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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Healthcare bill - death to the individual

I have to be careful how "depressing" I sound when I discuss the Healthcare fiasco.  I have a friend who is "scared out of her mind" that as she ages she will be denied lifesaving healthcare.   

I hope all of my friends that suffer with this fear understand that "As Christians, our lives are in the hand of God."  The Bible says that "he orders our lifespan - and no one can change it!"  That my friends should be our greatest comfort.

However, this post is for my friends who want to dismiss the effects that will trickle down to the individual.  Since I just experienced what could happen....I think it's time to share the very real tragedy of this bill.

Christmas eve I was coming up the basement step and heard a pop in my leg. Since I've lost the large tendon in my left leg, I was familiar with that sound. I went to an Orthopedic Surgeon who confirmed that the tendon was ruptured. He suggested massive surgery that included cutting bones, moving other tendons, tightening muscles and ligaments and being off that leg for up to three months. I agreed - otherwise the foot would deteriorate and I might not be able to walk as I age. The surgery was scheduled for late January.

I had a checkup with my MD early in January and the "assistant" gave me a lecture about elevated blood pressure. She examined my belly before doing anything else and told me I had a hernia and would need surgery. She also did a pap smear. After I was nervous and worried she then took my blood pressure. It was 135 over 90 and she wanted it down to 120 over 80. I explained that my mother who has memory issues stayed with me from Thanksgiving until Christmas and insisted on eating out - a lot - at fast food restaurants. "Give me at least a month to bring this down. But...remember, I have white coat syndrome and my blood pressure always elevates when I see a doctor." She was uninterested and only agreed to wait a month after leaving the room and getting permission from my regular doctor.

One week before I was to have surgery on my foot, I called to cancel the appointment for a recheck of my blood pressure. Within one hour my orthopedic surgeon called and cancelled my surgery because I had high blood pressure and was not fit for the surgery "according to my MD". I was furious. It took a full week of fussing and running around to work it out. I knew my doctor was wrong and several other "doctor friends", agreed that my blood pressure was not too high for surgery. I took a friend with me to talk to the assistant. My friend and I were amazed when she actually admitted that they weren't as worried about my health as they were their files. "If an agent checked our files and found out your blood pressure in this office was this high and you had a stroke or something...we might be liable." My friend tried to discuss White Coat syndrome with her, but she dug her feet in the ground.

Even though I went to the fire station for five days and my blood pressure was in the 120/80 range they still would not give their okay for the surgery unless I took blood pressure medicine. Since I was in great pain with my foot, I agreed but only to a low dose. They prescribed 5 m. twice a day. After a lot of prayer, and because I knew I was right....after two days of the medication I worked my way down to only 1/2 a pill once a day. I was on the medication for three weeks waiting for my surgery.

After surgery I was admitted to a room in the hospital. I had to stay two extra days blood pressure was too low. On the day of my surgery it dipped to 60/40 and they had to give me a shot to bring me around. I was so out of it I couldn't respond. The day after surgery a hospital cardiologist saw what I was taking and was furious. "I'm here to help you regulate low blood pressure and you are taking this! Don't you ever take this again!"

Here's my point! When politicians or boards of detached people set standards and rules for your healthcare - problems like this will be the norm. The reason healthcare should be personal is because we are all different and we must be treated as individuals. When doctors are more worried about charts and numbers than they are about individuals - the patient suffers. Watch out too when doctors share - limited information.  My surgeon had to trust the MD but also was given limited information.  I wonder what my MD's response would have been if I had slipped into a coma?

That's why I believe that this bill MUST be repealed.  We don't need some uneducated flunky in DC telling our doctors what medication we should have.  "Oh be reasonable Debbie, it won't be a flunky - it will be a doctor."

A doctor may design the template for what's required, but a flunky will be sitting at the computer plugging in the information. you know what you call a doctor that finishes last in his class? 

You call him Doctor!   - o-o-o-o scary!

God loves you,


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