by Tom aka Rusty Rustbelt
Health Care Thoughts: I really shouldn’t write this…..
This will, if Dan publishes the piece, offend someone for certain.
I have a libertarian do-your-own-thing streak, but something recently really struck me as a tragic image.
So I am in the grocery store, and coming around the aisle hear the beep-beep of a back up alarm on a power cart. I often try to help power cart shoppers reach items on higher shelves, especially the little old ladies and men wearing veteran caps.
The fellow on the cart I would estimate to be about 5′ 9″ and at least 450 pounds. And I was going to offer to help but then I saw him struggling to put three cartons of ice cream in his basket. I decided to mind my own business but the image really bothers me.
Mrs. Rustbelt and me have become sort of go to experts on issues related to the morbidly obese, her clinical and me on equipment and safety, so I know what lies ahead. My sweetheart has a rep for managing difficult diabetes cases.
The future. Chances of diabetes near 100%, congestive heart failure near 100%, extremity pain near 100%, below knee amputation/s near 100%, early death near 100%.
The gentlemen cannot be cared for safely in about 95% of the hospital rooms and about 95% of the nursing homes in the country. He will not fit well in a conventional ambulance and will be a danger to the paramedics and firefighters who would have to transport him.
Even a minor surgery carries a very high risk and moving him onto a surgical table is a dangerous maneuver. “Routine” anesthesia could kill him.
There is a high likelihood one or more health care workers will be injured someday while caring for him (which reminds me, Mrs. R needs me to pick up her prescriptions, work related injury).
So, am I a SOB? I don’t know his history. Should I have helped him? Should I mind my own business? Should I think about the safety of health care workers? Should I think about costs to the government? Should he think about buying some carrots? Is he responsible for his own health?