Health care: It’s not broken – My personal experience

Unlike other posts that have been posted here regarding the health care system, and the talk about a nationalized government health care take over, I thought that I would write about my personal experience.

On Saturday, August 1, 2009, at  3:15 p.m. in the afternoon,  I was at my computer, all of a sudden I started experiencing chest pain, jaw pain, arm pain, and I broke out in a cold sweat. I figured what the heck, did a quick search on the Internet for “what are the signs of a heart attack“.  Wouldn’t you know the symptoms described was exactly what I was experiencing.

Being one not to panic, I decided to lay down and see if the symptoms would pass.  By 3:45 p.m. the symptoms were not getting better, a call to 911 was in order.  Fifteen minutes later, a team of three paramedics arrived.  All I remember them saying was lets get him loaded up and get him to the hospital.

I arrived at the emergency room sometime around 4:25 p.m. When I had arrived at the ER a swarm of doctors and nurses were buzzing around me like angry hornets.  What appeared to me as chaos was a choreographed ballet of medical professionals doing their job.

Questions flew around the room regarding, family history, allergies, history of bleeding, drug usage and or abuse, blood samples being taken left and right, EKG’s being run, the cardiac surgeon had been notified and the cardiac  lab was prepped and already for me when I arrived.

By this time I had been given 2mg of morphine, eight aspirins, one percocet, three sub-lingual nitroglycerin tablets, 10cc of heparin, and a few other drugs to thin my blood, control pain and to keep me calm me down, and another drug to numb up my lower right leg.

By now a total of one hour and 20 minutes had passed since the symptoms began. At approximately 5:45 p.m., the cardiac lab had me all prepped and ready for the angiogram procedure. By 6 p.m. they had found the blockage in my heart and by 6:05 they had the stent in place, took a few additional pictures of my heart and found nothing else. By 6:30 p.m I was in the cardiac care unit (CVU) resting and having a team of nurses looking in on me.

Total time from the call made to 911 to being in the CVU unit: two hours 45min.

The whole experience was extremely fast from my perspective of time, not once  was I asked for insurance, or for how this was going to be paid for. Quite the opposite, one of the nurses actually leaned in and said to me do not worry about how this will be paid for, if needed we will have a hospital representative come and talk to you.

Now I wonder, why would anyone say that our health care system is broken? The speed in which I was transported, diagnosed, treated and put into a cardiac care unit was extraordinarily fast. I wonder how in the world would of this whole experience would of been different if President Obama had his way with a national health care system?

The current health care system worked for me. It was fast, efficient and incredibly caring. Not once did I see dollar signs in the eyes of the doctors and nurses. They did their job with out thinking worrying where the money was going to come from. The medical care professionals that worked on me over a period of 60 hours were more concerned about my well being.

My worry is how much of this would change under the plan that the U.S. goverment would handle health care? Do you really want those on Capital Hill making decisions for you or or your doctors?

10 replies
  1. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    If you call 911 and are taken to the ER you get tretaed. That's usually what happens whether you have health insurance or not.  "Almost" nobody gets turned away from the ER . The un-insured get treatment at the ER. I don't believe this is the issue that everybody is spun up about.

  2. KevinD
    KevinD says:

    I'm glad things worked out for you and I hope it doesn't happen again.  I'm sure you have health care from the tone of your comments, but wait until you get the bills and put yourself in the shoes of someone who does not.  What if it had been more serious and you needed surgery and/or a long hospital stay.  Could you afford that out of pocket?

    Do you prefer insurance companies making decisions for you now (instead of "Capital Hill")?  They do.  Do you have a problem with VA (govenment run health care)?

  3. libertarian27
    libertarian27 says:

    Tom, OMG, I just found out! Thank Goodness you live in the United States under the current system of care. The Medical industry of course has its flaws, but they can be dealt with in time with patience legislation.

    Be well Tom, Lib27

  4. TomTGRWolcott
    TomTGRWolcott says:

    The President keeps saying that the Health Care System is Broken, and that Doctors and Hospitals do procedures based on the amount of money they cost…My experience is just one out of thousands done every day…not once did I feel that a decision was being made based on my ability or inability to pay.  They, the Doctors, were doing what was the correct course of treatment….If the Goverment was in charge of making decisions what would of happened?

  5. Anne-EH
    Anne-EH says:

    Tom, your blog article is proof that America's health care is the best in the world, and second to none.

  6. Gzoref
    Gzoref says:

    <!–StartFragment–>

    Anne-EH, I hope you're kidding. The last World Health Org. rankings put the U.S at #37 overall; #1 for health spending as a % of GDP and sadly #72 on level of health.

    Tom, glad to see you're OK. But you're one positive experience doesn't mean that the system isn't broken. I lived in socialist Spain and my overall experience with the hospital was great, I just didn’t have to pay for it!

    <!–EndFragment–>

  7. Anne-EH
    Anne-EH says:

    A brief comment. In countries with socialistic healthcare policies, you pay for socialized medicine via much higher taxes and the quality of healthcare is not always that great (example: UK and Canada). For this reason many people often come to the USA for medical treatment because the quality of healthcare is much better and done in a more timely manner.

  8. Gzoref
    Gzoref says:

    <!–StartFragment–>

    "You pay for socialized medicine via much higher taxes." True. My fault.

    But I EARNED more in Spain because the % of taxes I paid in their system were less than I would have paid in monthly premiums and meeting a high deductable in the U.S. A rescission, if I got really sick, would have ruined me here.

    W.H.O ranking:

    U.K: #18

    Canada #30

    U.S. #36

    Also, Glenn Beck disliked the U.S healthcare last year.

    <!–EndFragment–>

  9. Gzoref
    Gzoref says:

    <!–StartFragment–>

    Jim, what’s up?

    Sad to see your political views. You've always been a nice guy (baseball, Cub-Scouts!).

    I drove past your house yesterday and I saw the U.S Postal Service delivering your mail!

    Connecticut’s “Limbaugh” was using Government services! Why, my monocle nearly fell out! I hope you'll only be using Fed-ex and UPS exclusively and removing your mailbox.

    The 10 most frightening words:

    “I’m from the government and I’m here to deliver your mail.”

    <!–EndFragment–>

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