Good Morning Hypochondriacs,
I think it important to state upfront that I’m ill and not in a very good mood. It’s pretty damn bad when a person executes the simplest of all involuntary bodily functions and actually injures themselves. No Dv’ant I didn’t fart. At 10:23 AM I sneezed. Yes a simple albeit hard sneeze created far more pain than I could have imagined and dropped me to my knees. I felt something pop or give on the right side of my Sternum and was now difficult to breathe without real pain. I was in agony with every little movement. I suspected a trip to the emergency room might be necessary, but was 24 hours away from qualifying for my company provided medical insurance, and decided to suffer through it until the next day.
Anyone that knows me beyond the bar (not many I suspect) understands I’m capable of enduring many things. Most of these experiences one would classify as quiet suffering or mental anguish. When it comes to physical torture I’m afraid I don’t hold up well. As I sat at my desk trying to focus on the task at hand, each breath delivered unbearable spasms. Basic things like picking up the phone or turning in my chair; PAIN, PAIN, PAIN! Walking to the bathroom was tantamount to participating in the “Death March” so by Noon I left work to have it looked at. I hope I’m never put in the position of keeping secrets, as I’d spill my guts the first time a Bamboo sliver was threatened to be shoved down my fingernail; revealing anything and everything I knew and make up the rest.
I’ve been through this before and had some idea about how much it would cost to take a few x-rays to determine the extent of the damage and get some pain pills. However, just as Dv’ant has told me many times before, “money-money-money-money!” I hadn’t even filled out the forms when they rushed me to a treatment room, slung the EKG on, started an I.V. drip, and monitored my blood pressure. These assholes believed I was having a heart attack! I finally snapped out of it and screamed “I’m not having a heart attack and I’m not going to pay for any of this!” It was like they didn’t hear me, so I made it very clear by repeating the refrain only inserting a few choice expletives. The doctor blurted back, “You’re under our care and obviously at high risk for a heart attack, so I have no choice but to eliminate it as causation.” Everyone (doctor & three nurses) assured me they could work with me and would only do the minimum necessary and gladly work out a payment plan! I DIDN’T ASK FOR ANY OF IT! In fact I told them upfront I could not pay for it; they will not get a dime!
Nearly four hours later and only after I bitched about how long it was taking, did the doctor come in with his shit-eating grin to inform me I didn’t have a heart attack. I replied “No shit doc—I mean no disrespect—but I told you hours ago!” As it turned out, the sneeze caused me to pull one of the major muscles that surround the rib-cage/Sternum and I’d just have to live with the misery with the help of Percocet. What a crock of formaldehyde!
So I will be billed for all the heart-attack procedures in addition to the innocuous reasons I asked for help. In light of all the debate regarding ‘Obama Care’ I wonder just how much worse this experience might have been. The fact I’m obligated to pay for the extra travail does give me reason to pause.