Thursday, June 5, 2014

MY DAD's PROCEDURE & HEALTHCARE

I cannot believe what my father had to go through for his procedure. He arrived at the hospital at 7:45 in the morning without eating anything as he was told to fast. He had to have that procedure done that checks if your arteries are clogged, up to his carotid artery.  I was very nervous, to say the least!

My brother and I waited in the CCU waiting room as we were instructed. We noticed that no one was coming in to give us any information. Hours passed and nothing. We would take turns walking into CCU only to be told the doctor was delayed or that there were no rooms. Really?  No rooms at a hospital?  They are the ones that do the scheduling!  Every excuse was unacceptable.

My father is diabetic and had zero to eat and soon began to shiver and get a headache. He was given only juice which of course, raised his sugar levels. They didn't even put an IV in him. We were in shock at the lack of inhumane treatment.  I mean really, who keeps a diabetic patient without eating for hours and hours without any hope in sight.  He was just told to wait. They could not guarantee anytime for him because now the doctor was late.

I decided to call the doctors office myself, and of course, they blamed the hospital and said they were waiting for them! I found out the doctor was still in his office.  At that point, it was still 11:40a.m. (and had only been a 4 hour wait.)

My brother and I were told by Pedro, the head male nurse "things happen. "  I was quick to give that male nurse a piece of my mind and get all "crazy-Cuban" on him!  "It is that attitude that is wrong with the system, I told him.  The complacency of half-ass service! Why should we accept that a doctor is this extremely late, while my dad shiver and suffers in this hospital bed without anyone so much as giving an approximate time?"  He did not like me speaking my mind.  I guess they are use to people just shutting up and saying okay, we will wait quietly.  NO!  This is unacceptable. Pedro will remember me for a long time.

At the end of the day the doctor showed up when he showed up, which was at 4 PM (almost 8 hours later.)  At that point my father had requested to be disconnected and discharged as he was so annoyed (and really, who can blame him?) Both my brother and I agreed that it was okay to leave.

Just as my father was putting his shoes on to leave the hospital, the doctor strolled into CCU Cath Lab.  My dad said he would give him one more hour to get the procedure done if not he was walking out and not having anything done at all.  I panicked because I know how stubborn my dad is and he would walk out and say "screw the whole thing."  I quickly began scrambling on my Facebook network for cardiologist names and numbers.

Thankfully, the procedure was done in less than 45 minutes and he had no clogged arteries. Thank you God because he certainly didn't need any complications from that.

The conclusion of the day was that health care sucks! There are so many factors that had to do with it. People are very quick to blame politics but honestly, in my opinion, it is the apathetic behavior of so many. It is the lack of accountability and the "passing the buck" attitude.  It is the bureaucratic system.

My father was lucky but there are so many fragile patients there going through the same thing day after day. And not just at this particular hospital, everywhere

How did we get to this point in our country where healthcare is such an embarrassment and such a shame?   Sure, each political party will blame the other, but as my father always taught us, "todos los poquitos cuentan."  Which means "all the little bits count."  The sum of all parts matterIt is the little actions of each one of us that make a difference in this world.  It is the accountability of every employee in the hospital and doctor's office.  It is that one nurse who steps up to help you, to give you information.  It is most definitely greed.  It is the doctor, who should not schedule 10 patients, when there are only 2 operating rooms!

It is up to us the people, to speak up to do something, to say something to fight for our rights, to advocate!

For now I am just grateful my father is okay!!


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