So last night The Husband and I had decided to go see a show in one of our cool and retro arts houses nearby. He’s been going full-tilt on the job search, and he needed an evening out.
And then, life happened.
In the middle of dinner, Middle Sister started crying uncontrollably. We had no idea what was going on. She moved to the living room sofa, put on a blanket, and we continued uncomfortably with our meal. Then a request that we turn off the ceiling fan and get her another blanket clued us in. Her throat, ears, and head hurt. Her stomach was very painful. Turned out she had a fever of 102.
One of the things we were told to watch for on her post-upper G.I. paperwork was, of course, a fever over 100.5. So, after a few phone calls to after-hours triage nurses and on-call doctors, we were on our way to the ER.
Three worried and troubled hours later, the ER staff ruled out the biggest concern – aspiration during her procedure the other day leading to pneumonia. Chest x-ray was clear. Blood tests looked good, though white cell count was just slightly elevated. IV fluids and pain meds had her feeling much more like her cheery, talkative self.
Final diagnosis was a very coincidental and poorly-timed virus that contrived to scare the %#^#! out of us. Nothing serious. And hey, this particular child of ours can visit the ER as often as she likes and have as many surgeries as she likes until Dec. 31 of this year – we’ve met our outrageously high deductible and out-of-pocket expenses limit on her and it’s all free of charge! Gotta love the almighty power of life and death held by American health insurance companies. An evening out at the emergency room was cheaper than a night at the movies!
All joking aside, though, at least we have medical insurance. Our state and our neighboring state of Missouri are two of the rat bastard political systems that have chosen to reject the federal offer of increased Medicaid money, using the disingenuous excuse that they don’t want to “further burden the national debt.” Over 100,000 people who work full time in our area earn too much to qualify for Medicaid or Medicare but do not meet the qualifications to buy health insurance on the ACA exchange. Kansas and Missouri legislators are perfectly happy to force their fellow human beings to remain sick and miserable, to die early deaths because their basic needs are not met.
Climbing down from my soapbox now. Once we were starting to get the idea that things weren’t as dire as we had feared, we started joking around just a bit in her ER room. I’ve been in quite a few of these rooms over my lifetime, but the laminated set of papers hanging by the door was new to me. We speculate that if a patient is shown this list of words and recognizes that they’re complete nonsense, they may be deemed sane and lucid. Although the ability to string these words into a coherent sentence would be mighty impressive.
Or perhaps this nonsensical list of words is published by our insane politicians. It makes about as much sense as their arguments justifying their cruelty to the poor.
Gee, I wonder what our entertainment will be tonight?