Three weeks ago, I spent a night in the hospital. Not by choice, naturally. The day began as normal – cow milking, children wrangling, and breakfast baking. A few hours later, I noticed that I had begun spotting.
That's a scary sight for a pregnant person. Especially one with uterine abnormalities like mine (you can read more about my condition here).
I immediately called my OB who scheduled me for an appointment later that morning to check on things. I tried not to panic and cry and wet my pants in fear. Instead, I laid my worries at the feet of our loving God and tried to cling to His peace that surpasses all understanding.
At the Doctor's, I was checked and rechecked and rechecked. All seemed well. Yes, there was a small amount of bleeding, but it seemed to have passed. Sprout seemed healthy and responsive – which did cause this emotional Mama to shed some tears. Hearing that healthy heartbeat is the most beautiful sound in the entire world – especially after hours of wondering.
They asked if I was feeling contractions – I wasn't.
To be safe, they hooked me up to some monitors to track whatever it is that those machines track. Turns out, I was contracting, steadily, every 2-3 minutes.
That was a sarcastic great, for those who couldn't tell.
Because of my condition and this seemingly pre-term labor, my OB felt it best to monitor the baby for closer observation. A choice that I understand and supported. I was admitted into the hospital for a ‘few hours' of closer monitoring, as well as an ultrasound to measure placenta fluid, blood flow, etc. Again, besides the small and steady contractions, all was well – Praise God.
I was given a pill to stop the contractions which worked wonderfully, though they did keep me in the hospital for another twelve hours to monitor any further bleeding or contracting. I was sent home with a few new photos of baby and a pat on the back. “Give us a call if anything else happens and take it easy on the farm – no lifting bags of feed, bales of hay, heavy hoses, or sheep.”
During my hospital stay, my vitals were taken numerous times by nurses. I had one meeting with my OB. I drank water. And slept in a horribly uncomfortable delivery bed.
And then I received a bill. For $9000 DOLLARS.
First, I tried not to vomit – we do have “coverage” through Samaritan Ministries which I thank the Lord for. But the principle of the matter would not leave my mind. How dare they. HOW DARE THEY.
I'm not talking about not paying doctors what they are worth – I have no problems with that and am happy to pay a craftsman for his craft. What I cannot tolerate is the expensive medications and $40 nylon underwear. As I said via Facebook yesterday, this bill (to me) is proof that our system is BROKEN. How on earth can it help people when one night of a hospital stay – void of any specialized testing, operations, delivery, Doctors, etc. – runs in the price range of a new car.
What on earth are people to do. God help us.
In a way, my anger towards the entire situation funneled even further my desire to separate from a system that is flawed, at best.
In my particular situation, I felt a doctor's visit was warranted – something I don't often admit to. After all, even our family practitioner is a naturopathic doctor. My children aren't seen for well-baby care or taken in for runny noses. If there is any problem, we see our naturopathic doctor or our chiropractor – both of which have been a huge help in managing any ailments (few and far between) that we run across.
My point is this – I realize that there is a true need for Doctors, hospitals, and in-patient care. There are warranted emergencies and for those, I am beyond thankful for modern medicine and the people that practice it.
And yet a huge portion of our country are forever dependent on office visits, treatments, and expensive medications. They are bound to this broken and expensive system.
Receiving that bill reminded me of why it is our family works so hard to do what we do. Because we desire so greatly to avoid this system.
It reminded me of why we work extra hours in the kitchen each week to provide whole-food-based, from-scratch, homemade meals every day.
It reminded me of why we read books like Nourishing Traditions that teach us how to optimize nutrition for our bodies.
It reminded me of why we get up at 5:15 each morning to milk our dairy cow and drink glass after glass of her raw milk.
It reminded me of why we grow our own organic vegetables – and eat them for every meal.
It reminded me of why we invest in pasture-fed meats, especially those we raise ourselves.
It reminded me of why we explore natural remedies like Chiropractic care each week.
These will not replace a doctor in an emergency. Let's not be silly. And if I'm mangled in a car accident, I'm not going to be reaching for my castor oil pack to pull me out of it. Let's not kid ourselves.
But we don't have to be more committed to our medications than we are to pursuing wellness. There are OPTIONS!
There is great freedom in thinking for ourselves. If you haven't yet begun to pursue holistic methods – might I encourage you?
We're conditioned to seek conventional medical treatment. But we don't have to be.
And after that, let's share the love with other people and share our success stories!
Please email me with questions – if I wasn't passionate enough about this before, that $9000 bill pushed me over the edge. I'm ready for a revolution!