There have been a lot of arguments over health care. The issue of health care costs was at the center of President Obama’s platform for change. There are those who want no government involvement with respect to health care and some who want it taken over by the government. I am sharing the following firsthand story so that you can add more information to your considerations about health care.
On Thursday, October 1, my wife had rotator cuff surgery. It was not routine because she has rheumatoid arthritis. The plan was to have the surgery, stay one night and then go home.
My wife had her surgery, and as I met with her surgeon, I was told everything went fine. I had planned to spend the night with her at the hospital and in fact did.
She did pretty well. She was set up on oxygen, an I.V. feed and self-administering pain medicine system.
Her surgery was at 11 a.m. and by the evening she was doing pretty well. However, she was not doing well eating or drinking, which you need to do after surgery.
On Friday morning, I went home to freshen up and came back about 9 a.m. In that period of time the nursing staff had removed the oxygen and I.V. tube in preparation to send her home.
Something they did that was dubious was to give her a very strong pain medication on an oral basis. By the time I got back to the hospital, she was nearly comatose. When you would try to wake her, she would just keep her eyes open for a second and then drift back to sleep.
She did not know her name.
Later we were told she was to be given another pain reliever with insulin.
The problem was that she was already drugged and, further, she is not a diabetic. Insulin would have killed her. I told them to take her sugar, and it turned out to be normal.
We checked out who the doctor was who gave the order for the insulin, and we had never heard of him. It turns out that my wife was not his patient.
My wife would not wake up, and I finally demanded a doctor. They found her oxygen level was 73. They panic when a patient’s oxygen level is under 93.
The doctor put her back on oxygen and an I.V.
We were forced to stay another night. When her I.V. bag was empty, I told the night nurse. It took her 40 minutes even though she had nothing else to do.
When I complained, I was removed from my wife’s room.
The next morning we went home. We were leaving with or without a release.
Upon telling the doctor of the episode two days later, he said he knew; that is why they didn’t like their patients in the hospital more than one night.
More people die in hospitals than anywhere else.