Healthcare abuse is costing us all

Never Put the Bottle Down Till he Stopped Breathing

During my early years of development I worked almost one year for a local hospital. It was located in a community that was experiencing all the signs of a community loosing its tax base, rising crime and a sense of there’s nothing that can be done till we hit bottom; like a drug user trying to quite the habit and knows its not going to happen till the floor rises up and hits him in the face. My Grandfather used to say that alcoholics won't stop drinking until they hit rock bottom. Then their only option is getting better or ending their misery. He watched his son my uncle return from WW2 and never put the bottle down till the day he died. As a child I always sensed a good man lived inside of him but couldn’t find the light of day. Maybe the war did this to him.

I Was Hired as a Maintenance Person, But Helped with Security

I was hired at the hospital as a second shift maintenance person. Since I was the only maintenance person working this shift, thus all building concerns were directed to me.
In today terms this hospital would be classified has a small provider of hospital care. The part of the hospital that got the most activity was the emergency room. Sometimes even today while watching tv I remember my involvement in helping and watching the death of a community thru the eyes of the Emergency Room. My first night on the job was Saturday night and little did I know that this was the busiest night of the week. Normally there would be two security guards on duty but not on my first night, one called in sick. Little did I know my job description would be changing to security guard if the situation called for it.

I Quickly Learned to Duck

I was directed to the Emergency Room where one guard and three nurses were trying to secure an out of mind person with movement restraints I assisted and only received a minor elbow to my chin. I hadn’t learned to duck yet. Lets move forward six months and now I’m a hardened veteran in dealing with the Emergency Room situations. Now I managed the fine art of ducking and weaving when swinging body parts were directed at me.

The Emergency Room Told the Story of the Community

When things were running smoothly I often visited the Emergency Room to enjoy the company of others and help when I could. Doing my tenure in the Emergency Room gave me an up close and personal view of the issues in the community and the abuses inflicted on the hospital that raised the healthcare costs to go thru the roof. I bet at least fifty percent of eligible workers were unemployed in the town where the hospital resided. And because of this the Emergency Room Doctors became a primary source of medical help for the people that lived there.

Abulance Was a Taxi Service

The ambulance service was like a taxi service and many people in medical need used it because it got them faster access to help for themselves or family members. It did at times seem a little ridiculous when an ambulance ride only produced an aspirin to be dispensed.

I Have Experienced Both Sides

Yes I have experienced the wellness of having a full plate of food and also the generosity of those running the soup kitchen at the Salvation Army. So I’m like a coin I have experienced both sides of having and not having. Also I’ve made my share of mistakes and have no right to judge anyone else. So but for the grace of God go me. I find comfort in this phrase because fate guided my steps when I lost track of myself and where I was going.

Weight, Alcohol, Smoking and Drug Abuse are Sky Rocketing Health Care Costs

This story is in part about all of us and the parts we all have played in using or abusing the health care system by not doing our part to stay healthy. Weight, alcohol, smoking and drug abuse is costing us all a large percentage of our income to keep the healthcare boat afloat.

Maybe we all should give more attention to our health and avoid less of the four don’ts.

Don L. Terrill

photo by Joe Shlabotnik