As I’ve said throughout this whole thing, I am not a doctor so I cannot provide medical advice. I am writing about my subjective experiences in the American Healthcare System, with some objective data such as photography and going through certain motions. If there is one objective piece of advice I can give to anyone without risking their harm or mine, it’s keeping accurate data of the care you’ve received. The more organized the better.
When I try to think of the positives of this whole experience Tripping On [The American Healthcare System], in a sense, it’s gifted me this wild ride that rivals any soap opera. I’ve never had much interest in soap operas because the relationships and conflicts we experience in reality isn’t something I consider much about when I meander through media, but I guess my experiences could be made into decent soap opera, in some regards.
I’ve been procrastinating on processing some important documentation because I didn’t have the energy to deal with that degree of mental gymnastics. I understand, somewhat, why the burden of information falls on the patient, but it’s just as easy for them to get the information they need that I’ve provided to every other company through their secure forms. No company or representative I work with wants to work with each other. That’s my procrastinating burden.
It’s been six weeks since my spine surgery. The timing with these essays is a little tricky. I figure I’d rather write these essays as chronologically as I can, and I didn’t have the energy to write an essay yesterday to fill the Sunday slot, so just consider it six weeks for writing rather than publication. That said, I’m finally starting to feel well enough to do some basic tasks without feeling like I can’t.
I think the reason why I’ve been feeling weak over the past few weeks was because I had an infection in my spine wound. It wasn’t anything serious. I didn’t have a fever; nothing looked infected. I’m still rather fatigued but I’m only about a third of the way through my antibiotics. I felt the sickest immediately after taking my first dose and second sickest yesterday. In exchange, I’ve felt more mobile and less fatigued.
It’s easy to lose hope within the American Healthcare System. It is a system designed to beat your motivation and incentivizes victimization through repeated misdirections. I hate the situation I’m in and I do admit to escaping from it through focusing on media meandries more often than maybe I should, but it’s a coping mechanism in feeling lost within a system that can easily wipe out my bank account and drive me into utter despair.
My difference between a good doctor and a bad doctor the answer this question: Do they seem like they want to help? Throughout this journey I’ve experienced and shared with you all, I’ve encountered many doctors that actively or passively express disinterest in assisting me. While being legally required to assist, they don’t make me feel like they want to do anything other than blocking any questions to shuttle me away to the next patient.
Turns out that a post-surgery wound, specifically for my spine surgery, shouldn’t drain serum for five weeks. My retiring spine doctor was surprised. He wrote this prescription for a 10-day supply of Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim. I brought the prescription to my pharmacy, they read this note, and said, “sure, we have this. It’ll be ready in a spell. Give it 20.” It’s a curious thing to consider how something like some serum ooze could be normalized.
My tailbone hurt so much that it took about two hours for me to go to bed. I was too tired to get up and I’d already taken a painkiller earlier. Suffering through that pain was useful since I can better quantify how much of an impact on my life this post-surgery tailbone pain causes. I wasn’t alone in my suffering. My downstairs neighbor has been sick in bed probably, coughing intermittently, for days now.
It’s been five weeks since my spine surgery. I didn’t write about my healing process as a weekly update for the first few weeks because I was writing about the process daily. If there’s any change from Week 4 to Week 5, it’s that now I’m starting to feel a restoration of my physicality on a general scale. There are still many specifics that don’t feel right. My tailbone constantly hurts. But other things are recovering nicely.