This is Me Before I Come Undone

{April 5, 2010}   Hello from Room C6207A

Hello lovelies, I return.  Well, I expected my next post to come from the comfort of my living room and not from a hospital bed, but sometimes you just don’t know where the Good Lord’s gonna throw you (I don’t know why I had the urge to temporarily channel Sarah Palin.  We’ll end that now.)  After 3 days of semi-consciousness I am now sleeped-out and wide awake (although, let’s face it, I’d probably be wide awake anyway) and sitting here eating an Easter cookie from my hospital food dinner.  I appreciate their efforts.  These sugar sprinkles are actually really good.  Anyway, before this past Friday I had never been to the ER, never stayed overnight in the hospital (except maybe for being born??), never had a CAT scan, a spinal tap, an MRI, or been on IVs for more than a few hours.  Tonight I got up to walk to the bathroom and tried to drag my IV pole with me before realizing that for the first time I wasn’t connected.  Freedom!!!  Anyway, chalk those all up to my new learning experiences.  I think I’m good now.

Before you get too worried, I’m okay and going home tomorrow (hopefully).  It seems I had a monster migraine that just wouldn’t stop for two days, and along with fever/chills and all that good stuff I ended up in the ER because the doctors thought it might be meningitis (that and because by that point I couldn’t walk or eat and was curled up in a ball crying).  I’ve since been cleared of not having meningitis (thank god) but was put on a 48-hour IV migraine treatment and have had awful headaches from the spinal tap (they choose the moment I’m lying curled in a ball with a migraine to tell me that this procedure is known to cause headaches, do I consent?  I mean, is that a cruel question or what?  What can you say??)

It’s all been quite an alarming and worrisome experience, and during those hours when I sat in my bed yesterday, staring at the wall because I had no books and nothing to do and my blackberry had died, I contemplated what kind of morons are seriously opposed to health care reform.  At this point, it’s personal!  I feel almost attacked by their attitude.  I’m like a young, healthy, unemployed woman whose brain just suddenly decides to try to escape her skull.  How is this my fault?  And I’m one of the lucky ones… I still have health insurance coverage from my last employer under COBRA (Continued… something something something…) and get help paying for 65% of my premiums as a direct result of last year’s stimulus bill (all those in Congress who opposed the stimulus package can just suck it).  But these premiums aren’t *cheap*… I could buy a few plane tickets with what I pay each month.  And not to mention that that’s not all: I’ll still have to pay for the co-pays and deductibles that will come with 3 nights taking up a hospital bed, a 12-hour ER visit, over 72 hours of IVs, seeing a neurologist, and a spinal tap, chest x-rays, an MRI and a CAT scan.  At the moment I’m trying to avoid thinking how much that is going to be and telling myself that my health is worth it (I know, I know) but it’s still scary.

How many people could be so brainwashed and misinformed that they could seriously be rioting the Capitol against their own self-interest??  I’m sure there aren’t too many people in this country that have a cakewalk with their health insurance company.  If they understood even half of what’s happening they’d be morons to miss how it could be good for them, or at least how it could not possibly be worse than what they already have!!!  (My favorite is the woman resolutely holding her “Keep the government out of my Medicare!”  sign.  Wow lady… I don’t know how much more stupid you could possibly look on national TV.)  And all this junk about “socialized medicine” and raising taxes?  Please.  See above, where I reference just how much I pay per month paying only *35%* of my health care premiums.  And if the taxes I’d have to pay would be more than that?  Cool, it would cover the awesome co-pays and deductibles I’m going to pay ANYWAY.

I remember spending HOURS in a hospital waiting room with the same group of people waiting to be triaged (triaged! Emergency intake!  Key word being *emergency!*  As in people losing it all around us!) and one of them looking up and saying with a straight face and a voice dripping with irony, “Good thing we’re not in Canada, I hear they have like, ridiculously long lines and you have to wait forever to see a doctor………..”  I think we all laughed the driest, most bitter laugh possible in the situation.

So my question is, my Canadian friends, are these frantically-cited woes of red-tape, inefficient, government-run health care at all true?  Or are they, as I suspect, completely imaginary and sponsored by insurance companies?  I really want to know, so that I can have a response to all of the idiocy people over here try to feed you about how much worse it is in Canada.

As for my American friends, if you feel like it, I’d love to hear your worst health care nightmares.  I tend to like hearing about other people’s nightmares.  They make me feel less alone about mine.  Plus people usually seem to actually enjoy being asked.  😉

As for me, I’m going to go to sleep for what is hopefully my last night in this bed that I am paying god-knows-what to stay in, and look forward to returning to my free (that I already pay rent on) bed at home tomorrow.  At least there aren’t knocks on your door every four hours for a vitals check.

Sleep tights.


Flore-Anne says:

First of all, I really hope you’re going to get better and get out of that hospital !

And I couldn’t not react to what you said about Health Care in the US. People around me say that I talk too much about it, but oh well.
I mean I live in France, and I can’t even imagine not having Health Care. I would have grown up in a state of fear, not leaving the house because I would be too scared to get hurt and that my parents couldn’t pay for me to get better. I really can’t understand people who don’t want to have Health Care for everyone in their country.

The system in France is far from being perfect, but at least I know that if I need to see a doctor, I don’t have to give my credit card before I can even step inside the hospital.

Many people here think that the US is the coolest place on earth to live. And I always say that I’ll go there when everyone will have Heath Care and that for now, I want to go to Canada (ok Canada wins in my heart not just because of Health Care, but still ^^)

That’s a long and boring comment just to say that I really hope that 1) everyone is going to have health care very soon and 2) that people who are against it are going to realize it’s a great thing to have.


wojo4hitz says:

lol…thanks for your comment, it wasn’t long or boring! i’m interested to hear how things work in other places. so is your system like the one in canada where everyone has government-run health insurance? or no?

also, one of the things that irks me about american complains against health reform is this persistent theme of “taking more from me and giving more to people who don’t deserve it.” it’s all very selfish and… well… republican. but also misguided. no one ever seems to think that THEY’RE someday maybe going to be in the situation where they are the person that will need the care that people like them had said they “don’t deserve.” it’s all fine and good when you’re healthy… i think most people here who AREN’T healthy are the ones who can see clearly why this system does not work, and the people who can’t see it are the ones who haven’t tested it yet to find out how infuriating and impossible it is.

sharleeno says:

hey i’m glad to hear you’re feeling better Jamie! When you said meningitis it was kinda scary :s

So i wanted to say that, being from France as well, i totally agree with what Flore-Anne said. I don’t even know how people do in the US. I mean if something serious happen to you and you don’t have any health care or/and insurance, how are you supposed to pay?? medical treatments cost a fortune, we all know that. And if you have a “regular” job you cannot afford hundreds or thousands of dollars of hospital bill.

In France, as Flore-Anne said, we pay taxes (around 14% on our salary every months,us and the boss combined, i know it’s complicated. Flore-Anne correct me if i’m wrong please) and with that we’re “covered” if we get sick or if we have an accident. But most of the time,in addition to this health care provided by the government, you need to have an “insurance” that cover the extra fees you could get.
For example, if you need to get hospitalized for appendicitis (kinda common) you’re covered at almost 100% by the health care concerning the medical treatments. For the room and stuff that’s the “insurance” that is taking care of it.
Other example, for the glasses, the glasses are covered by the health care and the frames by the “insurance”. But i gotta say that’s a bit more complicated than that but it’s more or less what’s going on here.
Anyway, i’m getting a bit too much into details but it was just to give you informations and examples. I’m glad that you finally got somewhere with health care and stuff in the US. It’ll be better for everyone. It’s new for you so it’s kinda scary. In france we just can’t imagine living without it.

So, therefor i would not go live in the US even though i’m sure that’s a really interesting country. I’m more interested in canada 🙂 I’m done!

Tiffany H says:

Hey Jaime!

I’m glad to hear that you’re starting to feel better. I was thinking about calling but then you tweeted about how people kept calling and waking you up, so I decided against it. I am glad that you are getting the medical attention that you need, and also that you have COBRA. I thank God every day that I have health insurance, but things still aren’t cheap.

Also, while I am sure that the stories about healthcare in Canada are somewhat blown out of proportion, I will say things can be pretty bad there. My grandfather is Canadian, and he and my grandmother used to spend 6 months there and 6 months in Florida so he could keep his healthcare… until they realized it would be better to just pay big premiums and get healthcare in the US. You see, he needed a heart catheter procedure done, and it took two months to get him in up there. Then he could barely walk and desperately needed both knees replaced, and they told him he would need to wait a year to have one knee done. Then he would have to go back on a waiting list before he could get the other one done. He decided that rather than wait two years to be able to walk without terrible pain, he would prefer to just immigrate fully to the US. Within a month, he’d had both knees replaced and was on the road to recovery.

I am so glad that all Americans will now be able to have healthcare, but I’ll admit to having a bit of trepidation if we go to a system similar to the one in Canada.

Feel better soon!

wojo4hitz says:

hey tiff! thanks for thinking of me! and thanks for well, not calling? LOL…would definitely like to talk to you sometime, but a little overloaded now! i actually think my cousin’s cousin who lives in DC might actually be coming to see me today. no joke.

one thing i wonder is whether it depends on what procedure you’re getting? when i got (non-emergency) knee surgery, i saw a doctor on wednesday and he was able to operate on friday. try to get in to see a dermatologist though??? you’re talking 6-8 months to get an appointment! if you’re a new patient to a doctor, you’ll probably find a similar situation there, too of not being able to be seen for months. so i wonder if it differs there just like it differs here.

Mary says:

I don’t live in Canada but I live 15 miles from the border to BC. Living in the States next to the closest hospital outside of the province, you wouldn’t believe the impact it is has on us Americans. Due to the plethora of Canadians that cannot get into hospitals/doctors/etc. for surgical procedures, emergencies, check ups, etc. they all come down to Bellingham and use our hospital. This impacts me because our hospitals are constantly full and have wait lists from the Canadians. When I had potentially broken a bone, I was waiting in the ER for 3 hours to get an x-ray and began speaking to the people sitting next to me (it was a Mom and three kids) and she was telling me that her son (approximately age 7/8) needed a heart procedure but was told that he would have to wait FIVE MONTHS before they could do it because there were people ahead of him. The procedure wasn’t exactly something that could wait five months so she drove them down to Bellingham to use our hospitals and pay for it out of their pocket because they would get the surgery that day, as opposed to five months later, for something that was potentially life threatening.
That situation tore my heart because I don’t think people realize the major impact that we are going to experience when our hospitals become over crowded. Can you imagine being in your migraine situation and being told you had to wait months before they would see you?
I know it’s not the situation for everything but there definitely are going to be repercussions that we feel with the health care reform. We’ll all be paying a lot of money into taxes for it, for something that is not going to be as wonderful as we originally hoped.

wojo4hitz says:

But are you saying that our hospitals are going to become overcrowded because suddenly everyone will be able to get the care they need and will go get it? If so, then we need to continue expanding our hospitals and deal with the problem from THAT angle, not by making sure most people can’t afford to get in. I’m not sure why you think our hospitals would become so much more crowded otherwise?

Kayla says:

I Truly truly hope you feel better. Spinal taps hurt the soul. So scary 😦

On the subject of healthcare reform… You choose how you spend your money. Is it fair that you could save money for your health emergencies but you spend it on plane tickets and expect other people’s money to fund your health emergencies? Is that really fair? Is it fair that you and I have to fund healthcare for smokers, people who overeat, people who beat their innocent kids? No. I’d support complete health insurance for children… But Americans are going to have to learn to SAVE vs spend.

The only really important thing though is I hope you feel healthy soon and your migraines disappear.

wojo4hitz says:

hey there, and thank you. and yes, you’re right, these kinds of things threaten my ability to live the lifestyle i love, and that’s what scares me! it’s a silly concern to most people and a luxury i’m grateful to have, but i do plan and save for these things, which is how i’m able to pay for it in the first place, and it’s a bummer to have something like this put such a large (and most annoyingly, possibly unnecessarily large) dent in that. i think the cost of the health care industry we have is out of control and people are getting rich off of it… *i’d* rather not be funding *that*…

and i also agree with there needing to be a level of personal responsibility, because generally i don’t like funding other people’s stupidity either. my mom is very overweight and has lots of health problems, and it irks me to see her spend so much into something that could easily be alleviated if she tried. i guess i’m perhaps more of a fan of the public option than of a single payer system like canada. keep the health insurance you have, or be able to buy government insurance if you want. give the industry some competition and give people an alternative. health insurance companies sure as hell aren’t going to just give the profits they’re making on us without it. and if the government system ends up being awful, then people can go back to what they had. and if they can’t afford it, well at least they have *something*…

Flore-Anne says:

I’m not really sure how it works in Canada, but here we pay taxes (to make it simple to understand, I think it’s a bit more complicated than that) and then when we go see the doctor, we pay the consultation, and we get reimbursed after. It’s the same for medicines : we pay, and get reimbursed a few days later. But now, because the system suffers a huge deficit, we are not completely reimbursed, we pay a few euros on some medecines and one euro for each consultation (if I’m not wrong).

Some people don’t like it here too, because they don’t want to pay for others (but I think it’s mainly when it comes to unemployment that people are mad to pay for the ones who don’t work) but this is solidarity, and I’m glad we have that.

Becca says:

I’m glad to hear that you are going to be okay!
Also I think it is really great that the health care reform passed in the US…because I think everyone should have the security and be able to get the medical treatment they need. I am from Canada, and our system isn’t perfect and there are problems with it, like longer wait times etc. but I think the horror stories that you hear in the United States about the Canadian health care system are exaggerated. From my experience, the problems with the Canadian system have never out weighed the benefit of not having to worry about being able to afford treatment. As a student, with little savings, this is very comforting to me.
My Parents recently moved to the US for work…and I was blown away at how much a simple annual check-up costs. They were however very impressed with the service they received in the US.
I know Canadian health care isn’t free, and we do pay taxes, but for me, it is worth it. That being said there are many improvements and changes that need to be made to the system and hopefully now the US can construct a system that combines the advantages of the different health care systems out there.

Wow sorry…that turned out way longer than I had planned! I hope it makes sense lol

alyssa says:

hey, I’m really sorry to hear about you being in the hospital, but really glad that you are doing okay!
i live in canada, and it is true that for different surgeries and some scans and things like that, it can take a while to get them done. but honestly, I’m so lucky to live here and to not have to worry at all about all the money i will spend if i go to the doctor when I’m sick, or if i break my arm or anything like that. i just go to the doctor (yeah sure i might have to wait a little while), get checked up and go home. I don’t have to contemplate whether or not i have the money to be able to afford going to the doctor, or to worry about if i will loose my house if i get this done, or that done. I’ve heard a couple of different stories about some people who live in the states that have died because they didn’t go to the doctor, only because they could not afford it. and thats just wrong. honestly, the system up here in canada has some flaws, i know, but i never have to worry about anything, and i consider myself very lucky to have this system here. I hope one day the healthcare system down in the states will improve, because in my opinion, health care is a fundamental right, and everyone should have the right to have it.
get well soon! 🙂

Juliana says:

hi wojo !!
glad that you are okay

well i’m not canadian, but in france we have health care too,and it’s one of the last good stuff here (seriously our government wanted to supress it at some point !!).
of course it’s not perfect,some drugs aren’t paid back and some people steal, but we don’t have to care about having money when something is wrong, and we don’t have to worry about our situation.
i think it’s just one of the base of a republic, being equal etc

but there is something i didn’t understand: at the news sometimes some people say they don’t want USA to become a communist or socialist country. but why do they say this ? that has nothing to do with communism it’s just a normal right, right ?
i’d really like to understand, and also what is wrong about socialism ? rather than help big company it helps people more, and usually there are less taxes and stuff.

i’m not insulting your country, now that sarkozy is president i don’t know how many taxes are around, his government is hated, people in France really feel left out and ….ed. i just want to understand why it seems like a lot of people don’t want it.

also i hope that you will sleep in your own bed tonight and you will recover, and won’t have to pay much. ( and sorry about the faults )

wojo4hitz says:

hey juliana! thanks for your perspective, i really like hearing about what’s going on in other places. seems like people who actually live in these countries think it’s at least a more successful system than ours. i guess the best i can explain about why people are getting all worked up over “communism” and “socialism” over here is that conservatives/republicans believe in lower taxes (supposedly) and that if you make your money you should get to keep it. they’re not so up for giving it to other people they think “don’t deserve it” and often forget that taxes pay for the roads they drive on, the fire department that comes to their house, the water in their sink, etc. etc. etc. a lot of them have been brainwashed into thinking that the liberals/democrats just want to take all of their hard earned money and give it to welfare moms who keep popping out kids, people who are unemployed because they’re just lazy, and yes, to pay for someone else’s health insurance because they probably “haven’t made good decisions about their health and lifestyle.” conservative/republican leaders make people think that this health insurance plan is just another way for lazy liberals to take advantage of and live off of good hard-working americans. they don’t see health insurance as a right. they see it as you should get a job so that you can have insurance and so that YOU can pay for what you use, instead of having others help pay for it. i can see how people could see it that way, but they’re not thinking of the fact that THEY could end up being the one that needs the help, because they don’t see themselves as these mythical lazy bloodsuckers republicans are on about. this, i think, is one of the main problems, is that they don’t know any of the reasons why it might be in their own self interest to reform our healthcare system, and they don’t want to know because they’ve only been fed alarmist lies about how disastrous it would be.

well, there are my long, drawn-out, clearly heavily opinionated thoughts on the matter… does that make sense? there are other reasons, but i think this is a main one that gets the crazies going.

Purity says:

hi there Jaime! you don’t know me, but my name is Purity and i love the videos you are always uploading on youtube.. amazing. kinda sad you weren’t able to go to the other t&s shows and get vids in kansas city, i was suppose to be there (my first live t&s show) but couldn’t so i had my cousin (who doesn’t know anything about t&s) go for me and she was gonna take her video cam and digi cam and get video/pics and i said “don’t worry about the video cam.. there’s a girl online who gets video at all the shows and hers are awesome” so she just got pics.. and haha then i find out you didnt get to go. my cousin got me about 200 pics ha and i’m not worried about video.. i was soo hyped up and i couldn’t even be there haha. i saw that you were sick and wanted to wish you well and hope you get better very soon! it sucks to be sick and in any kind of hospital so i’m glad you’re getting better :). i’ll be thinking about you and hoping you’re back to your normal self soon :). sorry about the rambling!

gonna go back and read the other replies.. this health care thing is crazy.


Sarah says:

Hi Jamie, glad to hear you’re on the mend.

I’m a Canadian, living in Toronto. Although not perfect as many others say, I am grateful for our Covered Healthcare. Having had many injuries, ailments and surgeries, I have to say that I’ve never dealt with long waits or poor care. Being 30, single, employed (but not gainfully) I don’t know what I’d do if I had to pay for checkups or even the simplest of procedures. Although we pay for this through our taxes, the pros greatly outweigh the cons. I have a sister who teaches down in DC and she worries everytime she falls ill.

Here’s to a speedy recovery.

Sarah (with an H)

Rebecca says:

Hey there Jaime! I’m sooo glad that you’ll be leaving the hospital. Take care, and feel better soon!

I come from Singapore, and I have to say that healthcare here is pretty well taken care of. Do we pay for healthcare? Of course we do. However, our public hospital wards are classified into classes from C, B2, B1 and A, and the lower two classes get subsidy from the government in footing the total hospital bill. Moreover, we have savings known as CPF (Central Provident Fund), where it is compulsory for us to contribute 20% of our salary monthly into this account. Part of this 20% goes into our Medisave account, where we can use the money to pay for our hospital bills and most recently, dental care. (I’m planning to take my wisdom teeth out and that’s how I’m going to pay for it)

Last year I had to take my appendix out. Both my parents had just lost their jobs in the recent global recession, and it is only because we had Medisave that we were able to afford the healthcare. It is efficient as well, I didn’t have to wait that long in the ER (less than an hour) and less so for them to provide me a bed.

Singapore has been called a “nanny-state” because of how our government takes care of most of our needs, but it works.

Laura says:

Hey Jamie – Glad you’re able to get home and rest in your own bed! I didn’t read all the previous comments, but being Canadian I can let you know how it works here. We don’t pay for anything. Period. I was at the hospital a month or two ago – waited an hour (it was a non emergency.. but still went to the Urgent Care) was seen by a doctor, given medication, and left. No bill. Same with a family physician – no bill, ever. Xrays, spinal tap, 24 hour nurse, all covered. I wouldn’t say wait times are bad, either. Depending on the day of course… but they are not unreal. They obviously take more critical people first, but I don’t think it’s anything to complain about.
Anyway… Hope you can rest up and just think of the australian dates 🙂

Laura says:

PS – I should mention that we pay for it in taxes 😉

cam4 says:

Hi there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future
but I’m having a tough time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

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