A reminder that it's better to not be in the hospital

We had been having a wonderful summer and I always expect a colorful autumn here in Anchorage. That is, the summer started out well, but I had an unexpected problem. I wasn’t feeling well and when a friend stopped in to see me, I must have looked very bad because he immediately called 911. The EMTs thought I needed to go to the hospital and that is where I ended up.

I was standing next to a nurse, who for some reason was holding on to me. She let go and the next thing I knew, I was on the floor, next to an overturned chair. The result was a fractured ankle and various other very painful bruises.

My wonderful friend took my sweet puppy, Portia, an Italian greyhound (weight 12 pounds) to our pet hospital to stay overnight, I thought. As it turned out, I remained in the hospital for 14 days. It was the longest time I had ever spent in a hospital in my whole 86 years, and through no fault of my own. The experience is not something I would recommend to anyone, friend or foe.

The hospital was vastly overcrowded, good for the hospital’s bottom line but not so good for the patients who had to endure it. To sum up, I had the non-pleasure of being placed in three different rooms and had five different roommates, who had various illnesses, including coughing, sneezing, snoring, and moaning all night long until we were interrupted at 3 a.m. so that the hospital could ascertain we were still alive by taking blood pressure, blood sugars, etc. I don’t know why they couldn’t wait until 8 a.m., when the breakfasts arrived.

The one good thing about the whole experience was that I had the pleasure of being nursed by one of the nicest nurses, Molly, who took good care of me.

Thankfully I managed to escape and am now back at home, hobbling around in my 24-pound, toe-to-knee, leg air-brace and loving my sweet Portia.

At this point in time. our wonderful governor is trying to establish the Medicaid expansion bill after our legislators refused to help the 42,000 Alaskans who do not have any access to health care, while those same legislators are wallowing in the excellent health care they get for themselves and their families. Please remember these selfish people at the next election. I will.

Next month I will be writing about legal filial responsibility. If there are any readers, who have had any experiences with this subject, please email to me or call.

Rita Hatch is an Older Persons Action Group board member and volunteers for OPAG’s Medicare assistance program. Call her at 276-1059 in Anchorage, 1-800-478-1059 toll-free statewide, or email her at ritaopag@gci.net.