Medicaid: Come Back When There’s More Than One Stomach Hole

, , , | Healthy | February 3, 2019

(I have been extremely sick with stomach issues for quite a long time, but have had zero luck finding a doctor who will take on a Medicaid patient. One day, the pain after trying to eat something becomes so severe that I ask my grandma to take me to the ER. We go to the main hospital downtown and wait. My mom eventually gets off work and comes to take grandma’s place waiting with me. Finally, after over eight hours, I’m called back. We sit with the doctor and talk about my symptoms: non-stop nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, exhaustion, unable to keep anything solid down, and so on, getting progressively worse over the course of more than a year. I’ve survived on an increasingly all-liquid diet all that time, so it’s clear something’s wrong.)

Doctor: “Well, you’re young, so I’m not too worried about it. I know you’re in school right now. Remember, your state of mind can really affect your body. Have you been depressed at all?”

(Yep, no tests or anything other than checking my blood sugar and doing a pregnancy and drug screening. I am discharged with basically the advice to try to relax and find a GP to discuss things with. Exactly one week later, I’m at home, and this time start vomiting blood pretty much nonstop rather than the usual intermittent basis. I call the nursing helpline for my Medicaid provider.)

Nurse: “You’re bleeding internally. You need to get to an ER immediately. Do you have someone who can drive you, or should I line up a ride for you?”

Me: “Well, I was literally just in the ER last week.”

Nurse: “Miss, you really need to go back. Is there someone who can take you?”

Me: “Yeah, I know my mom will take me if I tell her. Thank you.”

(Sure enough, my mom came to get me, and we headed for the one hospital in town not part of the network that ran the other one, as it was the local Catholic hospital. I was checked in and taken back within a few minutes, the doctor really listened, and they did tests, giving me meds to help with the nausea in the meantime. Turns out, my H. pylori numbers were practically astronomical, and the ultrasound revealed visible swelling where an ulcer was on the brink of eating through my stomach, in addition to the anemia and high white cell count. I effectively got there pretty much just in time. So, yeah, that’s my story of how most of the medical system wanted to effectively leave me to die just because I couldn’t make enough between my four jobs while going to school, and the one hospital that saved my life. Thanks to a scheduler in the local medical system, I have since found a GP and a GI specialist who are working on the underlying autoimmune issue we’ve since found, as well as getting the stomach issues under control that I was left with due to long-term lack of treatment.)

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