Posted: July 6, 2007 in The Roper Files

It has now as of this ever-so-tender sitting been thirty-six hours since my hernia surgery. Nothing more humbling than sitting around with a bag of ice down my shorts. I have a charming little three-inch slice above my uh…you-know-what and I am walking/moving like a man twice my age. Just worked up the nerve to examine myself in the mirror a little while ago.

Man, do I look funny; they shaved the right half of my pubes so the surgeon could do his job. The post-operation instruction sheet said among many other things: no intercourse for a week. Like THAT’S gonna happen tonight.  Jeez!

They sent me out with a portable IV unit attached to the upper part of my groin. Supposed to be pain medicine, although you could have fooled me. While taking my first shower in a day and a half I noticed fresh blood under the tape and around the tubing; not good. Call the surgeon; get his answering service of course who tell me they’ll get  “right back” with me. Since an ambulance ride costs around $1500, I call my Mom and tell her I think I need a ride back to the hospital.  We decide to wait for the doctor to call.  We sit in my apartment and wait.  And wait.  And wait.  “Right back” turns into 30 minutes, then 45 minutes…

Screw this I tell my Mom; I’m pulling this SOB out. After quickly re-reading the instructions, she holds my hand so to speak as I carefully peel off the tape and locate the needle. Despite my extreme squeamishness, I s-l-o-w-l-y extract this really long needle ( like I’M trained to do this) a fraction of an inch by a fraction of an inch. Lemme tell ya dear friends, this was the single gnarliest thing I have ever done in my 48 years on this Godforsaken planet. Got it out effortlessly and then held pressure on the entry point to stop the bleeding.  I did it!  The operation is a success. I’ve lost this ball and chain.

Now maybe it’s just a coincidence that I go through all this the same week SICKO (which if you haven’t seen it yet you should) is making headlines, but I gotta vent a little here. The doctors and nurses I dealt with yesterday I feel were by and large a well-intentioned, well-meaning, generally altruistic group of people. Won’t bitch about them, they were OK.

But I’ve been paying for insurance for years. Never filed one stinking claim, not one. They still wanted $2500 down. I was in the hospital four, five hours tops. This is BS. What’s next? McSurgery? I mean really…what if my life was on the line and I didn’t have the scratch? This system stinks like a corpse.  America deserves better than this.

Go see SICKO. Write and e-mail everyone. We need change. Now. 

You still here? Get moving.

And bring me some fresh ice when you get back.



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