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American Hospitals Are Like Prisons

It’s inevitable; things eventually fall apart. Whether it’s a gradual decline or a sudden collapse, nothing endures. No one’s immune. Man-made machines break down as deadly human diseases take a toll; sooner or later something will get you. Whether it’s rot or rust, death walks behind you. When the grim reaper comes calling, there’s no escape. You know, the hooded skeleton dude with the razor-sharp scythe. The heavy metal band, Blue Oyster Cult, wrote a song about it called “Don't Fear the Reaper.” The slow process of living to an old age seems unfathomable. A sudden loss of life is the big question mark over all our heads. The past and present come together in the future to create a final, fitting end to a not-so-promising future.

I was recently diagnosed with Type II diabetes, which was likely caused by a genetic predisposition or, more likely, a life of debauchery. I felt okay before my diagnosis, except for the fact that I was pissing every hour on the hour all day and night. Not only that, I was lethargic, had zero energy, along with fuzzy thoughts, and felt tired all the time. I chalked it up to my advanced age and sedentary lifestyle, but the unfeeling gods had different plans. My doctor prescribed 10 units of insulin daily and a new drug called Trulicity. Like another similar drug, Ozempic, it’s become an increasingly popular fat fad among overweight people for rapid weight loss. Oprah and other celebrities tout it as a wonder drug that’ll change the world for people who suffer from morbid obesity.

The pill I was prescribed, metformin, is a questionable drug prescribed to help enhance the effectiveness of insulin. It was pulled by the FDA because of its propensity to mess people up, then released again. A nasty side effect is explosive diarrhea, which occurs regularly with a vengeance, and there’s no way to stop it from bursting out of your bunghole. You can do the research on metformin. It might be a good option for many types of diabetics, but for me, it was poison. I told my doctor about the negative side effects I experienced, so they upped my dosage because my blood sugar levels were still in the high range.

They feel the benefits of the medication far outweigh the risks. Thanks a lot, doctor. Less than a week after taking my double-dose of metformin, I awoke to a case of heavy squirts. I spray-painted my toilet bowl brown. Still feeling queasy afterward, I laid on the sofa, while my head and the room were spinning like bad drunks. After a few minutes, I had to go back to the bathroom again. This time I vomited along with the liquid diarrhea simultaneously, a grand finale showstopper, passing out three times, and in the process folding like a dirty shit-stained napkin on the hallway floor. My worried wife called an ambulance. I could hear her voice from a distant place I couldn’t see as I tried to get up and, in the process, soiled myself, passing out yet again.

The third time was a charm; once my wife helped me to the bathroom, I passed out on the toilet and thought I was dead. On the ambulance ride to the hospital, the EMT guy said I was really vaguling out. I asked him what the hell was vaguling. It’s slang for what happens to you when you’re poisoned, puked, and all the rest. It sparks the vagus nerve in your neck, and you slab out, hitting the ground or flatlining on the floor. Arriving at the IC Unit, I was poked and prodded, asked the same questions over and over again. Hospitals are like prisons without bars and worse food for the exorbitant price you pay to be humiliated, degraded, and ignored. I’ve always thought that it’s cheaper to die in this country than suffer the consequences of an extended hospital stay. It’ll put you in the poorhouse quicker than you can say Potter’s Field.

There’s no moral to this story, except for being careful what you eat. If it produces bad results or a negative experience, then don’t eat it anymore. All my doctors said was that they were terribly sorry. They then said I shouldn’t take metformin anymore. Gee, what a novel prognosis after just almost killing me. I laughed, telling them I beat them to their new diagnosis. You don’t need to be a doctor to know that you’re poisoned and dying. But they’re so cavalier about it. After all, they're one step closer to God than I'll ever be. They follow the guidelines in the textbook, doling out meds like candy. Too bad they don’t give you the good stuff. I could go out in real style with an opiate overdose.

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