Monday, February 04, 2008

PRAYERS FOR PAT

It's been more than a week since my friend Mark died.

This morning, Pat, his girlfriend, went to court to petition that the coroner's office release his body for burial. They've been holding him saying that they have been waiting for other heirs. There are none. It's a long story, and not mine to tell. Suffice it to say, that I'm praying for good news this afternoon.

The other part of this story dovetails with the recent death of our friend Marcie's son. Marcie's son had been sent home from an ER after experiencing severe pain, only to be told he had a muscle spasm and he died the next day.

Mark had been calling his HMO daily for weeks to try to get an earlier appointment for severe back pain he was experiencing. His pain meds were not working. Last Thursday Pat got a call from the HMO to remind Mark about his appointment the next day. One week to the day after he died. Obviously it was urgent.

These things are bringing home to me how our medical system appears to be dangerously eroding. Or is it just severe pain that has become beneath contempt and not worthy of note?

Any thoughts or observations of your own? (PS I do not mean to deride those who work in the medical field. I know many who are truly excellent and are beside themselves with frustration at the current state of affairs. I actually don't think it's the doctors, nurses, EMT's et al. I think it's the administration/insurance companies/financial set up of the business that perhaps should be run differently than a "business")

And as an unrelated PPS, this is four young men (I say "young" as in 55 and younger) in the last year, on top of my dad, who I know, or know their family, who have died. One in a fiery auto accident; one a suicide; and the two above. 

I am afraid to answer the phone lately.

13 comments:

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

oh pg... (sigh) the world is one convoluted place. be gentle to yourself as you deal with the sorrow.

prayers for pat going...

Gannet Girl said...

PG, I am so so sorry.

And I have nothing good to say about the accessibilty of medical care today.

Barbara B. said...

PG, I'm really sorry. Sending prayers your way...

Yes, the health care system in our country is certainly very complicated/challenging/problematic, and I don't have any answers. I wish I did! As one involved in delivery of health care, I can say doctors are working harder than ever...

Nina said...

I'm beginning to think of it less as a health care system than as a health care denial system.

So sorry about all the deaths, whatever the circumstances.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

It has been a hard time for you. So much grief and sorrow.

I am not sure what we are going to have to get done about our health care.

Mary Beth said...

I am so sorry to read this. Horrible. Blessings on you and all.

Obama talked about health care last night. I want to have hope, but I'm afraid mostly I have cynicism.

I'll try to be hopeful.

Muthah+ said...

PG,the sadness is a good time to lay all things at the feet of the God who loves all. I am with you.

Kievas said...

(o)

Diane said...

praying with you PG, and you are right about the system as well.

Julie said...

Pat is my dearest friend in the world, and my thoughts and prayers are with her every day. May Mark finally find rest and peace.

Presbyterian Gal said...

Thank you, Julie. I have just had the privilege of meeting Pat by telephone. She is wonderful and awesome. Yes indeed, may Mark find rest and peace for sure.

Sue said...

Oh PG. I'm just catching up. I'm praying for you and all of these horrible situations.

Severe pain, it seems, is universally viewed as suspect by emergency room staff and (apparently) HMOs - though thankfully we have none of them up north.

Still - when is pain going to lose that stigma?

Praying...

Benjamin P. Glaser said...

God Bless. You are certainly in my prayers.