Monday night at Grady’s:
Grady Memorial Hospital will be one of the most memorable moments in my life, right up there with my wedding and the birth of my kids! For those of you that don’t know Grady Memorial Hospital, it’s hard to really explain it, you just have to experience it for yourself. Without question Grady is the place you want to visit only if by chance you get stabbed, shot or have some kind of traumatic accident because they are the premier trauma hospital in the state of Georgia! However, for the record no one just goes to Grady freely, if they are in their right mind (clearly I was not) for anything else and especially not the Waiting Room!!!
In the spirit of this economy as many of you know we have lost a lot and gained a lot more! Now, as great as that is I still have no Health Insurance this year and for the first time ever I am afraid to go to the hospital and rack up a $20,000 bill for taking my blood and getting a urine sample, when all I need is to see a Urologist and get some dang on antibiotics! Since Grady is a non-profit organization it was suggested that I should go there to get help for my 3 month old back pain and my constantly aching bladder. My family told me that I've got to stop worrying about the bill and for God's sakes get some help!
What do I know, I went and 9 hours later the doctor hands me Vicodin and a prescription for Naproxen (Alieve) and told me they could only treat the symptoms’ not the problem?
On the night in question in my pursuit for help, Hubby and I travel downtown to Atlanta's own Grady Hospital and oh what a night we had! The waiting room at first seemed relatively normal, inner city folks waiting to be seen (see photo on right) but, about 10/15 minutes in I started to notice that most of these people were out of their minds! All of a sudden their physical forms, their neatness and calm began to change. The first thing I noticed was everyone fidgeted, twitched, or they walked around a lot swinging their arms going nowhere really fast! Then I noticed many of them were carrying their luggage around on wheels and using the hospital phone every 5 minutes. There was a mixture of mostly addicts, sprinkled with some wanna be Rap and R&B artists talking about record companies calling them last week, so they had to hurry up and get home. Strangely the drug addicts were walking around sanitizing there hands constantly (see photo on left). One couple was wearing blue face masks that they pulled on and off to eat their McDonald's? I found out the masks are free if you ask for them, however, no one really wears them. A nurse told me in triage that there was a man in the back with pneumonia and he’d been in the waiting room all night, coughing and hacking on everyone and everything, hmmmm?
Many of the addicts that come there have a system worked out where they come into the waiting room, hold onto the sign in sheet, sit down watch T.V. eat a meal and then go to sleep. Periodically through the night the cops will kick them out. I saw two of the officers happily call this one completely bent over homeless woman using a wheel chair as her walker, Grady's own Mascot! Very sad place....
I soon discovered that my back ache and bladder where no match for these people. I was in a room filled with professional sick people and when this lady came in hunched over dragging her luggage behind her screaming, “Oh my Back Lord Jesus, it Hurts OOOOh Lord my Back!!!” I knew I was outmatched in my ailments. I went through triage like 3 times and one of the nurses that took care of me looked higher than the screaming lady with the back pain. I wanted to get out of there so bad but, I felt locked in and I would have to just wait in the hopes for an answer to my uninsured problems.
Somewhere around 4 am they took me in the back, (I couldn't bring hubby, hmmm) had me change into a gown and 2 hours after that a yawning doctor comes in confused and clueless and ask me, "Did we take a urine sample?" I said, "Yes like 6 hours ago (maybe he was an intern, sorry no offense)!" I felt that these Doctors and Nurses put me in the same category as the screaming lady with the back ache and the hand sanitizing addicts! I angrily declared to this amazingly lazy Doctor that I didn't want something for my pain I said, "I want you to tell me whats wrong with me!!!" He looks at me and says, "Did we get a urine sample?" I just stared at him and this is the only image at that moment that came to my mind.I was so tired and in pain I had no fight left in me, Grady's just beat me down into submission and all I badly wanted to do was, Thank God that I was in my right mind and pray they would discharge me so I could go home and celebrate Life and Thanksgiving!!!