Late in the evening, at home on December 31st, I began experiencing stomach cramps. At around 2 in the morning, I contacted the EMS to take me down to the Parkview Emergency Room. This had happened before, but not for over a year. In 2015 I had three visits to the ER, and several times I just suffered through it at home. The cause was a temporary small intestine blockage. They always cleared by themselves. But sometimes I couldn’t bear the pain and gave in to going to the ER. At Parkview, I would receive a pain-killer and anti-nausea medication. That was the extent of the treatment this time. I was checked in and stayed over one night.
Let me be clear, in solving the problem of these periodic blockages, I have never received any help from the medical profession, other than the pain-killer and anti-nausea medication at Parkview. The reason I had not experienced the problem for over a year was that I discovered probiotics, by my own research, not by suggestions from medical authorities.
About a month after my New Years’ experience, I received a statement from my supplementary insurance carrier. I am on Medicare and I have no idea about their billing. My supplementary insurance was billed $19,734. They disallowed it all and said my responsibility was $0.00. As I’ve written above, I have no idea if Medicare paid anything. I don’t know if I’ll ever get a bill. There are many points that can be made based on this billing, but I’ll make just two. First, the hospital system has no idea of what their costs really are. They bill very high so that their payments from insurance, after negotiated reductions with carriers, will actually keep them solvent. Second, if I had no insurance I would be billed directly over $19,000, enough to possibly bankrupt someone.
Back in 2015, I was referred to a gastroenterologist. After a phone conversation, he set up a colonoscopy. I had had two of them in the past that showed nothing, as did this one. Then, after a month-long wait for a follow-up appointment, he called the day before to say that I shouldn’t have to come all the way to Pueblo for an appointment. Note that I often drive to Pueblo to walk my dog and have lunch. He prescribed acid reflux medication over the phone. When I received it, and took it, I had another bowel blockage incident within two days. It was then that I started the research that led to my use of probiotics that kept the problem at bay for a year.
After my most recent incident, at the suggestion of a hospital surgeon, I made an appointment for a capsule endoscopy, with the same gastroenterologist, to help show the location of the problem in my intestine. After waiting for 3 weeks, 4 days before the procedure, his office called and said he was canceling it because he thought it might cause a blockage. So much for the medical profession!
I am now taking more liquid, fiber and oils, and drinking a cup of hot tea with honey after dinner. So far so good.