It is a New Year now and I have much for which to be grateful – my loving family, devoted friends, and, despite my severe physical restrictions, much to do and even a bit to contribute.
My brother, of whom I have previously written, although geographically distant, is near and dear to me. Most recently he developed a severe infection in his arm for which he was hospitalized and treated with intravenous antibiotics. Thank goodness he is now home and recovering well. He is, however, living proof of the wastes in our healthcare system, the redundancies therein and the downside of doctor shopping.
Early in the course of his illness he visited an Urgent Care Center where he was prescribed an appropriate antibiotic for what appeared to be a localized infection of his elbow. The following day, he decided to visit his “guru.” Another physician who ‘needled’ his arm and prescribed a totally inappropriate antibiotic with no activity against the bacteria that such cutaneous infections. The next day, the entire forearm became swollen and hot. Warren was febrile and in pain. A trip now to an emergency room led to immediate hospitalization and appropriate care and antibiotic therapy.
What does this story describe? To me it underscores the importance of a healthcare system which allows for little redundancy, less waste of doctors, and better care. Yes, I mean socialized medicine or a one-payer system. Americans have the most costly medical care in the world, yet is not always the best. And, as my brother’s story shows, maybe far from it.
Yet he and I have much to be grateful for – and the excellent care that he eventually received – led to his now almost full recovery. Yes, I am grateful!