The Cost of Being Unhealthy

Hospital Stay

In October, I was unfortunate enough to have to go to the emergency room because I was projectile vomiting for 4 hours straight.  I had not been feeling well for about 3 days, being nauseous and with my lower back hurting.  I also had cramping that I attributed to going to start my menstrual cycle.  However, on Monday, the feelings of nausea became much worse, and I began vomiting repeatedly over the next 4 hours.  I have a seizure disorder, and I was worried that I would have a seizure while in the middle of a vomiting episode and choke to death. My partner was worried about this as well and convinced me to go to the emergency room. 

I went to the hospital and discovered that I had a severe kidney infection that was causing all my issues.  I had never had one before, and I was not displaying the typical symptoms of a kidney infection—burning when urinating, pain in the kidney area, etc., so I had no idea that I had a kidney infection until then.  I was admitted to the hospital and over the next 3 days was given lots of fluids and antibiotics, as well as being placed on a liquid diet (which sucked).  My blood work came back with my pancreatic enzymes slightly elevated, so I had to have an ultrasound of my pancreas and abdominal area to make sure I did not have pancreatitis.  Thankfully, I did not.  BUT—they did discover that my liver has fat deposits on it, which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver if not treated.  Since I do not drink alcohol very often, this means I need to develop a change in my diet and eating habits, as well as adding exercise to my daily routine. The doctor did say that the fatty liver condition was reversible for me. 

This entire stay in the hospital cost over $16,000.  My insurance company is refusing to pay for any of it because they deemed the treatment not medically necessary.  WHAT??  How could I have treated this at home since I had never had this condition before and had no knowledge of what to do for it?  Besides, it had progressed so far that I had uncontrollable vomiting which did need to be treated.  Moreover, the doctor seemed to think it medically necessary to admit me to the hospital for treatment.  Needless to say I am appealing their decision. 

Now my life consist of drinking more water—which is hard for me to do since I do not drink a huge amount of any liquid most days.  My partner has given me a 1.5 liter bottle which I must drink at least one full bottle of water from, and preferably two bottles of water each day.  This is hard for me.  I forget to drink anything, much less water.  I have found that I can drink at least one bottle of water if I add a drink mix to it to give it flavor.  I usually drink the Hawaiian Punch Green Apple drink mix, or the Crystal Light Grape or Strawberry drink mixes.  I drink the Hawaiian Punch ones at home and the Crystal Light ones at work because they have caffeine in them.  I know it is not as healthy as it should be, but at least it is a start in the right direction.  Baby steps, people. 

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