Civil Discourse Now

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The Mini and Multiple Sclerosis: I constituted "goods" to be "shipped" to Wishard. MS-squared, part 8.

   This is part of a series of blogs to lead up to my participation in my 15th consecutive Mini. This Saturday's Show will stream "live" shortly after I cross the finish line. Guest panelists will be Gary Welsh and Goerge Wilson. We will pick up where we left off last week with discussion of the Boston Marathon Bombings.

   The prednisone had been weaned down from an equivalent of 850 mg per day by IV, but still gave me an appetite of which "voracious," as a description, is an understatement. My stomach was a blast furnace in which food instantaneously disappeared.

   At work, I had obtained continuances on all my cases. The staff of every court went to the max to accommodate what had occurred to me. Only a couple of clients seemed not to appreciate the matter, but I explained to all I would be back in the office the next week. Some files were brought, and I worked from the hospital bed I hated. I wanted out of that place ASAP.

   Only prednisone held up my release. Taken orally, prednisone (I was told) could damage the stomach lining. The maximum oral dosage (at the time; nearly 20 years later maybe the drug’s effects have been diminished) was 100 mg. I could not go from 850 mg IV per day to 100 mg oral in a snap. The process had to be gradual.

   On the seventh day, the woman from the finance office visited me once more, again when I was by myself. That could have been coincidence, but probably not. After all, I remembered the 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. MRIs.

   The woman got to the point. "You need to sign this promissory note." She placed it on the rolling tray that served as my table, and across which such a huge volume of food had passed since the prednisone had been added to my IV.

   "And I have told you, I will not sign a promissory note."

   "Then we will have to ship you out to Wishard," she said, and snapped up the unsigned note.

   I let pass her slam at Wishard (now named something else). I was not in the frame of mind to argue dueling healthcare establishments or why medicine in the United States should be socialized, as it is in the rest of the advanced countries.

   "I was unaware I constitute goods to be ‘shipped,’" I replied. "And perhaps you should be aware of a couple of matters."

   Let me interject an important point. I rarely play the "lawyer card." Too many times, in personal affairs, a lawyer, with an air of condescension, will note her or his profession to intimidate ion. There are times, however, when it is legitimate to identify oneself as a lawyer, then explain the relevance.

   "I am a lawyer," I said calmly. "To touch a person, in a harmful or offensive manner, without that person’s permission, constitutes battery in Indiana. If anyone attempts to move me to another hospital, I shall consider that action to be offensive. It also will be without my permission."

   She left in a huff as she mumbled something about ambulances. I sat back against my pillow, head pounding from my constant companion, the LP-induced headache.

   My neuro popped in for an unusual afternoon—he usually came in around 6 or after—visit. I told him what the finance person had said. His brows furrowed and he observed stress was the last thing I needed.

   "Stress is part of why you are here," he added, like I did not already know. "So don’t worry. I’ve ordered your release for day after tomorrow. It takes at least a day for them to process a transfer order. When they see my order for release, they’ll stop what they’re doing. And there is no room charge for the last day of a visit."

   I thanked him for the news, good as it was on a several levels. Most importantly, I would be released in less than 48 hours. Also, the finance people were not going to bother me again. And I did not have to consult Sun Tzu’s Art of War to prepare a strategy to deal with people intent on "shipping" me to Wishard.

   I savored the idea of a Noble Roman’s® deep-dish pizza with sausage.

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