After nearly 2 full months of intensive work in the field, I'm happy to be able to report back in the affirmative. Yes, there IS health care in Amerika, but of course it's riddled with problems, most of which stem from health care enterprises in this country existing mostly as for-profit businesses.
The largest health care "providers," such as Arizona's Banner Corp, an Arizona 21st-century non-profit corporation, are full-scale governmental-private enterprises, structured to prevail in the 21st century, Truly a medical-industrial feature of the Arizona landscape, and the second largest employer in the state (second only to Walmart.) Banner is also delivering some of the best quality health care in the country, and Banner Bayview is easily the nicest hospital I've ever stayed in...like a five-star hotel in some respects.
However, lest you think I'm about to launch into a full pro-Banner PR campaign I should tell you I was nearly delivered into enemy hands in that hospital, and my little odyssey could have ended a disastrous wreck then and there, as it might have six weeks later, in another time & place.
What began as a routine biopsy ended up taking me close to the edge -- I'm not sure just how close -- and ended the way it began: very badly.
Part of the problem at the outset was personnel too young and immature for an adult job. I was put under the care of a nurse of about 18 who was also a control freak. When the biospy result went badly, which was not at all her fault, she refused to call in reinforcements, and behaved badly in other ways as well.
On Thursday, October 23 I checked into the hospital for a biopsy. I was unconscious during the procedure, but shortly afterward became aware of intense pain in the chest as my right lung precipitously collapsed.
A team of doctors hurriedly moved to insert a tube in that lung, through the right side thoracic wall. This first attempt to reinflate the lung went badly, however, and by the morning of Oct 24 I looked like this.
The condition is called "crepitus," and consists of air getting between the skin and what lies underneath.
The next day we did Chest Tube 2.0,
with similar results, although there was some improvement -- for one thing I was awake and aware more than with chest Tube 1,0, although I'm still not sure whether that was a blessing or a curse.
This is a good place to leave it, at a "What will our hero do now?" moment, or more precisely, "What will be done to him?"