Since I don't have work - and medical insurance - I didn't know what to do since I couldn't afford a doctor. And then my aunt explained that I could go to the ER without a cent in my wallet and they would treat me.
So I did and a procedure was done. I'll spare you the details of the incision-making and injections, but overall it was an interesting experience.
- There's valet parking for all vehicles at the ER entrance for non-ambulance arrivals. Good idea for people like me who normally go to the hospital alone, and more importantly, it's so much easier to not have to walk from a parking garage or a spot on the street. It's $ 5 per visit.
- Nurses behind a counter get your preliminary information - Name, Address, Social Security Number, Chief Complaint - and then you sit in the waiting area until your name is called.
- A nurse calls you into a small room to get your vitals and then you go back to the waiting area.
- Depending on the number of patients, you have to wait for an... undetermined length of time.
- You then get called inside the Examination Area and... wait again.
Six hours later, I drove myself home. And while I only spent $ 5 on my parking, I am expecting a monthly bill to arrive at home so I can pay off the treatment. Since I don't have insurance, I got plain generic prescriptions and spent $ 42. If I did, it would have been around $ 10.
I went back for a follow up 24 hours later and had to wait almost as long. This time I was in a different area that had a bed that came with a small TV.
Of course, this is just one hospital and one experience out of millions of patients. The one thing I'm certain of is that I am so overwhelmingly grateful for this billable medical treatment. I don't know what I would have done without it.
Hopefully, if I do ever end up needing to go to the hospital again, I'll have medical insurance.