Sunday, August 30, 2009

Guess Where Schwapp Is?

If you guessed inhospital with worse pain and mostly useless morphine because he developed an abcess that saw his white blood cells spike to 25k (when they should be 10k), a 102 plus fever and chills that made me shake like I was doing the worm?

Give yourself a prize!
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Well, I Guess I'm Alive

A burst appendix, 4-5 days in the hospital, over $20k in medical bills and I'm just now starting to feel comfortable determining I'm actually alive. Not alive and well, but alive, nonetheless.

Last week, I went for my follow-up with the surgeon who saved my life. I figured I'd have to pay for the appointment. When I was given a sheet at the end of the visit that said NC (No Charge), I actually started to tear up. That's what this mountain of medical bills has reduced me to. I asked the admin assistant to tell the doctor that Huxford said he's the best doctor ever and it was all I could do to keep the flood gates from opening. Not having to pay $80 or so dollars led me to want to cry in relief. I can't express how much that is NOT me. Sure, I cry at the end of Old Yeller, but through all the tough financial times I've ever been through, I've never come close to being reduced to tears.

I think I've got a bit of the pneumonia. They warned me it was possible and I thought I did enough of the breathing exercises, but the lungs still feel full of something that shouldn't be there. Redoubling the efforts on the breathing exercises and buying some Mucinex in hopes that it will lead me to some productive coughs to get this crap out.

My contract was technically terminated for about two days. The manager at the company that I'm working my contract at decided that, when I left a voicemail advising him that I had spiked a 101 fever with shakes and chills, which my discharge papers indicated should lead me to return to the emergency room. I apologized for having naively thought I could make it back in last Thursday, but would prefer to stay home and recover a bit more. I acknowledged that, if this put him in a pinch, I would drag myself in and just hope having Friday-Sunday off would minimize any negative impact.

Never heard anything back from him. When I tried to inquire Monday about what the schedule looked like for the evening, I was informed by a colleague that he had been told I had been jettisoned. Gotta love living in a right-to-hire/right-to-fire state, stuck only being able to get work as a contractor and dealing with people that are not only cold-blooded but don't even have the decency to make sure you're told that you're done.

When I reached out to the actual contract company and a few colleagues, I was miraculously restored to being able to work that evening. And I was happy to attend. The sad truth is that I need any chance to generate income right now. That means just going back to work with the guy who was ready to fire me because I needed an extra day to recover from having an organ burst and be ripped out of me. That means not approaching him to try to get an explanation or explain how I didn't mean to leave him in the lurch, for fear of my Irish coming out and getting me fired...again.

I just came home from my second night working. 10 hours total so far for the week. I'm more than a bit lethargic at this time. I move slowly and deliberately right now, both due to babying my abdomen and the lesser lung capacity I feel I have. I was asked to come in early tomorrow and nearly had an anxiety attack over trying to figure out how to explain to them that I'd like to just limit my work this week to the main project I was hired for. It involves reimaging computers, which means I don't have to be all that ambulatory. Work during the day often involves quite a bit of movement and even lifting several heavy objects (like dual monitor stands with the monitors already attached). When I finally mustered up the courage to express my concerns, I had to wonder whether the "I understand: your health is the most important thing right now" would hold up as legitimate. It didn't come from the guy who apparently fired me, but I feel like I can't trust anyone to actually be sincere and understanding of the health issues I have right now.

All that to say: I'm reasonably certain I'm alive...and trying to figure out if that's a good thing.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bump that

I'm taking the morphine again. Only negative is constipation, but while I've been off it, I shit the bed twice not my finest moments.
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I can never repay these people

I don't mean that in the high cost of healthcare way.

I came in with a burst appendix two days after the general pain started. Why? Because I was praying it could just be gas and not huge medical bill.

These people saved my life when I had no right to expect such results.

Now I sit here wondering what the world really has against Jello. Seriously, you try having nothing but ice chips for days and see if that doesn't impact your joy from the first spoonful.

I'm going on my first full day off the morphine right now, so I guess that is why thoughts of how long it will be before I can earn a paycheck again are popping up. Yeah, I don't know if I can ever repay them fully, literally or figuratively. I do know I'll never forget all that they've done for me.
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Monday, August 10, 2009

I've become a healthcare statistic

I started feeling the pain on Friday. I rode it out thinking it was gas.

Sunday afternoon, I could no longer deny it had localized to the lower right abdomen.

Sometime between three and seven, my appendix burst.

Working a Corp to Corp IT contract, I'm uninsured. Glad to have been making some money, but this will probably keep me from working for a month and send me to bankruptcy. Catastrophic illness has a way of doing that.

Gotta say I was lucky to have skipped Chicago, though.
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