The Buck Still Stops Nowhere: third edition
I am stunningly lucky to be alive. I suffered a stroke in January 2014 but my type of stroke has an 80 to 90 percent recovery rate. I was on the floor of my home for two days before friends could reach the manager to have her check on me because I was not answering my phone or e-mails. The manager called 911. The EMT team rushed me to Harborview, a regional medical center. I was yellow, black and blue over my entire body. I was barely breathing. My left side was immobile. Neither the medics nor the ER physicians expected me to live.
I had incredible care from excellent health care professionals. I had robust health insurance through Medicare. I have strong and close networks of friends and colleagues who shouldered me through. And, I know the health care system. Even with all these gifts I still faced problems. Too many are not blessed with such gifts for support, which is why I am updating my earlier book—being a patient brought a greater personal immediacy and a deeper understanding of our system’s significant flaws. I have support, coverage, friends, colleagues and knowledge. Too many don’t. Which is why I write….
….I had to make decisions and was faced with forms and bills I still do not understand…. Because I was so near death I was taken to a hospital that was not a contract hospital with my supplemental insurance. I signed the form that said I ‘knew’ this was a ‘non-contract’ hospital for stroke care. I feared for months about the bill that I knew would surely come for non-contract services. Luckily, it never came. This is now a year later.
I was labeled as anxious because I wanted to understand and know my medications. There were so many white pills. How do I know I have the right pill? How do I know if the dose is correct? I thought I was simply fact checking.
Medicare covered not only my hospital care but my rehabilitation care. Those without rehabilitation care can face devastating personal and financial blows….