r/Health – Invisible Middlemen Are Slowing Down American Health Care – Nurses spend 16 hrs on the phone, medications take months to arrive, & patients suffer as they wait.

Here’s my story… I had a heart attack right after Thanksgiving and emergency open heart surgery on 12/3. That marked the start of a 6 week recovery period.

On 1/1 the last bit of paperwork on the sale of my company went through and we all of a sudden have new owners. Owners who don’t offer the same medical program in my state that I was on before (Kaiser Permanente).

So as of 1/2, not even 1 month from the surgery, I found myself having to find all new doctors.

On 1/3 I started having complications. My new doctors have not yet reached out and I don’t have an appointment. I finally got an appointment for 1/14.

So I’m sitting around waiting for the appointment, the whole time my condition is getting worse. I’m coughing all the time (which is just a JOY with a giant chest incision) and I find that if I lay down, something happens and I can’t breathe. I’m starting to get this bulge in my chest and I’m ferociously gaining weight.

Finally get to the doctor on 1/14, he runs a bunch of tests. Now I’m waiting for the results to come back. I can’t sleep because I can’t lay down. I’m mostly sitting up all the time.

Finally the results come back, congestive heart failure, report to the ER immediately.

Apparently post surgery I had developed a-fib. My heart wasn’t beating correctly and I was retaining fluid in my chest and lungs. They put me on an IV diuretic and I lost 4L of water A DAY during my 7 day hospital stay.

Following that I had electro shock to fix the rhythm.

That 2 week period where I couldn’t breathe could have killed me, but during all of this I technically never “lost” insurance, I was fully ensured all the way through, it was just across 2 companies.

When I was in the 2nd hospital, I apologized to the doctors and nurses because “It doesn’t seem fair for one hospital to do the surgery then tell you guys ‘OK, here’s this guy, we just cut his chest open, good luck!'”

The response I got was that not to worry, this happens ALL THE TIME.

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