I was released after a 23-hour visit to our local hospital two weeks ago. Their initial diagnosis was ‘possible heart attack’. This brought much the same response from the cool professionals that my sweet wife had demonstrated in her less-than-calm and careful drive to their ER. They proceeded to strip me of my shirt and pants with the promise that they will get the rest of my worldly wardrobe and material possessions when either I or my survivors got the result of their billing department’s tally.
In a chair with one square wheel, they rolled me into the most frigid closet at the farthest corner of the corridor and began their examinations. They proceeded to poke, prod, photograph, look, listen, xRay, scan and ‘observe’ (that’s different from looking) and consultations between at least 3 departments and specialists. Finally, I was given verbal assurance and a stack of printed evidence that I had non-cardiac chest pains. My relief for deliverance was evidenced by my imitation of the proverbial bat out of well,,, out of a hospital.
Then came that “by the way” report that “we did notice a suspicious mass on your pancreas.” Whereupon another whole department was brought in to take over from there. Even though their attitude and language indicated this required immediate attention, the earliest they could instigate their possible life saving follow-up would be two weeks. It now appears to me that their concern for speed was that they could get to me while I was still billable. And/or before Obamacare ran out of money.
So tomorrow, Tuesday, March 4, Eleanor will buckle me in and drive me back across Atlanta and deliver me once again to the hands of the specialist who will proceed to administer a pancreatic biopsy. While I am asleep (for the doctor’s protection) there will be a camera inserted down my throat and into my stomach. This camera will be accompanied by a knife and a needle ‘in case’ he finds anything he needs to ‘take care of’ while down in the innermost sanctum of my fat little belly.
I guess you can tell by the levity and frivolity of this notice that I already have the “peace that passes understanding”. I have calm assurance that my Doctor, the Great Physician is far more competent than the best medical facilities in Georgia! I’m neither afraid nor worried –except for having to endure the terror of Atlanta traffic!
Here’s my own “by the way” -After that little time in the ER, I went to my regular doctor. She took me off the diabetic meds and I feel better than I have in a year! Wonder what else I can give up?