Healthcare

by Jinryu

So, I was down in the CSR department, which is where we pick up odds and ends of medical supplies and instruments.

“That thing costs HOW MUCH?” [CSRGuy1] looked at the screen in disbelief.

“Man, that’s ridiculous,” says [CSRGuy2].

I look closer, and the two of them check the numbers to see if they’re right.  “Mi-KEY Low Profile Gastrostomy Feeding Tube.  14FR.” The thing is, the ordering system that we use for the CSR inventory and purchasing  was made probably back in the late 80s.  The system is 80 characters of ASCII text columns by 24 rows, and resembles more like an oldschool-style  “Holy shit! Y ou have a 2400 baud modem??” style bulletin board interface more than anything you’d expect of the age of Internet.

[CSRGuy1] opens up the package. “But you only need this part right?”

I nod.

“That’s only like… 5% of this fucking thing.  What’ll you do with the rest of it?”

“No clue,” I shrug.

“Aww stop fucking making problems,” says [CSRGuy2].  “It’s the same piece. You get paid either way, what do you care?  Except that the one he brought is still fresh with someone’s juice in it.”

“Eww that’s fucking gross!”

“Well, that’s why he put it in a ziplock baggie, ain’t that right?”

“Yep,” I nod.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

I should mention that for all the hype about H1N1, after actually catching it officially about a week and a half ago, I can now officially tell everyone to shut the fuck up.  I get all these people asking me all the time if I’m getting vaccinated, and I think it’s bullshit.

In my opinion, you should take the vaccine if you’re weak.  Beause those are the only people that the swine flu actually kills.  If you’re over 70 years old? Maybe you should take that vaccine. Then again, maybe you should just be smart enough not to hole yourself up in rooms full of coughing people, and maybe you should wash your hands every now and then.

I caught swine flu, probably from working at the hospital, though really it’s just as possible that I caught it out on the streets.  It really wasn’t that big a deal.  I had it bad for about 2 days, when the fever and cough had me pretty weak.   But aside from that, it felt like a typical bronchitis (which is, in effect, often a secondary illness that comes out of the flu anyway, so it might actually have been bronchitis but I didn’t bother to get tested).  Today, a bit over a week later, I’m feeling okay.  It really wasn’t even as bad as some of the flus that I’ve had in the past.

Now, the healthcare system is being bogged down immeasurably by H1N1 because of media hype.  I’m not denying that perhaps this is a huge deal in Mexico, where many many people have died as a result of it.  But in most parts of North America, you have adaquate access to healthy food and liquids, and yeah, some plain old tylenol, to really just get through this without too much trouble.

Part of the problem with the way things are going though is that there’s a lack of educational ressources for the general public.  People watch the news, hear about how another kid has kicked off because of the swine flu, and then (in Quebec) they call 811.  811 is the Info-Sante hotline (literally, “information-health” in French) which is where people call when they have basic health questions.  A nurse picks up on the other end and will suggest to you what to do based on their over-telephone diagnosis.

The problem is that 811 keeps telling people “go to the hospital, just to be sure.”

The assumption is that nobody at 811 wants to be in a situation where they tell a parent to keep their kid at home and then the kid dies, and it all gets pinned back on 811.  So, to be on the ‘safe side,’ 811 refers their pediatric cases of fever-cough to our hospital.

This is a retarded course of action for several reasons.

First of all, our hospital does not do testing for H1N1.  So if you come up here with a fever and a cough, in most cases we’re going to tell you to go home, take some acetemenophen and some cough supressant.  Stay hydrated.  We are NOT going to tell you to start taking Tammy Flu cocktails or whatever, because Swine Flu doesn’t normally require anything but a week or so of rest and patience. And even if it were the case that you have swine flu, since we don’t do swine flu testing here, we wouldn’t know that, so we wouldn’t give you anything special for it.

Secondly, swine flu doesn’t kill people!! I know this isn’t really a relevant reason but GOD.  Stop showing up for it!  Stop asking if your kid is going to die!  If you want an honest answer, yes, your kid WILL die, but probably not for another 80/90 years if he/she plays his cards right.

I guess the best reason though is that if you don’t have swine flu, if you come to the hospital I can almost guarantee that you’re going to catch it.  All it takes is one jackass in the room who doesn’t listen when we tell them how to put on their masks, and then voila– our entire waiting room is a cesspool of H1N1.  Need I mention all the other things that are present in the waiting room that aren’t even flu related?

Basically, I’m of the opinion that you should almost never go to a hospital unless you’re about to die, or have something that will kill you. Because if you don’t have one of those two things, believe me, you will probably catch sometime of that fancy here.

Easy for me to say that of course. I mean, how does someone know what is and what isn’t a life or death situation? And especially when our affliated educational healthcare infrastructural services ,like 811, as well as local media, give everyone the watered down ‘dummyproof’ edition of everything important?

That is actually the weakest link, and that’s the problem with this situation.

-=-=-=-=-=-

I should also point out that last week, I infected [Supergirl] with my H1N1 as well.  At the time, neither of us knew it was what it was.  But I guess you can say it was a bonding experience.

She took it pretty well, and in her typical fashion, didn’t get upset even after I told her, “Huh, the Occupational Health department just called, they made a mistake. I don’t just have Influenza type A, apparently the differential test reveals that I have full blown H1N1.”

She was like, “[Jinryuuu]!! >_< ” But that was mostly it.

0-0-0-0-0-0-0

The difference between us:

I was having dinner with [Misty], [SiB] and [Supergirl] last week and the subject came up of that trailer for that movie that’ll be out soonish, The Box.

The basic premise of the box is as follow: a man shows up at your door with a box. Inside this box is a big red button.

If you push the button, you get a million dollars, but, somewhere, someone will die as a result of your button push.  Do you push it?

My question, which ran somewhat similarly to what [SiB] was thinking, was “… do I get to push the button more than once?”

At which point Misty just stared at me, and Supergirl hit me on the arm “Jinryu!! >_<“

I mean, seriously…

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

I think that one of the things that Supergirl brings to my life, and I can’t mention this enough, is the stop and smell the roses sorta pace.  The entire week that she and I were sick, I stayed over at her place.   Our days consisted of lounging around her house, cooking, eating, talking, and sleeping in.

Despite that I had H1N1, I can say that it’s perhaps one of the most relaxing ‘vacations’ I’ve ever had.

It’s very different from with my previous girlfriend where the close quarters for a week straight of vacation, basically in eachothers’ company for the vast majority of every day and night, are what did the relationship in and made me realize how we couldn’t stay together.  With Supergirl on the otherhand, nothing went wrong, and if anything, it just demonstrated how easy it is just to be with her.

Things just seem so simple.

I have so little to write about when I’m with her because it all just seems natural and not noteworthy, in the way I suppose that no news is good news.

-=-=-=-=-=-

We had a lot of fun playing shuffleboard last week… but, I think that it’s long overdue that we all head out to a karaoke joint, get drunk, and start singing.

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