I recently buried the fifth victim of our health care system – my mother. She was a victim of a system that is blind to the pain caused by its ineffectual delivery of “health.” My mother’s death was infinitely preventable. She suffered from back pain for over a year but none of the doctors thought to investigate further to determine the cause of the pain. These were doctors she had visited for years. These were doctors who were quite familiar with her medical history and who she trusted. These were doctors who could have probed a bit further and found that she suffered from something that is quite treatable: kidney stones. But they let it go too long. Her back pain became worse. She walked less and less. Eventually the kidney stones became the cause of a raging e.coli infection that caused the failure of major organs.
The torture was not restricted to her back. When I had seen her late in October, her abdomen was bloated to twice its normal size. Anyone or anything that touched her abdomen caused severe pain. It became obvious, several days later after she was catheterized, that she was retaining enormous quantities of fluids. The early stages of a bedsore was beginning to appear on her backside. We put cold compresses on her forehead. She felt she was burning up. Doctors came and went, offering different explanations as to what was wrong. Sepsis. Kidney stones. Gall stones. Back to kidney stones. Her blood pressure would be 110/63, another time it would be 60/20. Her blood glucose levels would vary between 245 and 300 or more (normal blood glucose levels should be between 80 and 140). Despite various antibiotic ‘cocktails,’ her white blood cell count was as high as 27,000 (a normal range is under 10,000). It is no wonder that she felt she wanted to die, that when she became alert enough to interact with the nurses, she refused any medications because she wanted the pain to end.
* * * * *
I believe it is time to pass the “Three Dead” law. Before anyone can offer a suggestion on how to fix our “health care” system, this law would require that you have buried a minimum of three relatives who were killed by the “health care” system. Quite frankly, anyone who has not tried to save a relative from certain death in our hospitals has no clue how bad it really is.
[The photo is my mother at age 16]
the fifth victim – The other four victims were my father (killed by underpaid staff at a nursing home who failed to keep him sufficiently hydrated, thereby causing his kidneys to shut down and which led to other complications); my mother-in-law (killed by an infection to her heart valve – a pig’s valve – and which could have been averted had her cardiologist of twenty years bothered to prescribe an antibiotic); my father-in-law (killed by an infection picked up from a fellow patient at the hospital and which was brought to the attention of the hospital staff who ignored it until it was to late); an uncle (the top surgeon at a highly renowned hospital had removed a tumor, accidentally spilled cancer cells back into his body, went back in to remove the cancer cells and accidentally nicked his colon, causing him to poison his own body).