Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Not-So-Gradual-Decline of the "Health" Care System

Hi friends!  (Meaning the three people who actually read this). 

Welcome to my random rant once again.  It's good to have you.  So sit back, relax and marvel at how long I can sit here and type about nothing.

I just gotta get this off my chest.  Been stirring it around in the old brain and stewing about it for about 4 days now.  We all are acutely aware of the universal "health" care (this will be in quotes henceforth because it really is a gross misnomer) bill that was passed in late 2010 and is currently being implemented, rather poorly I might add, by the current administration.  I, Stephanie Sanders RN, get to witness the implementation of this government administered monstrosity on a daily basis at my place of employment.  It is a sad sad sad day ladies and gentlemen, when I see what any free-thinking rational human being would consider a grave grave grave disservice being done to a fellow human.  Apparently, these other free-thinking rational humans are running in short supply.

Soooooooooooo............enter government run "health"care victim #1275328743095405843.  Here's the short and skinny:

The blind gentleman slowly walks over to the stretcher to sign the consent form for his cataract surgery.  He happens to be a VA (Veteran's Administration) patient.  He also happens to have UNCONTROLLED Type II Diabetes and UNCONTROLLED Hypertension.  Glucose tests at 353 (normal is 70-110) and Blood Pressure is 196/98 (normal is 120/70 and anything higher is considered prehypertensive until the top number gets above 140 and the bottom gets above 80, then you have "high" blood pressure).  Now one of the major side effects of uncontrolled glucose levels for sustained periods of time is diabetic retinopathy.  This results in major, almost irreparable damage to the retina and surrounding structures, including the optic nerve, resulting in blindness.  Uncontrolled glucose levels can also result in kidney damage, nerve damage to the hands, legs and feet, impotence in men and a myriad of other health issues.  Uncontrolled high blood pressure can result in stroke, atherosclerosis (hard arteries), heart attack, aneurysms, and eventual death if not treated.  I have not even given an exhaustive list of all the horrible things that can happen when we don't take care of our bodies, but you get the picture.  So this gentleman had gone blind due to his diabetes.  So my question is............WHY IN GOD'S NAME ARE WE BRINGING HIM IN FOR SURGERY ON HIS ALREADY BLIND EYE????  Was I the only one on this page today?  How is this possibly in his best interest?  Why are we subjecting this man to this increased risk of infection  ( to remove a cataract from an already blind eye?  Why aren't we sending this man back to his primary care in order to get his diabetes and blood pressure under control before doing unnecessary procedures??????? Why are we finger plugging the hole in the dike when there's a broken gushing dam right around the corner? The anethesiologist replied, "Well, if we cancel his surgery and bring him back later, I suspect his sugar will still be high, so we may as well go ahead and do it now."  YEP.  THAT'S PAR FOR THE COURSE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.  Go ahead and slice him open so you can get your paycheck.  Nevermind that he's an actual human being with actual medical needs that supercede your desire for another maserati or house in the dominion/rogers ranch.

Nevermind that what he really needs is someone who will invest the time to do some patient teaching and education on what it means to eat food with nutritional value and take meds on a regular basis to avoid uncontrolled glucose levels which led to this predicament in the first place.  THIS is government medicine people.  This is non-sensical silliness that will continue until we DEMAND that it stops.  This is what our AGING PARENTS have to look forward to.  This is what WE have to look forward to.  This is what OUR CHILDREN have too look forward to.  And this is only the tip of the iceberg.  Common sense is pissed away in the wind where copious amounts of money are concerned.  Just ask about 95% of people who have won the lottery.  Money (or the influence of it) makes people do really stupid things.  Remember?

Sorry Michael Jackson.  I'm not hating on you.  Just trying to illustrate the point that the influence of money tends to make us all lose our ever-loving minds.

Not sure if I've managed to convince anyone of anything here.  And if you have a differing point of view, I would love to hear it.  I am not even sure what the solution is to all of this (got a good idea though), but I'm for damn sure it's not the current system we have in place.  My job as a nurse is to advocate for my patients, and you can be confident I made my position known that day.  My patient was resigned to follow the only advice given to him up to the point of surgery.  And I must say he was grossly ill-advised.  It hurts my heart for that portion of the population who knows nothing other than the misinformation that is fed to them through differing outlets.  Sometimes I feel so small in comparison to the behemoth medical model being practiced today, but I know that my God is BIG.  I know that my faith and trust in HIM is paramount.  It is also my job, as a believer, to share the amazingly Good News with my fellow (wo)man.  I fail miserably sometimes (well......more than sometimes), but His Grace and Mercy are underservingly given to me on a perpetual eternal basis.  I know I'm waxing all theoretical on you now, but even as I type this, it's a reminder for me.  Reminding me that I am His child and I can lay all my cares and worries at HIS feet.  Including the above mentioned.  And I have to make sure that I listen for His still, small voice when He instructs me on how to handle and conduct myself on the world stage.  Because we are His messengers. 

..............and we gotta make sure it's HIS message. 

Peace out y'all.  Thanks for reading.


  1. I am on the same page! Now that I'm in my patients' homes, I want to rip all the junk (aka to some people as 'food') out of their kitchens, show them what real food is and watch their chronic wounds, bed-sores, peripheral neuropathy, heart disease and general deconditioning heal. I cringe as I watch them sit in bed, day after day with junk wrappers and crumbs laying around them while drinking soda. They glare and call me names when I ask them to do exercises and walk with me, then ask me if I can call someone to get them a better walker or wheelchair.

  2. Reader #4, who I am sure you had not counted on totally agrees with you!