Friday, August 22, 2014

hoop jumping

I am very blessed and fortunate to live in America where we have adequate healthcare, medical supplies, insurance, working telephones and efficient electricity service.  Sometimes I take that for granted.

Today was one of those days that happen for those who live with medical needs. A medical supply company we've worked with for many years informs us as we go to order supplies that they no longer have a contract with our insurance company. So we spend almost two hours on the phone and on the internet talking to administrators and sales associates and researching options and information, trying to find a place we can order supplies necessary for living with a disability that insurance will also cover a vast portion of the cost.

And I'm grateful. We've talked with four very nice and helpful ladies and within two hours had a semi-new to us company to work with, an order placed and we never even left home to do it. I remember students overseas spending half-a-day waiting to see a doctor for a sinus infection, then having to walk 20 minutes one way just to see if the pharmacist had what they needed (and if he didn't, it would be a 20 minute walk the other direction from school to the next pharmacist), plus a trip to the market for natural medicines (crushed ants and grapes anyone?), all the while accompanied with a minimum of 2 classmates, one of whom would hold the arm sporting an IV needle, the 2nd who actually held the IV bag up in the air (which would be in place for at least one day, sometimes two) and then you'd return a day or two later to have the IV removed. A two-three day process for a simple sinus infection.  That scenario I just mentioned doesn't talk about the triplicate forms of paperwork to be filled out to the doctor, the party leader for your student unit, and the issue of whether or not you pay, and if so, how much, or whether or not your doctor is one who needs a bribe (my students called it "special attention payments").

Did I plan to spend two hours of my morning on the phone and researching companies? No.  But it could have been so much worse. I'll take two hours of ease on the phone and the computer with success to spending 2-3 days pounding the streets only to hear "come back tomorrow" any day. We are so blessed, not just in the supplies our nation offers, but in its services as well.

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