The View From Your Sickbed

A reader writes:

As an epileptic I have had a few cases of seizures occurring in public places. While not life threatening, this can often impact strangers intensely. A stranger's first response is usually to call an ambulance and get me to a hospital. When I was younger and putting myself through college by working part time, this simple act of generosity on the part of the well meaning observer would terrify me more than the seizure itself.

A previous commenter related their experience of getting sick in Texas and since that is my home state you can begin to understand my dilemma. The simple act of being picked up off the ground, transported to the hospital and ingesting a Tylenol offered by doctor there would run me over a thousand dollars. When I checked my bill I discovered that the two Tylenols I had ingested alone cost me over 50 dollars.

After the first time this occurred I would come to in a panic asking if an ambulance had been called and if so I would do my best to bolt from the scene before the technicians showed up and did their best to convince me that it was in my best interest to take a ride to the hospital. Since I was working a part time minimum wage job, I could not afford to pay those bills and my credit was destroyed for years. At other similarly less fortunate occasions in my life I have been forced to take part in studies, moderate my dosage without the approval of a doctor or simply do without the medication that makes my life livable. I am fortunate now that I work for a company that provides decent health insurance, but going from one job to the next is highly dependent on the level of coverage I can expect to get.