The Tough Guy has a lot of Tough Friends. And the closest friend is and has been seriously ill for a number of years. You see, he has a tumor next to his pituitary gland that is inoperable. And the healthcare system has been screwing him around for over 10 freakin years! 10 FREAKIN YEARS!! To simplify the point. Tumor causes nausea that leads to frequent vomiting that leads to herniated and ulcerated organs like the intestines and stomach. Causing yet more problems. And so on until death.
Here’s the Catch-22. (By the way, Catch-22 is a novel by Joseph Heller. Catch-22’s plot was basically tell a war pilot that after 15 missions he goes home. They keep raising the number everytime he gets close.)The real catch-22 is that The Tough Friend is indigent now. Spent all his money on health care. Went on the government care. Medicade. Not old enough for medicare. And the doctors kept treating the symptoms. Not the cause.
My friend worked full time for over 30 years. Never wanted a handout. But after he was ” laid off” due to his illness he spent every penny he and his wife had to no avail. And his wife was sick too. Pressure behind the eyes was making her blind. (At least she is cured of that problem now.) Then the government stepped in and the quality of care went through the floor. Not to say the doctor is incompetent. But he has way too many patients. That makes quality care almost impossible. The doc prescribed pain killers for the tumor, anti nauseants for vomiting, anti anxiety drugs, and a host of other non necessary drugs to help the first drugs work better. But the drugs that can really help him are too expensive so the govt. doctor will not prescribe them. The doctor was more involved in managing his meds than curing his problems, putting him on opiates and barbituates. Ending with demarol and dilodid. This is how doctors for the indigent make their money. Perform a few unnecessary tests and prescribe more meds. And the cycle goes on. Catch-22. Get it? They just keep shuffling you from one care center to another and nothing ever gets better.
Now to current day treatment. The Tough Friend has a new doctor. Paid by CICP. That is the Colorado Indigent Care Program. New doctor is freaked out by this mess that the fed doc left. Started with xrays of chest and gut. Then a complete GI exam. Tube down the throat as far as it will go. Couldnt get it past the stomache. Guess why? Herniated intestine (due to daily vomiting). And also a probe up the ass. They found ulcerated valves in the lower intestine. (Due to daily vomiting as well). It seems the first doc was too busy to do a complete exam on his digestive track. The only reason my friend is on the CICP now is that the old doc was trying to wean The Tough Friend off of the pain meds. Weaned him down to the point where pain was getting worse. REAL PAIN FOLKS! That is a Catch-22. Why does a doctor not realize that pain sometimes never goes away and it MUST BE TREATED. The Tough Friend went to the ER on the far side of town because it is the only one which accepted medicade. Meanwhile, the idiots at the ER thought he was a junkie looking for a fix. Made him wait until he had a seziure and ALMOST DIED to help him. (This is why he is on CICP now. The examining doc was upset at the staff and the previous doc as well. ) I smell a potential lawsuit. But know it will not happen. Indigent is well, indigent. Poor people don’t sue the system because it’s not nice to bite the doc that helps you. Even if it’s shitty help. It’s still help. If you sue, you get NO help. Another kind of Catch-22.
So the point of this is that EVERYBODY DESERVES HEALTH CARE. And not crappy healthcare. Real lifesaving and life altering healthcare. And do not start bitching about the cost. This man paid his share plus a lot more into the system. So did his wife. ( now that she can see again, she is looking for work. God bless her. I hope she is successful.) Y’all talk about the burden indigent people put on the healthcare system. Yes there are people who abuse any and all government aid programs. I see kids who have full ride scholarships and grants still take the free $5500 govt grant and they spend it on booze and drugs. And women who “need” more kids so they can get a free living wage for having kids. And business owners who get govt. loans just so they can default and pocket $100K after a few months. But you NEVER see someone make themselves seriously ill just to get free medicine. And most of the fakers are found out quickly. If not for the ACA, which most republicans are BOLD FACED LYING about, The Tough Friend by most accounts, would be dead. And that would make The Tough Guy very sad. If we can put a rover on Mars, then why can’t we have quality medical care for every citizen?
( this has been the Toughest Post to write. The Tough Guy is too involved to write without emotions on this subject and this post was edited numerous times to try and keep emotion out,)
Sorry for the delay my friends. But this needs to be said. Please repost or send links if you care to. Situations like this are everywhere in the USA. And remember, this could be YOUR situation in the future. Wanna hurt for over 10 years due to an overworked doctor and an uncaring system? Thought not.