Posted by: guinness222 | May 2, 2009

“So now I’m svelte!”

      Last count yesterday morning I was down 20 pounds,….does that make me svelte?

     Anyhow strength starting to come back slowly, even my 800 pound chest gorilla has lost weight now to about 100 pounds and “Herbie” my little pillow is still my closest buddy.

    Incisions are all healed and a lot of the black and blues are also going away quickly. I was supposed to go see the surgeon for a follow up last Thursday, but his office called and said he was going to be tied up in surgery all day and postponed it until this coming Tuesday. I’m hoping he says something like, “Looking good to me, I’m turning you back over to your cardiologist, hope I never see you again.”

        It’s about an hour and a half one way from my house to his office in Pensacola at the hospital, which is an aweful ride, whereas my Doctor, my Cardiologist, and a full hospital (except that they can not do “cardiac intervention surgery) is only five minutes from my house!

       Let me digress into the sordid world of greed, and nastiness of health care for a minute or two.

      Seven years ago if you had a heart attack, or any form of emergency around here you might as well have them take you to the morgue, and save time and money. The two nearest hospitals were about thirty, and twenty miles away respectively. This new group decided we needed a local hospital because the population was growing leaps and bounds, the real estate market was soaring, hence the tax base, etc., etc.

         Bureaucracy sucks, you just can’t build a hospital, you need to jump through major hoops first and foremost, and believe it or not none of it has a damn thing to do with the cost of building the hospital!

        The biggest Real Estate holding company in the state donated all the land, plus more than enough room for future expansions, thousands of folks started signing petitions, pledging more than enough money to make it happen, both individuals as well as business and corporate benefactors, and it was then we learned about “the process” to become a “hospital”. You see two “marginal” hospitals had already failed here, but that was back when we were just a lonely little fishing town, with a population of about 1500 folks, not like the raging four season vacation community we had become now. With any type of vacation community there are always accidents, constantly, cut toes, slammed hands, cuts, bruises, etc. and even the inevitable drownings and major heart attacks and strokes,….so we were ready for a good hospital. One of the real keys to a year round community , particularly in a retirement area, which we also are, is health care facilities and services.

       We want the well to do, 55 to 70 year old retirees who want to buy homes, play golf, and do all the things they do which acts as the foundation  of a good year round local economy. The biggest thing holding them back was the lack of local hospital health care, because at that age (trust me I’m there already) it is one of the top three in your requirements to make a permanent move to retirement lands.

           It all required a docvument called a “Certificate of Need”, some State or otherwise bureaucratic bunch of horeses asses needing signoffs from everyone, including all the other local hospitals that a new hospital facility was needed in the community.

          I’ll shorten this up for you, and basically cardiac , stroke, and ER care are the money makers of the business. My little “junket” not even counting the actual triple Bypass operation, is already well over $90,000, all of it going into the local economy and community, split between the Doctors, the Hospitals, and all the labs, etc. Dozens and dozens of salaries of nurses, orderlies, kitchen help, cleaners, etc. are all being supported by this. And that’s where the wheels fell off the bus.

          The other two “toe tag express” hospitals would not sign off as they feared the loss of thier own revenues, not the better quality of treatment they felt they could render or any other noble objective like that, but strictly the loss of revenue.

           After almost a year of behind the scenes negotiation, trade offs were reached. Essentially the “new” hospital would be approved and signed off on, BUT they were not permitted to do any cardiac surgery of interventional work other than stabilize the patient and fly or ambulance them out to the other hospitals. And that was all under the table and not really publicized. They could however handle all the oncology or cancer chemo and radiation treatments they wanted.

         And there you have it, to this day. WE have the facilities, the Doctors, the people who can afford it, and every diagnostic tool and procedure you can imagine, but we can not do interventional cardiac treatment.

        And it’s still the same , if you go “over the bridge” to either of the other two hospitals, I believe your odds of coming out with a “toe tag” are greatly increased. And not just on the caridac level.

        Enough of today’s rant,….just had to get that off my chest.



  1. Glad you are feeling better. There is enough politics within the medical profession to put Congress to shame. And you are correct. It is ONLY about greed and self preservation.

  2. Hey Alec, are you okay? It’s been a while between updates….

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