“What a maroon!”

In the old Warner Bros. cartoons, Bugs Bunny would use a derisive phrase to slag off the unsophisticated and easily fooled: “What a maroon!” I feel as maroon as can be after my recent health scare.

I went to Crouse for severe pains in my back because I had decided to go through their Urgent Care program. I thought my problem, though painful, probably didn’t require hospitalization. If for any reason I had thought otherwise, I would have gone to St. Joe’s–where my primary care physicians are affiliated and that had done such a good job with me back in 2006 when I had a scare with blood clotting.

Unfortunately, I was admitted. To deal with this problem that involved internal bleeding, the doctors at Crouse suggested reversing the blood thinner regimen that I have been on since my 2006 bout with blood clots. In addition, they suggested taking a vitamin K supplement to reverse the effects of the blood thinners more rapidly. None of these doctors (or the hospital, for that matter) had a hand in my original blood clot scare–and obviously didn’t fully comprehend the seriousness of my clotting tendency.

None of the doctors at Crouse had consulted my primary care physician, the person that had successfully monitored my blood levels for over 4 years. There was no followup CAT scan or ultrasound to check my lungs or legs for clotting before my release from Crouse and admission to St. Joe’s.

Twelve days after admission to Crouse (including 6 days at home feeling like crap), I’m in St. Joe’s with a pulmonary embolism in my lung and two more clots in my legs. My primary care physician diagnosed me almost immediately upon seeing me–packing me off from his office in an ambulance.

So, why did I roll over so easily for the doctors at Crouse suggesting this obviously questionable medical strategy? I am an organizer. My profession consists of helping people question authority and to not take the establishment’s word at face value–to call bullshit when we see it. But I got rolled like a drunk in an abandoned alleyway.

When faced with a life-threatening decision, I meekly went along–no real questions, no requests for tests or even a consultation with those folks that knew my history. I’m such a maroon.


2 thoughts on ““What a maroon!”

  1. NYCO

    You’re not a maroon. This is a very real problem in health care today. You can get lost (as in, lost dead!) in the system! You cannot be expected to stand up for yourself at your most vulnerable moments when you have a serious health problem unfolding. My sister recently had ankle surgery, and I’m almost starting to think it would have been easier if she just lay where she fell when she broke it, and let nature take its course. I’m fortunate never to have yet required the services of a hospital. (“U.S. health care… they’ll never take me alive!”)

    Maybe what we need are people who can go in (when they’re healthy) and advocate for patients against the system. Like protectors. Or organizers. Sad, isn’t it…


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