I haven’t slept properly for two weeks because I can’t stop scratching. The itchiness is aggravated at night. My body is raw, but my heart is worse, as my wife sleeps in the spare room and I’m no longer allowed to hug my children.
Remember I blogged about my left nut, telling you how I had to go and have that operation? Well, while I was there I picked up scabies from the hospital bed that I spent two days in.
Lemmetellyou, don’t get sick, and if you do, then at least try and be rich. Now I’m actually richer than most, dropping R5000 on medical aid every month like guys in Joburg pop bottles at the club. Still, despite my ostentatious approach to medical insurance, the service I received was lacklustre.
Lets start at the beginning, the part where I tried to find out from my medical aid how much of the operation they’d actually be covering…
There’s a reason why medical aids are called schemes, despite my paying R5k a month, every month, for, oh, about three years now. My medical aid has these loop holes where if you don’t use one of their accredited doctors – sorry sir, but with your option there aren’t actually any accredited doctors – then you end up paying for most of the stuff anyway. But hey, half price movies!
They sent me an email with a PDF containing generic authorization info, which had none of the information I’d specifically requested, and then when I replied to that email telling them this, it bounced back, because it was a no-reply email, and so I had to phone the medical aid and the people on the phone then told me that they can’t actually tell me anything, and a few days later I got an email asking if my queries had been resolved, and I replied saying, no, that I still needed to know x, y and z. But nothing…
So I gave up, and then showed up at the hospital with my fingers crossed, slipped into a backless gown, signed some more paperwork and did some tests where the nurse told me that I’m diabetic. Despite having a massive left nut, I’m the picture of health and most definitely not diabetic. The nursing staff were adamant that I was. So I just said, whatever, and then a dude with no front teeth looking like something out of that Pappa Wag Vir Jou advert, pushed me to theatre, while stealing furtive glances up my hospital gown and discussing whether he should have McDonalds or Burger King for lunch with whoever was on the other side of the gurney.
Parked at the surgery’s purgatory I was forced to read the “Please Whisper” sign in front of me while listening to conversations that weren’t whispered. The first time that I was acknowledged by a nurse she asked me what leg they were cutting off, which I’m sure was her attempt at humour. She wasn’t around when it was time to wheel me into the surgery though, probably too busy polishing her stand up routine in the children’s cancer ward… Instead the anaesthetist and the surgeon had to wheel me into surgery themselves, shouting for assistance, which isn’t the most reassuring thing when someone is about to take a knife to your nut. Fortunately I was then anaesthetised, and I’m guessing the surgeon and anaesthetist actually had to work for their money.
I woke up from the blissful anaesthetic slumber, hungry and thirsty as I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything before being operated on. I’d given instructions that my lunch be left next to my bed because I knew that I’d be very hungry and thirsty when I woke up from surgery. It wasn’t there. In fact, in two days I received one egg sandwich, two cups of tea, a plate of boiled chicken and some sort of breakfast that would make an in-flight meal look like something out of The Test Kitchen.
What else? The TV didn’t work, nor did the buzzer that’s supposed to call the nurse and my bed didn’t do that thing that hospital beds do where you can control the gradient. When I asked for more Methadone the nurses were like, no, we can’t give you any more, here have a Myprodol to alleviate the pain throbbing from your nut.
After hobbling out of my bed past the desk where all the nurses play their Solitaire, or whatever it is that they’re doing there, I had to go and find my own wheelchair so that I could get myself out of the hospital.
Which brings us to now, typing this with one hand as the other one is reserved strictly for scratching, as I contracted scabies from a hospital bed! SCABIES! In 2014?
Seriously, do yourself a favour – don’t get sick. I remember when my grandfather was in hospice a few years back and he’d beg us to kill him every time we visited. I can empathise. Death must come quickly. It’s bad enough when the postal service don’t want to do their jobs, but when it’s hospital staff, people who are paid to care for you, that don’t care, well, that’s how you convince your kids to eat their greens.