Monday, May 18, 2009
I drove myself to the ER around 1 am this morning. Before I could be seen and treated by the doctor, I had to register with patient services. I walked into this small office with beige and brown walls. The epitome of depression and sickness. I sit down in the uncomfortable chair only to be confronted by a sign on the desk. The sign read: Any patient without health coverage must pay $150 deposit before being seen. We accept cash, checks, debit and credit cards. WTH?I have no job, no health insurance, I'm sick and I owe you before treatment. What could I do? Nothing. So, I paid them what I had, which was $50. My last 50 until I call in my unemployment next week. This means no eating out or buying gas for me this week. Three hours would go by before I was seen by the doctor. On top of the waiting, the wondering, the nervousness of the unknown, it was freezing in the hospital. People were coughing and bleeding all around me in the waiting room. I began to hold my breath because I couldn't afford to catch anything else. Right as I was about to pass out from not breathing, they called me back. They took my blood, ordered an urine sample, gave me a cat scan and placed me back in the waiting room. With each needle they injected into me, my only thought was how much am I going to owe the hospital on top of my other past due bills. For a moment, I thought about running out of the ER screaming bloody murder but what would that help? I was still sick and I needed to known what was wrong. The doctor finally came back in and told me the results of the test. Everything came back normal except... Every time the doctors say except, you expect the worse. This time there was an exception to the rule. My illness was brought on by stress. You don't say! Who would think an displaced worker, with no insurance, little money and no job would be suffering from STRESS! I could have told the doctors I was stressed out before they ran all those test, drew blood and gave me medication. I could have told them that every night I wonder and worry about what tomorrow will bring. I could have told them that and more. But they didn't ask, they didn't care, they only wanted my credit card or health insurance number.