Brain Surgery

zoes's picture

This is going around the emails and I found it very profound. I am vehemently against a government sponsered health care system. With free ER care provided and supported by those of us with insurance and/or the responsiblity to pay our bills, we don't need to make things worse.

"A short but poignant independent film on government sponsored healthcare systems
(Canadian, in this case).

Everyone who plans to vote for a new US President in 2008 NEEDS to see this.
Regardless of the person for whom they would vote. Please forward this to everyone you can
think of as soon as you can."

(someone please come along and make this clickable!!)

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Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 7:04pm.

You beat me to it.

Health Care
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Denise Conner's picture
Submitted by Denise Conner on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 6:55pm.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 6:25pm.

I've had two recent brushes with serious medical concerns: my own diagnosis of prostate cancer, and my wife's near-fatal illness from an infection.

In both cases we had good health insurance that allowed us to be treated at the medical facilties which, after careful research, we had concluded were the best.

My wife went to Emory and it was covered by our insurance. I am convinced that, had she been limited to the local hospital, I would be a widower today.

I went to RCOG for my prostate cancer treatment and am reasonably hopeful that I found the cure that I might not have had with local treatment (i.e. surgery at Piedmont Fayette).

I wonder whether any of the democrats' proposals of universal health care coverage would allow for the kinds of choices that we have had.

Neither the UK nor Canada seem to have patient-friendly systems when push comes to shove.

Of all of the proposals of thre democrats, this is one of the scariest from my own perspective.

Submitted by sageadvice on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 7:29pm.

Don't want to be nasty, but doesn't your tax supported employer pay for most of your insurance?
Why not the rest of us?

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 7:44pm.

You asked two questions:

(1) No

(2) I don't know

Submitted by skyspy on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 7:37pm.

The key word there was EMPLOYER!

Meaning he is actually EMPLOYED! Meaning he earned the benefit of health insurance.

He wasn't at home on the couch drinking and smoking....HE WORKED!

That my friend is the difference.

I know the terms "work" and "employed" are foul language to you and your ilk but never the less someone has to work in this country.

While we are on the subject of work,...Don't forget to pay your taxes people....12million illegal immigrants are counting on you and I to work and pay taxes so they can get something for nothing.

Submitted by sageadvice on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 7:49pm.

Me and my ilk work, pay taxes, and get insurance from providing companies with a profit. You must be talking about someone else!
Of the 40 million who have, no, or little insurance, many work.
Of the other 85 million or so who do work---taxes either pay or help pay for 35% of them!

You know not of what you speak!

Submitted by GOOD GUY on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 6:50pm.

My wife was in this hospital for 3 weeks, was released to Briarcliff Haven Rehab. Facility on Sat, 02/02/08, passed away Sunday 02/03/08 at the rehab.facility. Something went wrong. What I don`t know. We were married for 47 years.

Tug13's picture
Submitted by Tug13 on Wed, 02/20/2008 - 11:54am.

God bless your heart. I am so sorry for your loss.

Submitted by Spyglass on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 10:28pm.

I know I'm at 18 and counting.

Godspeed to you and your Family.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 7:42pm.

Such a loss is just incomprehensible.

It sounds as though this was recent enough (2+ weeks) that you are likely still to be in the initial throes of grief. I am terribly sorry.

When you feel up to it, may I ask that you (a) look into the details of your wife's tenure at the hospital/rehab (what "went wrong" exactly? The question is certainly worth pursuing by every means--legal, moral and medical, possible) and (b) post more here for interested and concerned readers?

When my wife was at the local hospital I became increasingly concerned about the (non)treatment that she was receiving and wound up pushing for a transfer to Emory, which may very well have saved her life. I am by no means implying that you should have done anything different from what you did, but I do have lingering worries about this local hospital.

ImJustSaying's picture
Submitted by ImJustSaying on Wed, 02/20/2008 - 7:30am.

Muddle, I noticed your continued biased attacks against our local health care organization continues. I too am saddened by Good Guy's recent loss. Having walked in his shoes let me assure you "the initial throes of grief" may last well beyond 2 weeks. However, I must ask you, since her demise ocurred at the rehab center and not the hospital, how do you connect your wife's experience to Good Guys? Why not grind your ax in private and let Good Guy follow the coarse for heeling he chooses without injecting your biased opinion?

Submitted by sageadvice on Wed, 02/20/2008 - 9:16am.

Excellent care is a relative thing. Relative to the particular ailment,
to the particular care team, to the time of the day and week.

If you were smashed up and dying in an accident, you might want to go to Grady--particularly if it were midnight Sunday!

Hospitals are now more a place to visit---not stay. Insurance and costs have seen to that. They are more of a place for employees than for patients--with the possible exception of the operation theater.

They are noisy and boisterous. Little Triage is done due to the objection some patients and employees would put forth. I make no exceptions for what some might think are excellent hospitals.

If you have a complicated illness, ask someone you trust to tell you what hospital and doctor has the most experience with that operation, and go there if you can.

There has been a revolution in medicine and hospitals and there is much more to come. It all depends upon whether we want to be treated like royalty and pay a fortune, or have everyone get similar care that is mandatory.
Many jobs (many) depend upon keeping such prices in the sky! We have a choice.
If the fortunate have their way it will be sad. If the Unfortunate have it all their way it will also be sad.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Wed, 02/20/2008 - 8:13am.

Read the full context of this thread (for example, ask why Good Guy thought to post where he did). And then read my own post more carefully. Notice, too, that my post is flanked by others far more hostile to the local facility. I do have an axe to grind, but the grindstone isn't here.

And it is odd to refer to my view as "biased." Jones says, "The cider is bitter." Smith says, "The cider is sweet." Unless we have independent reason for thinking otherwise (perhaps Jones hates the maker of the cider), it would be silly to attribute bias to Jones any more than to Smith. My view is my view, and it differs from yours. How does that make mine any more "biased" than your own?

In fact, I've arrived at a negative view of the facility as the result of three visits there, plus extensive time at a superior facility. I think I have a pretty reasonable ground for the negative assessment that I have given elsewhere.

I might be tempted to suppose that you are "biased" in favor of the local place because you were involved in bringing it here and have supported it and are thus operating on wishful thinking. I do not actually assert this, but you've shown me no reason to suppose otherwise.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 7:08pm.

My prayers to you and your family.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Submitted by skyspy on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 7:06pm.

Fayette/piedmont has proven to be a complete catastrophe. I am very sorry for your loss. As you have read Muddle almost suffered the same loss.

We have told and re-told many sad stories on here about that 007 tent masquerading as a hospital. I'm sorry you had not read some of the sad stories on here first.

There are no words to replace your loss.

Submitted by Spyglass on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 10:28pm.

Sorry for the posters loss, no doubt.

That being said, I think overall, it's a very good hospital.

yardman5508's picture
Submitted by yardman5508 on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 10:10pm.

I, too, had prostate cancer and had my surgery at Fayette/Piedmont... I got what I consider top notch service there. Nurses were attentive to my needs, most went out of their way to make me feel comfortable. I am sure that others have had bad experiences and others have had good experiences. It is, afterall, a hospital and not a place we choose to go on holiday. Just wanted to add my voice to the discussion. Keep the faith.

Democracy is not a spectator sport.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Wed, 02/20/2008 - 6:12am.

As you may have seen, I've offered a very negative assessment of the local hospital in several posts over the past months. And I just cannot say enough good things about Emory--hospital and clinics.

But my point about where I received treatment for prostate cancer really is not a part of that. Rather, I was observing that my insurance permitted me to seek out one of a handful of national centers of excellence for my treatment. (RCOG has the highest peer-reviewed, published cure rate in the world--even higher than Walsh's at Johns Hopkins--with low morbidity.)

You likely learned that there is no one form of treatment that is right in every case. In mine, 10 out of 12 biopsies showed cancer, so that it was pretty much throughout the prostate. And one of those revealed a Gleason 3+4, thus with some pretty aggressive grade 4 cancer (on a scale of 1-5). In my case, there was a strong possibility of local extracapsular penetration of the cancer. As Dr. Frank Critz, who treated me at RCOG, put it, a surgeon would likely have "cut through" the cancer, leaving some on the other side of his knife. I opted for what seemed to give me the best chance of getting it all in the initial treatment: radioactive seed implants followed by 7 weeks of IMRT. I completed that treatment on 03/06/06, and my PSA continues on a slow descent (0.7 a couple of weeks ago. The target with radiation is 0.2 or lower)

Actually, the doctor who diagnosed my cancer (at his office just across the road from Piedmont) was great. First, he was clearly concerned about me and visibly distressed over diagnosing an aggressive prostate cancer in a man of only 48. But, also, he encouraged me to educate myself on the disease and its treatments, and, when I decided on radiation over surgery he fully supported my decision. (Some doctors browbeat their patients into surgery and assume that the "seed" option is only motivated by a concern over possible morbidity.) He simply said, "I might twist your arm to get both forms of radiation and not just the seeds," because of the extensive and aggressive nature of my disease. He is also published in the Journal of Urology, etc., which is not always true of a local surgeon. I know that he does surgery there at Piedmont Fayette.

Had my cancer seemed a bit less aggressive, maybe one or two positive cores with a Gleason 6, I likely would have opted for surgery. After all, if all of the cancer is contained within the organ, and the organ is removed and tossed in the can, you know you have a cure. But it would have been at Johns Hopkins with Patrick Walsh--the world's premier PCa surgeon who perfected the nerve-sparing procedure.

And my insurance would, I believe, have made that possible.

ptcgv's picture
Submitted by ptcgv on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 6:56pm.

I am so very sorry for your loss. I know mere words cannot assuage your pain, but you will be in my prayers.

Submitted by wildcat on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 6:54pm.

I hope that each day gets a little better for you and that you have family/friends around.

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 5:11pm.

A one-hour knee reconstruction at Fayette-Piedmont costs $11,500 and these guys want us to believe that brain surgery in the United States costs only $28,000?


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