Sunday, June 25, 2006

Naviagating the health systems

So as I say I don't listen to the doctors any more than I have to. It's kind of like listening to a math teacher, after a certain point, I just glaze over. I had a volume incident and my sodium and chlorate numbers went down. They had a fancier name for that too but bascially the pills worked too well and too fast so I pissed the water and salt out of my system and went into the danger zone. I was drinking soda water but apparently that's not sufficient. Who knew. Nobody told me there was a rule about what to drink and I was too nauseous to eat anything. I mean if I knew salt was important I would have least drank club soda or tonic water instead.

So they pumped me full of saline to get me started and my assignment, which I have duly followed, is to drink Gatorade until I drown myself from the inside out. I've made a manful effort at it all day, drinking the shit nonstop, but I've also been peeing buckets. I don't know how it could be doing that much good but I do feel better all the time so I assume I'm volumizing. I wonder what the calorie count on this stuff is? I don't even want to look. I'll probably gain ten pounds from this therapy.

Meanwhile, I'd like to say a word about acute care. I've never heard of it but it saved me a bucket of money. I'm on a single payer health insurance plan that costs me almost $650 a month with a $2,500 deductible the minute they check me into the hospital. An ER visit costs me $150 out of pocket. Acute care does the same thing as the ER for less life threatening emergencies like mine that aren't likely to result a hospital admission and it's only a $30 copay. And it's tons faster. The whole process, including dumping two liters of saline by IV took well under two hours. It would have taken ten in the ER and I would have had to talk them out of admitting me to do the drip. Of course they're only open during the day time but I suppose if you have something so acute you can't wait until morning, you should go to the ER anyway.

I've never heard of it before so maybe they only have them in bigger cities but there were several to choose from in our area so they can't be that uncommon. It's kind of like any doctor's office, with less paperwork and you don't seem to need an appointment. I'm not clear if they're privately owned or affliated with hospitals but I love the concept. And the doctors were way cute. I'd certainly go there again if I had that kind of urgent care need.


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