Last week, I shared with you my first experience of having a crisis in the USA. Let’s continue…
My mother had insisted on talking to my roommate to ask her to help me, but I refused (I can be stubborn sometimes) so I was quite confused when she walked in and suggested taking me to the hospital. Apparently, my brother had called her and told her what was happening to me, and had asked her to help get me to the hospital. Honestly, I didn't see that one coming.
Soooooo, grudgingly....I went to the hospital, limping and shedding some crocodile tears. Sigh.
We got to the emergency ward, and my roommate told them that I was having a sickle cell crisis. I was led to a bed and after struggling to find a vein (as usual), I was given an IV. After a few minutes, I felt some relief. As I lay there, some people came to get my medical records and insurance information. Finally, the doctor came in and after examining me wrote something on the clipboard. I had no idea what he wrote.
The IV was working, so I was good… However, after the first IV got finished, for some reason, they decided that it was enough and that I should be fine. I was surprised and said, “Ma'am, this is nothing, please I need more.” Thankfully, they complied.
After the third IV, the doctor came in again, prescribed some painkillers and discharged me. I was confused, I was not used to this. Do they really think I am completely healed because of three IV's? Eii…nah these people, don't they know that I am still in pain?
I was in that hospital for a maximum of three hours, before I was discharged. I left the hospital limping with some pain still lingering in my leg. I left to go home to heal myself, at least I had some strong painkillers to help. I did not get well immediately. It took me a few more days before I could walk confidently on my feet. During my healing process, I took my medication regularly, did a lot of resting and constant consultation with my 'home doctors' (parents).
A few weeks after this experience and when, I was feeling much, much better, I was at home, minding my own business when I received my bill from the hospital. It was a whopping $6000—for three hours in the hospital. Eiiiiiiiiiii.....but why? I then thought to myself, "Vanessa, this money, could have flown you to Ghana, taken care of your hospital bills at Korle bu, bought some plantain chips peh and then flown you back to school." You see, my fear of the bill was confirmed. In my statistics class, we would say that we have failed to reject the null hypothesis.
As to how I paid off that bill, only God knows, but I am glad I found a way and from that experience, I decided I will do all that I can to avoid going to the hospital. I have learned to listen to my body even more and to give it what it needs. Has this helped? Yes! Does not mean that I have not been to the hospital ever since? Nope….I will tell you about my second experience in another post. However, the steps I have taken to protect myself has improved my health in general, and I am grateful to God for the blessing of good health!