It’s easier to find Stormy Daniels movies than doctors in Reno. I just tried both. What did I expect in a town where the UNR basketball coach’s wife can pose naked for a local magazine and nobody notices but me? (Barbwire Feb. 7)
Perhaps it’s better to be divorced from reality. The clerks with whom I spoke at several local “adult” shops did not know Stormy Daniels or why she’s famous. If you are quizzical, pick up just about any publication or websearch “Stormy Trump.”
The Independent Movie Database lists well over 200 Stormy Daniels X-rated titles. Local porno shops say they can’t search their inventory because they categorize by genre, not titles or actors. (Trust me, you don’t wanna know the genres.)
According to Google and Bing, Stormy is available for a quick couple of clicks. I wish it was that easy to get medical care in this town.
I’ve spent so much time at Washoe Medical Center in the past year that I’m expecting a bill for rent. Some of my friends have survived, some have not.
I am thus acutely aware of patient issues at the corporate octopus now known as Washoe Health System/Renown Regional Medical Center. (Remember George Carlin’s warning to beware when somebody starts adding syllables?)
Through a combination of clever PR and political corruption, our county hospital was stolen from us in 1985. A public asset worth up to $134.2 million in 1985 dollars was sold off for about $3 million, a 98 percent discount from fair market value.(See Renown150.net/)
When you check in someone at Renown ER, as I have done too often in recent years, you first encounter the accounting and legal departments. They gotta know how you can pay. Starting thereafter and throughout your incarceration, you have to sign a series of forms basically exempting them from legal jeopardy. Doctors in Nevada are already immune from malpractice lawsuits (Barbwire Aug. 18, 2015 ), but the bureaucracy burgeons nonetheless.
Sick people don’t have time to read hundreds of lines of tiny print.
I checked a senior citizen neighbor into Renown ER last week. She received excellent care but the rest was Kafkaesque. (Czech author Franz Kafka, 1883-1924, wrote definitive novels about how bureaucracy dehumanizes. His most famous, “The Trial,” tells of some poor lout accused of something he never finds out. Kafka would have understood Guantánamo.)
My neighbor was discharged with a detailed list of followups and prescriptions. Because she is still in recovery and sleeping most of the time, I volunteered to pick up all seven new prescriptions and make two followup doctors’ appointments. Bad idea.
First, one of her new drugs would make a chronic condition worse. (I read the tiny print.) She needs a doctor’s advice. I couldn’t find one. Her general practitioner sends you to voicemail which advises that they will try to call back within three freakin’ days. I’ve already waited four.
Renown commanded her to make an appointment with one of their specialists. A nice young girl refused because none of their in-house docs had officially made a referral. So I should call her own doc, who’s lost in voicemail hell. Welcome to Musical Doctors, the most expensive game at the most expensive hotel-casino in town.
I asked if could I e-mail questions, especially about the prescription warning. Nope, they don’t do that e-mail stuff. (That’s the legal dept. covering their asses again.)
And besides, federal law prohibited my even asking certain obvious questions. I repeated that my neighbor is barely able to take phone calls, let alone wrangle with health care staff about appointments and prescriptions.
“Sir, you’re being very rude to me.”
I apologized but noted that her system’s protocols which she was required to enforce were very rude to her patient. Even though I had a form on their letterhead saying to call her number for an appointment, she repeated that I needed to find a referring doctor. She could do nothing but send me to the complaint…er, “customer service” department. I said OK, switch me there.
“Sorry, they’re closed.” Aaargh.
Franz Kafka, call your office.
I called Renown PR for a comment. I’m still waiting.
So my neighbor continues to fight her illness while doctors are too busy and beleaguered to respond even when their patients are following their orders.
Was there ever a better argument for universal, single-payer healthcare like more civilized, less profit-mongering countries?
Between Stormy Daniels and American health care, which do you think enjoys the moral high ground?
HAIL CESAR! César Chávez Celebration XVI happens March 31. Big stuff in the works. Monitor CesarChavezNevada.com/
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988. E-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>