Healthcare Debates from the Back of an Ambulance

This past Monday morning I got up at my usual 5am, I left the house at my usual 6am and was at my desk at the office by 6:30am. I started working on publishing some content to the court’s website and around 7:30 I started feeling this odd, sharp, pain in my groin. A few minutes later, a dull pain started spreading around my lower back, particularly on my right side.

I got up to use the restroom just to make sure someone hadn’t stabbed me from behind, but everything “seemed” okay. A few short minutes later back at my desk, I became unusually sweaty and suddenly couldn’t keep myself cool. I finished the email I was writing and drafted another to my boss and said, “I’m going home.”

I raced back to the car and lo, hit every damn red light in town. Once I made it home, I laid down for about 10 minutes but the pain was becoming nauseating and too much to bear. I dialed 911 and a few short minutes later an Indianapolis Fire Department ambulance was in front of my house.

I had already walked out the door, but collapsed on the porch. The paramedics, a man and a woman, leapt out of the truck and came to lift me up and put me in the back of the rig.

This is where my experiences in understanding America’s Healthcare Debate kicks in. Here are the questions they asked me, in the order they asked me, to the best of my memory:

1. What’s your name?

2. What’s your date of birth?

3. How much do you weigh?

Those first three all seemed like logical, expectable medical questions. Then they had a few others…

4. What’s your social security number?

5. Do you have insurance? [Yes]

6. Do you have your insurance card with you? [Yes]

7. Where do you want to go?

Where do I want to go? What do you mean “where do I want to go?” I want to go to the frickin’ hospital!

At this point the pain was causing me to black out and lose sensation in my legs, arms, abdomen and back. It turns out, when an IFD ambulance pulls up, they can ask where you’d like to do. Knowing I was minutes away from St. Francis in Beech Grove and Community East on 10th Street, I asked the driver what he recommended. His response to me was (and I remember this very clearly), “I’d go to Community. I never liked going to St. Francis and I grew up in Beech Grove.”

We went to Community. Where, upon entry, they proceeded to ask me the same questions all over again. Clearly, the laptops and mobile units used by IFD and I assume by Metro Police, don’t communicate at all with local emergency rooms.

Although, the hospital quickly asked “what brings you in here today?” followed by, “Do you have your insurance card?” and “let me bring you the release forms so the doctor can see you.”

Clearly, Obama isn’t kidding when it comes to converting medical records to electronic documents. The amount of work required was a little extreme and left me writhing in pain for an additional 20-30 minutes.

After some tests and initial consultation with the doctor, who was very nice and prompt, he diagnosed me with a kidney stone. The bastard of all stones.

One Comment

  1. Always say your chest hurts if you want speedy service. And next time they ask, say you want to go to Community North or Clarion North. It’s not that much further and where the money goes, so goes the quality of care. Another aspect of the healthcare debate.

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