John Doe-the might of American health care

My name is John Doe. Well, it is not my real name but that’s what my name is nowadays. But I am more than that. I am “room 512”, “elderly demented male”, “urinary retention”, “guaiac positive stool” and a FULL CODE. I am also day # 56, waiting for placement but not stable enough for D/C home. I am also a “Hospitalist patient” and a Cardiology, Oncology, Pulmonary, Nephrology, Palliative care, Physical therapy, Occupational care, Orthopedics, Psychiatrist and Infectious disease consult.

A few weeks ago, I was just Joe (“an elderly male living by himself”). As far as I can remember I was doing well and was in good health. One night there was a noise in my front yard and I came to check it out. I must say I was in my birthday suit. I tripped and fell over. The noise woke up my neighbor, who immediately called 911 for “ an elderly naked male making noise by falling down and possibly humping a bed of Petunias”.

Before you know I was surrounded by the brightest display of lights you can imagine. There were town police cars with blue lights, paramedics with red lights and fire fighters with even bigger red lights. We also had a local TV station with cameraman and anchorwoman to cover the breaking news of an elderly man falling down. Before I could utter a word, I was “secured”. I was trying to say something but with all the noise, lights and 1000 people asking questions at the same time, I am not sure if I got anything out. I still remember some of these questions:

Who are you?

Why are you here?

Why are you naked?

Are you a nudist?

Are you demented? (how is one supposed to answer this question!)

Are you protesting against Obamacare?

In the mean time a fresh-faced student nurse has poked my arm multiple times, looking for a vein, and declared that I am a “difficult stick”. While he was looking for a vein, rest of them were looking in my eyes, inside my mouth, listening to my heart and checking my pulse to make sure that I was alive (though they were asking me questions at the same time). Another heavyset student had both his hands on my chest, “ready to go” in case my heart stops. They had already taped my head to stretcher, fastened belts around my body and found out that my blood pressure was low but not too low. An explorer has discovered my rectum and a thermometer had been inserted. I tried to ask questions but they had decided I was “confused” and told me so politely. A kind nurse reassured me that it could be anything such as stroke, heart attack, low sugar, high sugar, infection, bleed in brain, infection in brain or possibly all these things together. Off course you can never rule out pneumonia, urinary tract infection, ruptured gut, TIA or something we don’t know all together. I could also have overdosed as “elderly often do”.

During this time radios were crackling. It appeared everyone was talking to someone on a radio. My neighbor came, held my hand and comforted me. He said” I will never judge you. It’s your choice if you want to run naked at night or want to hump Petunias”. The paramedics were calling various ER’s about “Naked John Doe found down”. The ER’s were asking questions like:

Is Naked Doe just demented or Psychotic as well?

Is he violent?

Did he say why he was trying to hump Petunias!

Does he just hump Petunias or all kind of vegetations?

to be continued…

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