1/5/18 Feelings Into Words

The experience I had in the hospital on 1/5/18 was traumatizing. I can't stress enough how much I hesitated to go there in the first place because of my financial situation. I'm someone who has been trying to recover from previous trauma and previous financial issues for years now. It had been an uphill battle, so I didn't want to accumulate anything new that would hold me back from getting affordable housing any longer. 

I waited until I absolutely felt like I was dying to go there. 

I remember telling a friend of mine that I felt a sense of comfort because I thought that once I got to the hospital, everything would be okay. I packed my clothes before I went because I knew that I was really ill, and I thought I would be admitted. I really thought they were going to keep me because I felt that bad. Instead, I was sent home crying and feeling humiliated and not even taken seriously. The questions that ran through my mind were:


  • What did I do to deserve this treatment?
  • Why didn't this particular person believe me?
  • Why didn't this person want to help me?
  • Why have hospitals turned into nothing but cold-hearted money suckers?


Those people didn't know me from a can of paint, so none of them had any reason to assume that I was just goofing off or that I was lying about my symptoms or what could be causing my symptoms. Somehow, they judged me anyway, or at least the one physician did. 

Reader, please take a moment to put yourself in my shoes that day. I'm a 43-year-old "black" woman with no (supportive) family, no husband/significant other, and no friends in close proximity. I'm already struggling to pay for a roof over my head. I don't want to go to the hospital, but every day this illness keeps getting worse. It finally progresses to the busload of original symptoms PLUS chest pain and life-sucking anemic symptoms that are so bad that I can no longer work my extremely sedentary job. 

Of course I'm scared, but not unreasonably frantic. 

I debate in my own mind about whether I should go to the ER or just crawl into a corner and die. Of course, I choose the ER because I'm not ready to die. No, I'm not afraid to die, but I'm not quite ready either as I still have a lot to do in the world yet. 

I expect to see caring people who are going to help me feel better and bring some clarity as to what is wrong with me. I don't get that from the main person who is supposed to take care of me. 

Doctors are supposed to take care of people. They take an oath to act in the best interests of their patients. That includes not judging someone based on skin color, financial status, insurance status, or even expired or incorrect notes or information that may come up in the computer system. That includes not calling the patient a liar by taking a pregnancy test after she says there's no way (me abstinent long time) that she could be pregz. That includes not lying about the other test results and turning someone away with no answers. 

I go to the hospital sick as hell, vulnerable, and just wanting to feel safe and reassured that they are going to try to help me feel better. I want a medical professional to do the necessary research and find the problem, which will leave my mind at ease. Instead, I leave the hospital shocked, in tears, and feeling like I had just been kicked in the gut by the person who was supposed to help me. 

To add insult to injury, the bills start coming in for the "services" that I received there. I'm charged for tests that never should have been run (pregnancy? WTF? NO!), the "bloodwork" that was never done on my vials of blood that miraculously disappeared, an inflated chest X-ray bill, and...wait... thousands of dollars for the non-admitting hospital stay, and over a thousand dollars for the abuse that I received from a person who did not handle himself as a medical professional at all. 


The way I see it, the bills are additional abuse. 

Try to understand what I feel like right now as someone who legitimately had screwy kidneys that day and still has screwy kidneys now. I went for help. I received none. I had to see someone else just to get the right diagnosis, but these folks want me to pay thousands of dollars for negligence. I honestly think it's backward. I shouldn't be paying thousands of dollars for their negligence. It should be the other way around.

Now maybe I wasn't on my deathbed like I thought I was. Maybe it just made me feel like I was dying, but I did/do legitimately have the illness. Maybe there wasn't anything they could have done for me that day even if they had discovered and disclosed what was wrong. But, at the very least, they could have let me know what the issue was, gave me some tips for trying to help myself feel a little better, and not sent me home feeling like I had done something wrong by going there. 

The experience makes me never want to go to a hospital again. I've lost all trust in those types of places, and it's sad because that's like the only place you can go if you are dying. 

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