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In December of 2005 my son was sick. In January, February & March of 2006 he spent all his savings going from doctor to doctor asking for help. Since he did not look sick, they would tell him to go home, take some aspirin for the pain and come back next week if he wasn't feeling better. And then he was reminded to pay at the window on his way out. None of the doctors did any tests. None of them gave him any relief from his pain.
I took him to Scripps Hospital and they found he had a blood clot. His entire circulatory system was one massive blood clot. They put him on a blood thinner and when the clots were mostly dissolved, he was sent home. But back at home his health quickly deteriorated.
I took him to the local clinic. We were first in line when they opened the doors, but it took me time to carry him in. So we were the last to register. He laid on the floor in great pain from 7:30 in the morning until the late afternoon. When a technician told us they were done for the day, I said he had to see a doctor. The doctor came out and told me to take him to the emergency room. Back at Scripps Hospital, they did an X-ray and asked what the nail was in his liver. I reminded them, there was no scar. Then they determined it was liver cancer. Since it was contained, with an immediate operation his prospects for a complete recovery were good. But first, since he had no money left, he had to register with MediCal. I went to the MediCal representative and gave her all the details. She said that MediCal was there to help him.
Next week the doctors were ready to do the emergency surgery. I check with the MediCal representative, and she said he was not yet registered, but not to worry. The next week was the same. The next week she did not come in on here weekly round.
Week after week my son lay dying in a hospital bed while the other bed in the room was filled with a long list of visitors who could not speak English. They came from the South for their free surgeries. For almost three months, the MediCal representative refused to register my son. I asked her why. He said, MediCal if for poor Hispanics, not for those wealthy enough to live in Carlsbad. She said she had over 800 from South of the border that needed to be helped before the 'window closed'. She said my son would just have to wait and she hopped I wouldn't mind.
With the help of a lawyer, she became convinced I was serious and did enter my sons name into her computer. Surgery was scheduled, they opened him up, found that the cancer had spread, took a sample, closed him up and gave him weeks to live.
Actually he lived long enough to try two round of chemotherapy. The send round was very, very painful. His morphine pump could not give him enough morphine to kill the great pain. The chemo did not work. He came home for awhile, and when he needed more help, he went into hospice. He died in 2007 because he did not get the immediate emergency surgery he was promised.