Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Truth is Stranger than Fiction



I know somebody that is on SSI and medical expenses are paid with medical coupons. She has an infected tooth that never grew out of the gum. Teeth around it have been removed and now this one is lying on its side and needs to be removed because it is infected, and the game goes like this.
Go to the clinic for people with medical coupons.
Get sent home because it is not an emergency.
It gets bad and swollen and extremely painful so goes back to the clinic because it must now be an emergency.
It is an emergency, but they cannot pull a tooth that is full of infection. Gets sent home again.
Now it is determined that the tooth is in such bad shape. It has nerves around it and if they pull it they could cut one of the nerves and cause her face to be permanently numb, at least for a few months, so now it will take a special oral surgeon. There is not one in this town that will take medical coupons, is told to call one in another city several miles away.
This Dentist is called, and is told they can evaluate the tooth and it will be almost another week before the appointment.
The appointment day finally arrives and she drives the 60 miles, and is told she will need to be hospitalized for the procedure and it will take at least another 2 to 4 weeks before they can do it. Then she drives the 60 miles back home.
In the meantime her blood pressure is sky high because of all the infection, pain and frustration.
This sounds like something I made up, but it is the truth.

9 comments:

Jimh. said...

There is definitely something wrong with the health system here. If it isn't insurance turning down patients, its medicare or some othr thing...and we, the little guy who goes through all the pain.

E said...

Memorial Hospital does tons of charity for surgery. They wrote my entire balance off. I would think that there is one dentist out there that can help and take payments or something! I am so outraged. I will ask around here and see if I can help at all.

E said...

Is this is Yakima? I guess I should have asked that first? I will try to help if you can e-mail me more info. I have connections through the hospital. ehmonkeyface@yahoo.com

2Grandmas2 said...

The situation is utterly ridiculous, and I wish I could say I'm shocked. This is a system that is in critical need of being revamped.
S2

Raggedy Girl said...

As I pray for our new president I pray that he and Congress will do something to assure that the most financially productive country in the world would find a way to assure that its citizens have good affordable health care and free preventative health screenings to catch health conditions before a person needs a hospital.
Roberta Anne

Jen said...

Yeah. Just one good example of why I don't want the government in charge of MY health care. They mean well, but we all know where good intentions take you...

Robyn said...

I am so sorry :( I think tooth pain is one of the worst pains there is. You know you can go to the ER and get pain meds, right? You poor thing...

Grandma said...

Robyn, I'm not the one with the tooth problem, but I appreciate your concern. The one with the problem is living on antibiotics and pain medicine. I don't know how good that is for the body.

Stephanie Frieze said...

The health care in this country is criminal and embarassing. They have better health care in some third world countries.

My 37, nearly 38 year old daughter is Special Needs. I have a heck of a time finding dental care for someone with huge fears and medical coupons. Usually it goes like this, take her to the ER or Urgent Care and get antibiotics to clean up the infection and buy some time until I can get her into the UW or Harborview.