Another thing that has come up a lot lately is the condition of our American healthcare system. Now I have a special relationship with this topic, too; some unusual perspectives that I think are humorous, as I have been warning about this industry much like I have been warning about the public education system. I have several family members who work in the healthcare industry. One of my sons-in-laws came from England, where their healthcare industry was already worse than we see in America now, with long waiting lines for operations and selective care. All kinds of really stupid rules collapsing under the weight of its own bureaucracy. He was with me when I had to get ACL surgery; the entire family went to the hospital because seeing me in such a vulnerable condition was pretty tragic. I have always had a “don’t go to the doctor unless it’s an absolute emergency” policy, so it was hard for them to see me go into an actual operation that involved anesthesia. But it was the only way to repair my ACL. I had torn it during an intense basketball game. I worsened the situation during an entertaining stunt where I jumped through a wall of fire with my bullwhips slinging, one in each hand. When I landed, the grass was wet, my footing slipped, and my thigh bone ultimately came out of the knee socket and drove itself deep into the dirt. I popped everything back together using my MCL to hold my leg in one piece so I could limp away. But a lot of damage had been done, so I went to an outstanding surgeon who worked on Cincinnati Reds players to fix my knee.
I’ve had hundreds of stitches, so going to the doctor has been common. But every time I have hated the experience so much, I have taken extreme measures to avoid going to the doctor because the service in the healthcare industry is so bad. When I have been cut really badly, my policy has always been to Super Glue everything back together, literally. I’ve been doing that for my entire adult life. I used to work in a hazardous metal stamping factory, and it was common for people to lose fingers. I had a lot of bad cuts, and whenever I could, I used Super Glue rather than getting stitches to get right back to work. Even with bad injuries, I never missed work. And when my kids had really bad cuts, my policy was to glue them together. There were a few times when they were bitten by animals, both times in the face. Particularly a nose injury where a good part of it had been ripped away. Another time an ear. In both cases, I was concerned that the stitches would pull the skin together in hard ways that would leave a terrible scar, and these were girls; they would need their faces as pretty as possible. So I glued them together, and everything healed nicely, with very little scarring.
In the aftermath, people can barely tell. It comes to my mind because I recently had a birthday, and the family was gratefully joking about these kinds of things. My approach was certainly unorthodox and, ironically, way ahead of its time. It was interesting during that ACL repair to hear my son-in-law talk about the horrors of the English healthcare system because he was amazed at how efficient ours was in America. But I hated it. I hated the assembly line feel of surgery, and I had the best that Cincinnati had to offer. But to me, it was garbage. Our health care should be so much better, and I know it can be.
My extreme measures are born from my hatred of it. My wife just broke a bone in her hand the other day, and she was asking me what to do about it because it hurt. She fell and hit the ground hard after playing with the grandkids in the way that kids under ten typically play. She plays with them, and that usually involves falling. When you are a kid, and the bones are still rubbery, they can generally get away with hard falls into the concrete. But the bones get brittle when you are over 50, so she broke a bone in her hand while bracing for a fall. I reminded her of a recent motorcycle accident I had where someone ran into me at a high rate of speed while I was just sitting there, merging into traffic. The accident totaled my very expensive motorcycle. The driver who hit me wasn’t looking for motorcycles and hit me at full speed. I watched her closely in my mirrors and determined that she would hit me, so I jumped off the bike head first just in time. I would have lost my legs from the impact if I hadn’t jumped off my bike. I broke my wrist just below the pivot joint to the hand when I hit. I instinctively popped it back into place because I couldn’t stand to look at it. And once the paramedics and all the police left the scene, the woman who hit me was crying in a massive panic. I assured her I was going to be alright. Her lawyer called me immediately to offer whatever assistance they could, and so did her insurance company. Nobody denied anything. They wanted to take care of me. I told them just to pay for the bike, and we’d call it a day.
I probably could have obtained a lot of money for that accident because there was significant damage, and the lady who hit me was dangerously complicit. But I had a critical overseas conference call that I was late for with Spain, so I did the call, took care of the people I was working with, and I told the insurance people about my broken wrist but that I would wave any medical care on it. I would just fix it myself. I didn’t want any further delays to my life; I was busy and wanted to return to it. Once you enter the medical system, they want to live off your life, and I want nothing to do with what they offer. Anywhere the government has gotten involved in anything, it turns to crap. And health care is terrible. We could do so much better. I think we should have medical care as common as fast food restaurants, where if you want a hamburger, you can get one from McDonald’s instead of a 50-dollar hamburger at a nice restaurant, But you ultimately have a choice. Now with all the government interference in health care, it’s all garbage. Medicare is a scam, the pharma companies have the economics all rigged as fancy drug dealers, and it has ruined the entire industry by making people sick who otherwise would be healthy. Anything that involves the double snakes of the medical industry is something I avoid to the extreme because I consider going to them far worse. So when people say, “We need more government health care,” I say, “No, I’ll just do the care myself because those idiots working in it are dumb, slow, and incompetent, and I want nothing to do with them.” Just like everything else the government does, from public school to license bureau work. There is too much socialism and communism in health care and not nearly enough capitalism, and until they change that ratio, it will always be terrible.