The (emotional) price of medical care

When I was almost 16 years of age, I was in a very bad car accident with five others. We were in a two-door Ford Bronco and we were T-boned at an intersection. A witness said we looked like rag dolls flying out of the vehicle.

The youngest person in the accident was the brother of the driver. The driver had the steering wheel, so he was the only one remaining in the vehicle when the spinning ended. The younger brother was about 12 at the time and was found in a pool of blood with the vehicle on his shoulder.

An ambulance arrived and the young boy was taken to the hospital. There, her son nearly dead in the emergency room, this single mother of three sons was asked, “How are you going to pay? Will you sign over your house?” This was the Maryvale Hospital in Glendale Arizona.

My mother, who arrived at the hospital, spoke with the boy’s mom. My mother told her to swallow her pride and get him to the free Maricopa County Hospital. So, back in the ambulance went this critically injured boy for a 30-minute ride. This was most certainly an example of the emotional price for medical care.

I thought about this last night when one of my cats started having a medical emergency with a tooth. Seeing that there was nothing I could do on my own, I rushed him to the Carson Tahoe Veterinary Hospital, where I was promptly told in so many words, pay in full now or take your distressed family member back home.

That is what I had to do. I took him back home. I am alone with my five animals, and I needed at the very least an extra pair of hands, a little compassion and some antibiotics. I did not get that, but what I learned is that not even the Coronavirus can give some people a heart. Three technicians were working at the clinic with no one else waiting in line.

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President Donald Trump said the other day that we are all in this together. No, not everybody.

I was able to make arrangements this morning to get my cat the care he needed and this experience has shown me the best and the worst of the human spirit.  As time marches forward with this Coronavirus crisis, I hope we don’t start hearing people complain about the free medical care that many will receive through the recent emergency bill signed by the president.

Right now, compassion is the most important thing we can share with each other. Everyone deserves a chance at having his or her life saved and to feel better. Even a cat.

P.S. My cat, Little Boy, is already feeling better. His tooth fell out on the exam table and he got an antibiotic shot and some pain meds. At the vet clinic I normally go to, the techs were coming to the parking lot and bringing the dogs and cats inside, while the parents waited outside. Thank you Lone Mountain Animal Hospital for being open and getting Little Boy in so quickly.  And thank you Darcy and John for your love. Oh and happy birthday to my Mother, Jo. She turns 89 today. Love you, Mom!