Saturday, November 01, 2014

I Probably Should Be Dead

In the aftermath and in anticipation of a devastating attack on the modern medical industry we've come to enjoy (whether or not we take it completely for granted), I find my own recent history important, and more so in relation to that of many of you.

In the summer of 2013, I began noticing that I was becoming breathless after walking, say, a quarter of a mile or so on a gentle uphill grade. I had to do a quite a bit of walking during the course of my day's work. I didn't think a lot of it; I wrote it off to just getting older.

Following my normal routine, I had an appointment with my ophthalmologist to check my interocular pressure, which had been running borderline on the high side. During my usual chat with the doctor during the procedure, I happened to mention my recently noticed difficulty with walking. She asked further questions about it and ultimately suggested that I see my primary care doctor and discuss it with him.

At first, I said, "Oh pshaw!" in my head, then after another couple of days of work, I decided to check it out. The upshot was that my doctor told me I should get an imaging check. After shooting me up with a radioactive solution and closing me into the imaging bed, I was told I had blockages in my arteries and would need stents.

After further examinations, they said stents could not be used, because the blockages were too close to the "Y's" in the arteries. I would need bypass surgery.

The next morning, while lying on the OR table, I mentally prepared myself to die. I have a will, so I wasn't too worried for my wife, and my two boys are all grown up and on their own. The anesthesiologist stgarted sticking needles in my arms.

y wife tells me I fought to remove my tubes and stuff from my face and had to be restrained for a while to keep from hurting myself. I recall none of this. I finally came around in a room full of monitors, plastic bottles and tubes, the tubes all sticking into my arms. My lovely wife Debbie was there, and I was exceedingly happy to see her--especially when I remembered that I wasn't sure I'd ever see anything again!

After several more days of intensive care, restricted, then gradually less restrictive movement and horribly bland food, I was released to three months of home rehab and recuperation. Then, it was back to work on a light work status for a while.

There were a couple of setbacks during that period; one of them pretty serious. I endured it under great care bu doctors and nurses, and by my wife after I was able to go home.

Why should I be dead? Absent the caring work of the people at the hospital, and the doctors I still see occasionally to this day, i would never have lasted this long. I would be dead.

It's for this reason I despise the debacle they call Obamacare and any other government intrusions into medicine. To have faceless, uncaring bureaucrats making bull-in-a-china-shop decisions about life and death matters the medical industry deals with in a thoughtful manner is the height of barbarismn. It would have killed me, and many of my friends.