Hospital again for the MOTH.
The following Monday, Ken was worse, but when I called the clinic, the girls told me our GP had gone on holidays for six weeks. ??? Oh well, anybody else will do I said. No, was the reply - nobody else does home visits - bring Ken down to the clinic. I couldn't, and I told them so, but to no avail - there were no doctors available for a home visit. On the Tuesday I phoned Dr G. (Ken's lung specialist). He said to keep on the antibiotics that Ken was on, and if there was no improvement by Thursday, to call him again. Ken was even worse by then, so I called Dr.G, and he asked me to drive Ken to a small private hospital near us, where Dr G. is a consultant. It took Ken nearly two hours to get out of bed, shave, get dressed, and down to my car. When we got to the hospital, they had a room ready for Ken, and he was made comfortable to wait for Dr G, who arrived after an hour or so. He examined Ken and said we did the right thing to call him, as the antibiotics he was on are not strong enough for pneumonia. He put Ken on oxygen, a nebuliser, an intraveneous drip of antibiotics and other drugs, as well as prednisolone. There has been some improvement, but Dr G. is keeping Ken in hospital until about Tuesday, as he isn't happy with the rate at which Ken's lungs are responding to treatment.
I do not regret for one minute taking Ken to a private hospital instead of a public hospital, even though I was warned that our medical insurance for basic hospital cover would not cover the private hospital fees. The treatment at this hospital is fantastic; he has his own room with t.v., phone, excellent food etc. and constant attention from the nurses, as well as a daily visit from the specialist. Ken has had a defibrillator implant, open heart surgery, stents, and other procedures in the past ten years, and because it was all done in public hospitals, we never had to pay a cent. But it's caught up with us...four days in the private hospital has cost us two and a half thousand dollars. OUCH. Dr G. was horrified, and urged me to upgrade our health insurance cover, but even if we do, it won't take effect for 12 months. Dr G. warned me that Ken's lungs are deteriorating, and he will most likely have these stays in hospital several times a year in future.
I haven't told Ken how much it is costing; he is stressed out enough as it is, without knowing the cost. I told him it was about $1000 and he nearly had a fit at that figure! So if anyone reading this knows Ken, please don't spill the beans! I don't care how much it costs - I just want him to have the best treatment. We aren't wealthy by any means, and $2500 is a lot of money, but it just means our credit card will take a bit longer to pay off than usual. Ken might have to quit work some time soon, and that will make a difference to our lives too, but we'll cope. People do cope, and many are a lot poorer than us.