one. My impression is that they had out referrals for those things like lollies here.

Cost to me? Free!

It was the first time I got to go to the state hospital, which was just as nice or nicer than any other hospital I've seen. The whole procedure didn't take more than 20 minutes. I ran errands on the way and the technicians actually carried my grocery bags of prawns, cheese and Thai vegetables around for me. And the giant tub of garlic dip I devoured after fasting all day for this dumb thing. I also bought a brownie on the way home. Between that and the Xanax I gobbled down when I found out needles were involved, it looks like a nap is imminent.

The only weird part was the IV of dye. They made me sign something that I was aware it would 1) make me feel flushed and hot and 2) make me think I tinkled myself, but that I wouldn't actually tinkle myself. My parents' cars have heated car seats so I know the exact feeling. Sure enough, when they started pumping in the creepy fluid, I got hot and thought I tinkled myself, but didn't. Mmmnnnn....overshare.

If anything, I feel guilty that I'm presumably not even really sick, but I'm getting this state of the art, customer-servicey-convenient health care for free. After all the time I spent in Indian hospitals doing my thesis, being the welfare plan administrator at my old job and trying to help our manufacturing employees figure out how to use their US private health plans in a way they could afford, and reading what Haitian survivors are going through trying to get patched up, it's all kind of hard to reconcile --- why me?

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