Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Don't Call an Ambulance!

I have been pretty miserable for the past several weeks. First I had a flu that didn’t want to get better, until I dosed up on “Nature’s Flu Shot.” Yuck – that stuff was terrible; but it did give me a few days of respite before the next infection set in.
I have a pretty easy work schedule as a part-time instructor. I teach three classes, back-to-back, on Mondays and Wednesdays. I work from 8:30 until 1:00. Not bad, right? It allows me to volunteer in my kids’ classrooms three days a week. And, I don’t just work the nine hours – although that’s what I’m technically paid for. I spend twenty or more hours every week grading papers and preparing my lectures.
This week, thanks to Martin Luther King, Jr. day, I only had to report to work one day: today. I was feeling terrible and so were my kids. I couldn’t send sick kids to school – but there really isn’t much choice for me. I go to work: there’s no option to stay home. Although, today I wish I had cancelled my classes and stayed in bed.
I made it through the first two classes – in a fog. But, things went smoothly. My third and final class of the day started out okay, but ended in humiliation. It was ten minutes before the end of class and I was talking to the students about the difference between subject pronouns and object pronouns when I smacked the back of my right hand into the corner of the metal eraser tray on the white board. Yeouch! The pain tore through my body. But, I didn’t want to make a scene. Ten minutes to go. I could do it. Or, not.
Within seconds of hitting my hand, my vision was black and I knew I was going down. I stopped the lecture, said, “Class dismissed,” and bolted for the door.
I dashed into the main office heading back for the shared instructor workroom, but ran into unexpected obstacles. I was feeling incredibly dizzy, my vision was blurry-gray, and I knew I was going to pass out any second. Unfortunately, someone had left some boxes in the walkway, and there was a person standing at the copy machine. Swerve, smack, and Suzi hit the ground face first.
I heard someone behind me say, “Call an ambulance.”
That was enough to rouse me. I can’t afford an ambulance. Part-timers (adjunct professors) do not receive health insurance benefits. “Don’t call an ambulance. I don’t have insurance.” I said. And with the sound of water rushing in my left ear, I lost consciousness.
Thankfully, the ambulance was not called. I came to minutes later with my face in a pillow and several of my colleagues standing over me discussing what had happened, what forms needed to be filled out, the color of my complexion, etc. I lifted my head to look behind me and saw a group of students watching from the foyer.
I’m not sure how hitting my hand – it still hurts like heck! – caused me to black out and faint. I think it was partially due to the recurring viral illness. I went home and slept for hours, waking to read to my kids, write this blog, and then return to my comfortable bed.
Someone recently said to me, “Suzi, you’re still a faith healer, aren’t you?” I said, “Yes, I am. I will always rely on faith. But I only avoid hospitals and doctors because I cannot afford to go.”
I believe that faith and medicine are not mutually exclusive. But, until I can afford medical care, I’ll continue to be a faith healer by necessity.


  1. Thanks for sharing. Although what you shared was not a very joyful experience you still left us with some positive comments that will empower us to use humor and see the bright side in every situation.

  2. Sorry about your bout with illness/injury.

    I believe that we get sick for a reason- probably because we're stressed and overdoing it. Our body tells us, it's time to rest by getting sick. When we ignore it, or take meds to make the symptoms go away, we're preventing our body from fighting the infection the way it does it best- with our cooperation, rest, staying warm, drinking fluids - or whatever you desire.

    Suzi, have more faith in your body's intelligence next time! Don't fight it. You needed the rest, and your body finally read you the riot act! And you probably knew that already! LOL - Hope you feel better!

  3. So sorry you had such a rough time of it. I pray you will feel better very, very soon.

  4. You are right, Suzanne. Hospitals are for rich folk!

    I pray that you get feeling better soon.


  5. I still remember an episode of the Phil Donahue Show concerning families who did not go to doctors. It was brought up that if you could not afford one you were out of luck, especially for the costlier procedures. And the state is fine with that. But if you claim to have a religious objection , the state is not Ok, and will make sure to find the money to pay for it.

    So for all those who cannot afford doctors, but would like one, just pretend your a faith healer, the money is there.

    1. The Wylands had to get insurance and were financially responsible for their daughter's treatment, just like any other parent. Many of the things FOC children died of or suffered with are not extremely expensive to treat if taken care of at the first sign of distress. Diabetes is not a multi-million dollar disease to treat. If ignored, it can result in death. A hernia operation is not an multi-million dollar operation. If left untreated, death can result. Large birthmarks do not require expensive treatments. If treatment is started at first sign of the excessive growth, steroid cream is applied several times a day and the birthmark growth is stunted. The Wylands could have saved themselves a bunch of money by seeing a physician at the first sign of abnormal growth.

      None of the families in the FOC that have lost children were so poor they couldn't afford health insurance. Yes, maybe they would have to shut off their pay television, drive an older car or skip a vacation, but they could have paid for it. Every FOC child could have health insurance for what was paid to the lawyers.

    2. You seem to be missing the point of my comment.

      Money never was the issue.

    3. "it was brought up if you could not afford one you were out of luck, especially for the costlier procedures." I was correcting your misunderstanding (misinformation). Things have changed since the Phill Donahue show and children will always get medical care for life saving treatments in the United States if their parents actively seek it. Many FOC parents reading your comments might misunderstand and think there is no place to go if their child is ill and they make the decision to see medical help.

      Other readers not familiar with the FOC in Oregon City, (not sure if this is true with the COTFB) might think the families are poverty stricken and health insurance would be a hardship if they decided to purchase it, for most that is not the case.

    4. It has not changed that much. Was watching a University debate the other day on the limits of health care. What is commonly referred to as Obamacare has for instance a $ 250,000 ceiling and only if you are in the prime of your life.

      Just a couple of months back there was a huge special about a child who needed an organ transplant in Phoenix, AZ. The organ was there but he was on state aid and the procedure was not covered. It struck me even then as being odd, since I knew a family that spent time in incarceration because there was supposed a 90% chance of survival had their child had the same procedure. Too bad the state considers success rate when prosecuting others for religious beliefs, but not when they have the opportunity to save money.

    5. This is directly from the health care website,

      Patient's Bill of Rights
      The Affordable Care Act puts consumers back in charge of their health care. Under the law, a new “Patient’s Bill of Rights” gives the American people the stability and flexibility they need to make informed choices about their health.

      The Patient's Bill of Rights:

      Provides Coverage to Americans with Pre-existing Conditions: You may be eligible for health coverage under the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.
      Protects Your Choice of Doctors: Choose the primary care doctor you want from your plan’s network.
      Keeps Young Adults Covered: If you are under 26, you may be eligible to be covered under your parent’s health plan.
      Ends Lifetime Limits on Coverage: Lifetime limits on most benefits are banned for all new health insurance plans.
      Ends Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions for Children: Health plans can no longer limit or deny benefits to children under 19 due to a pre-existing condition.
      Ends Arbitrary Withdrawals of Insurance Coverage: Insurers can no longer cancel your coverage just because you made an honest mistake.
      Reviews Premium Increases: Insurance companies must now publicly justify any unreasonable rate hikes.
      Helps You Get the Most from Your Premium Dollars: Your premium dollars must be spent primarily on health care – not administrative costs.
      Restricts Annual Dollar Limits on Coverage: Annual limits on your health benefits will be phased out by 2014.
      Removes Insurance Company Barriers to Emergency Services: You can seek emergency care at a hospital outside of your health plan’s network.
      Since the Patient’s Bill of Rights was enacted, the Affordable Care Act has provided additional rights and protections.

      The health care law:

      Covers Preventive Care at No Cost to You: You may be eligible for recommended preventive health services. No copayment.
      Guarantees Your Right to Appeal: You now have the right to ask that your plan reconsider its denial of payment.
      For More Information
      Read a report on the Patient’s Bill of Rights.
      Find detailed technical and regulatory information on the Patient’s Bill of Rights.
      HealthCare Blog: Protecting Patients with Private Insurance.
      Fact Sheet: The Affordable Care Act's New Patient's Bill of Rights.
      Posted on: July 1, 2010

      Last updated: February 6, 2012

      Republicans will try to convince the population that its bad for you, don't believe it.

    6. Darren, would you post the link to the special? I can't find any mention of a child in Phoenix, Arizona going without an organ that there were "matched" to only an adult.

      Also, an organ transplant at the best does not have a 90% success rate. The success is rated on years the organ is still functioning.

      You are comparing apples to oranges. The state would never force a transplant on a faith healing family, there is not a high enough success rate. What did the child die of that their parents you know were prosecuted?

      Another Arizona case you might be thinking of...A man who died from complications from chemotherapy treatment for Leukemia. His insurance denied a bone marrow transplant. The hospital said "AHCCCS said Price's transplant was not covered because non-family bone marrow transplants, like Price's, have a 100 percent failure rate." (his family says there is a 42 percent success rate but they did not say whether it is initial or long term success)

      A donor pledged the money to pay for a non-related marrow transplant but the man did not survive the chemotherapy regimen that must be done before the transplant.

      He had the money to complete the transplant, the disease took his life.

      Organs and donor bone marrow is rare and precious, until there is a surplus, the organs will only go to the candidate with the best chances for success. The transplant boards look at whether the patient has
      "Strong family support to help the patient emotionally before and after the surgery."


      Sadly, some people on public assistance do not have the family support or emotional ability to manage the anti-rejection regimen that must be done every day for the rest of their lives.

      The autistic "boy" you may be remembering is a 23 year old from Philadelphia. "I have recommended against transplant given his psychiatric issues, autism, the complexity of the process, multiple procedures and the unknown and unpredictable effect of steroids on behavior." Dr. Susan Brozena

      "The thing to keep in mind is if more of us would sign donor cards, there would be less pressure to reject anybody. It's the huge shortage of hearts that really drives this problem," said Arthur Caplan, head of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University's Langone Medical Center.

      Have you signed your donor card?

  6. It sure is great to live in Canada. Just sayin'. ;)

  7. Wrong again Darren. If you don't have money and your child is ill, go to the emergency room, they will treat your child! Yes you will have to pay eventually but they will let you make payments and you will have a live child.

    Maybe the law has changed since the Phil Donahue show, but now no emergency room can turn you away for not being able to pay.

    In Oregon if you don't have a lot money your child you can get free or low cost medical insurance that covers dental and medical.

  8. I'm in the same boat, Suzi, and went through pretty much the same thing last fall. That flu bug is NASTY: it doesn't like to let go and it wrecks havoc on your body. I'll be praying you fully recover soon! -Beth


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