Monday, June 2, 2008


This past motzei Shabbos, I decided to try to obtain some gastro care by visiting the local ER. The staff was certainly pleasant, and for a Saturday night, I was done pretty quickly: I completed the paperwork around 11:45 PM, and was discharged at 3:45 AM.

The problem was, after running blood work and sending me for 4 x-rays (2 chest?), they told me to come back if I had any of the symptoms on the back of the discharge paperwork, and to follow up the next day with my gastro. The irony is that when I was discharged, I had all but one of the symptoms listed on the back of that form. But hey, at least the doctor offered me some Nexium right? You do not want hear my opinion of that medication, believe you me...

Now, they took at my say-so that perhaps my ulcer had come back; only an endoscopy would actually confirm whether or not I have a recurrence. As for anything bowel-related, a CAT scan would be the only way to determine whether I have a partial obstruction en route to becoming a full obstruction. They even told me as such. However, the extent of the tests run where the ones above. So it dawned on me: in America, the ER is only for critical care. In other words, if I have a full obstruction, they would have run the gamut of available tests. However, since I was still able to move about on my own, basically tough luck Charlie. No preventative measures for me.

When I tried to explain to the nurse that because I have no-fault, I have been unable to maintain a regular gastro, and so could I please see the gastro who was on call, I was referred to the hospital's physician referral line. Having previously called the said referral line, and being unable to find a physician who takes no-fault, I was not hopeful that the situation had improved when I called the number Monday morning. I spoke to perhaps the sweetest person I have ever encountered who works for such a referral service. He even called the physicians listed as taking no-fault, and then followed up with his supervisor when his phone calls of course resulted in the response that the physicians no longer accept that insurance.

The supervisor said that since I have lawyers who are working a case involving my injuries, I should consult with them to obtain a physician. In short, back to square one. More on that another time...

Anyhow, the moral of the story? Get some decent insurance, avoid being in car accidents, and for heaven's sake, maintain a GP. Because in America, it seems, without those three factors, you are confined to getting only the most basic of care.

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