A few years ago I injured myself, fell ill, and had to be hospitalized for a significant period. It was terrifying. The saddest thing about this? I was more concerned about the inevitable hospital bill than I was about getting better. How could I even think about relaxing and saving my strength when I had nothing to look forward to but soul-crushing debt the moment I left the hospital? As it turned out, my insurance was a lifesaver, and I was ultimately only responsible for a $350 bill, a fraction of what had been thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars.
Suffice it to say that yeah, I think the American healthcare system is pretty terrible. Those who don't have to deal with it––and live in countries where such a problem is unheard of––got the better end of the stick. They'd certainly be horrified to hear some of the awful things other Americans have gone through, and it's all thanks to Redditor retrodead7524, who asked the online community, "People who have had their life ruined by the American health care system... How?"
"Still working on getting things paid off..."
Drowning in medical debt even when I had insurance and ruing my credit for a long time. Still working on getting things paid off but still owe a good $5000+ and I now avoid going to the doctor unless it's absolutely necessary.
"In addition to that..."
I was taken to the ER via ambulance and just received a $1300 bill for the ambulance ride. I'm working on paying it but every time I think about it, it just makes me upset. I needed the ambulance ride there because I had collapsed on the floor and unable to move. It wasn't a 'want' it was a 'need' as in I could have died if I wasn't in the ambulance. It makes me even more upset knowing that in the country where I grew up, I would have only paid $20 flat fee for the entire ride to the hospital and that was that or have it waived since I don't make enough. Honestly, just dying would have been cheaper.
In addition to that, I was misdiagnosed by a doctor who refused to consider other alternatives leading to me collapsing on the floor. I also had doctors getting angry when I asked/questioned about getting a second opinion. Makes me miss the healthcare in the country where I grew up where you're encouraged to get another opinion if you have second guesses or thoughts and both doctors communicate to see if there is something they missed.
"Opiates were given to the adults..."
Pain medication. Opiates were given to the adults that were in charge of raising me. But they obviously were not properly instructed on keeping them locked up and not sharing. My dad would feed me Oxys to keep me working hard for his company. I was 12 years old. Now, over 40, I've been off opiates for 4 years and I have just enough will left to exist. That s*** will slowly suck the joy from your brain and you may never get it back. Keep your pills locked up. It's basically like leaving a loaded gun in the medicine cabinet.
"This was a procedure that should have cost..."
$9,800 for a CT scan.
Was handed a referral sheet and told "Call here to make the appointment." Did not know I should have shopped around. This was a procedure that should have cost around $200-$500. Insurance was useless at getting the cost reduced; ended up making a monthly payment. STILL got ugly phone calls from the hospital financial department, even though I paid the whole thing off before the overdue date.
"I had a stomach ulcer..."
I had a stomach ulcer at the base of my stomach and was in so much pain I couldn't hold down water. I had to go get an IV drip, just one, to help my fitness get back up enough to begin holding down water again.
The bill was $2,900 something. For an IV drip. I didn't have insurance because my job did not offer it.
"My husband and I were both sick..."
My husband and I both were sick at the same time. I had emergency surgery and within a week of that he was hospitalized for PEs and I was told he would not survive. We were in our early 30s. Thankfully I figured out that you can file bankruptcy on your own even if you are married. That way we still had one decent credit score. Lucky us our mortgage lender doesn't care about bankruptcy if you can prove it was from medical expenses. All 15k we had set back to buy a house gone and I still had to file.
Guess it didn't ruin us but we were set back to the beginning for sure.
"I know how lucky we were..."
My parents declared bankruptcy after my dad was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease. We went from my dad making upper middle class type money to having nothing. My mom went back to work but teachers don't make a fraction of what chief finacial officers make.
My dad's retirement, all their savings, our college funds, everything went to medical bills. My mom made just enough to cover the mortgage and keep the lights / phone on. We were lucky we didn't lose the house and owned the cars outright (my dad liked to tinker so they always drove used). My sisters and i all went to work as soon as we were old enough so we could pay for school lunch, help with groceries and household sunderies, and fund our own school activities.
I know how lucky we were to have managed to escape that relatively intact. My dad having a stroke managed to get him on SSDI, which meant Medicaid and Medicare kicked in. He was no longer going to be able to work for the rest of his life so that is pretty much the only thing that saved them from complete ruin.
I have a pretty good one. My wife and I were about two months into being married. Finally, she was eligible to get on my insurance and we thought we were hot stuff - just a year prior we were broke college kids. However, 2008 financial crisis saw me getting laid off and we went from watching our checking account swell to flat broke.
Anyway, a few weeks after the insurance expired (we paid for COBRA until it was just too much of an expense) she started getting horrible stomach pain. Like she would get waves of intense pain and anything she ate immediately came out.
So, we tried to solve the issue for about two weeks but nothing worked and we didn't have the 200 dollars for a non-insurance pay at a walk in clinic. There were periods where we thought she was getting better until it just came back in full force. Finally, I just had to take her to the public hospital where we were treated like absolute garbage. She was literally writhing in pain and an admin was trying to discuss how we planned on paying the bill and forced her to sign a bunch of documents while this was all happening. After a week she finally got out and it took about another month to heal fully.
She was only working part time when it happened so she had no way of making money and I was getting about 400 a week in unemployment. A good chunk of that went to the ongoing scripts she needed to keep the infection and immflamation at bay. Eventually, we just had to short sell our home and move in with my parents a state away.
I remember sitting in shock the night before we moved out just wondering how in such a short span of time we went from the world being our oyster to tucking our talls in defeat.
The thing is, so many Americans ride this razor's edge of economic collapse that when a medical emergency happens it sends people into an absolute tailspin. Could we have kept our heads just above water if that didn't happen? Probably. But all it takes is that one domino and the whole thing falls.
"Six months later..."
International college student on a full-ride scholarship here: I had 2 psychotic breaks that landed me on the psych ward. On top of that, my friend had the gills to call an ambulance instead of driving me. 6 months later, I have around $3k in debt and my credit score is ruined.
"It gutted me emotionally."
I developed Dishydrotic Eczema when I was 47. I'm 55 now. I had built my 10 yr old company in the drag racing industry from scratch. I was doing well until my skin issues put me in the hospital twice in 2017. I could not afford the insurance under the new Obamacare system. It wound up costing me my company. It gutted me emotionally.
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America is in quite a state right now.
We are hurting in ways we've never hurt before.
And getting better doesn't seem like an option on the horizon.
America gets a lot wrong everyday.
But, maybe let's try to focus on what America does right.
Maybe it can be a little comfort in times of struggle.
People from all over the world want to live here.
Redditor Ulrich-Stern wanted to discuss the best of America. They asked:
"What does the United States get right?"
I think America certainly has a strong work ethic. We know how to work and win.
Getting AroundCivil Rights Equality GIF by INTO ACTIONGiphy
"Accessibility code for buildings. I come from a country where disability is looked upon like a crime or fault. USA does an amazing job making things accessible. I haven’t seen all of USA but majority of the places has amazing system."
"Our public libraries are a real backbone for the country."
"Andrew Carnegie's groundwork in building the institution of free libraries, even in small towns, set a precedent that we wouldn't fathom today but couldn't live without. They often serve not only as an information exchange but as cultural hub, art gallery, performing arts center, tax aid, voter registration, job resources, etc. in communities."
"Plus they're one of the only places you can just exist for hours indoors without the expectation you must buy something.And I feel like they've adapted to the ever-changing needs of their patrons in modern times faster in the US than most places."
"'A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.' -Andrew Carnegie"
'restore' or 'create'
"Valuing actual wilderness in places like national parks. Here in England, they will 'restore' or 'create' natural habitats, which is sort-of nice, but they are almost like zoos. They are too small to survive by themselves so they are actively maintained."
"And in some English national parks, they actually allow housing developments as long as the architectural design is sympathetic. Here, 'countryside"'means farms. There is still a notion in the USA of protecting some large wilderness areas from development."
"The rate of smoking cigarettes. We do very little well in the US when it comes to overall health, but we are light years better than most places when it comes to the prevalence of cigarette smoking. Hardcore anti smoking adds + laws of inconvenience + social stigma really did work."
HollywoodMovie Theater Reaction GIF by CBSGiphy
"Films. Don't get me wrong, the US can put out some bad films, but the best ones I've seen are usually American."
We do do films well. That is a big plus.
FamilyKids Playing GIF by moodmanGiphy
"The United States adopts more children than the rest of the world combined."
"Burgers. Motherfreakin' burgers."
"I'd expand that to sandwiches in general. Burgers, Philly cheese steaks, Reubens, subs, clubs, chopped cheese, po'boys, just this whole sandwich spectrum. Americans just took sandwich concepts from across the globe and ran with them."
"I've always envied your wildlife. I'm from England and the only large wild animals (other than fish) we have are deer, boar and foxes. And they're incredibly rare. I've always thought it was so cool one country could have bears, moose, cougars, alligators, panthers, bison/buffalo, etc."
"Gas stations like QuikTrip, where they have clean bathrooms, lighted parking lots, free air for your tires, ten different coffees on tap, beer, hotdogs, any soft drink or snack you want, the list goes on. In other countries -- you're not gonna believe this -- their gas stations only sell... gas."
POWERbill nye GIFGiphy
"The US is an absolute science powerhouse. The technology we come out with has touched the lives of nearly every person on the planet."
"I say this as an immigrant who came to this country, so perhaps take it with a grain of salt. But it truly gives people a second chance at life. My life would be nowhere near as good as it is right now if I were back in my home country."
Maybe America isn't the hot mess a lot of people think it is. We'll see...
Sex is an important part of life.
That is just a fact.
But sex is also about connection and intimacy.
So it's not a surprise when many relationships take a hit after the sex dries up.
It's not something to ignore.
It's the biggest problem in the world, but partners should discuss it.
RedditorItsyBitsyJoxywanted to hear about reasons to stick around with a partner when there is no sexy time. They asked:
"Would you be in a sexless relationship? What circumstance would you find acceptable for this?"
Sex is fun. And when the sex stopped in my relationships... so did the fun. But that is just me.
A Certain EraVery Funny Oops GIF by America's Funniest Home VideosGiphy
"I'm over 80."
"There’s a lot of people that are going to be real shocked once they hit their 70s."
"Our second child has ruined her sex drive. Intimacy is still there but extremely infrequently. I've learned how much that intimacy brings to the relationship, it feels very lonely and although I know it's not her fault, it can still make you feel like she's not attracted to me anymore. It can be pretty lonely too if you go from a romantic relationship to borderline platonic one. You can't help wonder how much is body changes and how much is you."
"I had rectal cancer and because of the surgery I can no longer get an erection, it's very lonely."
"Not sure if one exists, but a site to just make friends to be cuddle buddies, or whatever, should exist for people like you & me. I lost my sex drive & would like a relationship for that occasionally."
"In my case, it's not wanting to see someone very often, as well as the lack of sex drive, that I think would make it difficult. I also don't like people over to my home as it's too small for a couch & we'd be hanging out on my bed, which is weird to me."
"I'm in one now. My husband had a stroke... no sex is not the big problem for either one of us."
"This comment brings a lot of perspective. My gut reaction to this question was no. Sex was and still is pretty significant in my relationship with my wife. We’re in our 30’s and have been together over a decade. But if something happened to her and it was no longer an option? I would never leave her and love her too damned much to imagine it, no matter how much we love sex."
PainScarlett Johansson GIF by NETFLIXGiphy
"I have a near sexless marriage. The love is strong, but the desire is one-sided. That hurts."
Sexless over loveless is definitely easier. So there is that.
Over time...up s GIFGiphy
"I am happily married to my good lady for decades and decades. There are times when it has been sexless for whatever reason but never has it been loveless.I wouldn’t have lasted 2 days in a loveless relationship."
You play the cards you are dealt
"I’m dating a man who got diagnosed with prostate cancer a year or so into our relationship. Prostate had to come out and it’s a hit or miss whether or not sexual function comes back. In his case, it was a miss. He wanted me to move on because he got very depressed over it."
"He’s so pleasant and a real decent human being so I stayed with him. Who would abandon someone due to a health crisis? Unfortunately he got bladder cancer next so this is another hurdle to go over. You play the cards you are dealt. We are together in this."
"The reasons for the 'sexlessness' and the depth of the relationship are key factors. My wife got breast cancer at 40 and while she lived another 8 years, the chemotherapy nullified her libido and made intercourse impossible. And yet I dearly wish we could have grown old together whether or not this would have changed. But that’s completely different from cohabiting a loveless marriage or even facing such a situation in one’s youth only a few years after marriage. That would be hard."
"A sexless relationship is better than a loveless relationship, as long as I'm loved and we share physical affection like cuddling and kisses and I'm allowed to beat my meat when I need too I wouldn't care. Just a heads up to all the people who take this personally enough to comment how wrong I am."
"There's no such thing as a wrong option, my opinion is in regards to myself and myself alone I'm not answering for anyone else. Different opinions aren't wrong... OP asked a question to be answered from your own point of view..so there's no reason to call anyone else wrong... it's about you, answer for YOU I've answered for me."
Love is there...Checking In I Love You GIF by Seize the AwkwardGiphy
"I'm in one. Not happy about it, but love is still there so that's nice."
"Same. Maybe had it once in the last 12 years. Finally decided to go to couples/sex therapy this year. Not sure it is helping, but at least I finally brought up that I wanted to try something. My wife is my best friend and I love here with every fiber, just wish there was more intimacy there."
it never happens...
"We haven't had sex in five months due to numerous reasons. Never have alone time with my mom and daughter here. We're both too tired. Our bed we have sex on is where my mom is sleeping. Our waterbed is difficult to use. We always say next weekend and it never happens. We're still going strong though. We love each other and that's what matters."
Well I guess some people can make it work. More power to you.
We all have things which get on our nerves.
Some people have a fairly high tolerance level, and are only truly perturbed by things which are beyond the bounds of common decency, or which are universally accepted as annoying or inconvenient.
Others are not so lucky, and tend to be set off by things which might go completely unnoticed by everyone else.
Redditor Onatic420 was curious to learn the things which instantly make others want to pull their hair out and scream, leading them to ask:
"What do you find annoying as f*ck?"
Is it so hard to pick up after yourself?
"Habitual litterers."- SuvenPan
"When people don’t clean up after themselves."- cheeto_has_spoken
If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen
"People that can dish it but can’t take it."
"I work with a dude like this and it’s terrible."- MF_GhidraTea Time Reaction GIF by Kamie CrawfordGiphy
Never judge something by it's size.
"When skin tears near your fingernail and that teeny tiny wound hurts way more than it should."- BlackCaaaaat
"When mosquitoes fly by ur ears."- AxcesDrifter
Back to where we started...
"The Reddit app when it scrolls back up to the top of the 65 TRILLION FKN articles you’ve read."
"It should burn the articles as you read them."- Deathdar1577
Take some responsibility!
"A person's inability to say sorry."- rohankentsorry kristen wiig GIFGiphy
Get out of the way!
"People who leave the f*cking shopping carts in middle of the f*cking aisle!"- otherm0ther
But enough about me, what do you think of me?
"People who make it all about themselves."- ExtensionAir7Proud Drag Queen GIF by CameoGiphy
A lost cause
"Willfully ignorant people."- KingZaneTheStrange
Be it the way another person behaves or common, every day occurrences, we all have things which get on our nerves.
Most of the time it's best to grin and bear it.
But next time you see someone litter, it might be a fine opportunity to let that anger out.
For your sake, and everyone else's.
How many of us heard the old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" as a child?
Or were told by their parents that watching too much television would make your eyes fall out?
Needless to say, these, as well as other sayings and superstitions, were not 100% accurate, possibly even having no truth to them whatsoever
Rather, these were merely a way to encourage, or scare, children into better eating habits, or getting away from the TV once and a while.
Some however, have, took these and other unsubstantiated pieces of information literally, and continue to believe them to be true.
Redditor wste96 was curious to believe what other falsehoods people continue to believe, in spite of proof to the contrary, leading them to ask:
"What's the biggest lie ever told that we, as a society, still believe in?"
Justice will be served... won't it?
"What goes around comes around."
"Sometimes it doesn't."- Recent_View6254
"That people get what they deserve, or must deserve what they get."- HugeMcAwesome
It's just a phase.... or is it?
"That acne will go away after your teen years."- One_Arachnid_1256Scared Freak Out GIF by Lillee JeanGiphy
Better cut back on those TV dinners...
"Microwaves give you cancer"- Salt-Significance702
Absolutely no justification.
"That torture is an effective method of extracting information."
"Every ten years or so, some three letter agency or another is forced to admit that their torture program yielded nothing but false leads and wrecked lives."
"Then goes straight back to doing it."
"The general population shrugs and says 'if it's the only way to get intel' as if they weren't just told point blank that it doesn't work."- barnfodder
A little kindness goes a very long way
"That being nice and accommodating is a sign of weakness."- AidilAfham42Be Nice GIF by Susanne LambGiphy
"Square cut or pear shaped, these rocks don't lose their shape..."
"Diamonds are rare which us why they are expensive."
"They're very very common, their price is kept high by controlling how many enter the market by the De Beers group, which basically has a monopoly on them and hoards them."
"Synthetic/lab grown diamonds are the exact same as natural and even cheaper to make, but people are still convinced they're not as good as 'real' diamonds."- no_ps_wow
Unrealistic expectations on society
"That we need to work tirelessly and wear ourselves out in order to have a good future and stay happy."- iambigego
"Go to a great college and get a great job and have a great life."- MewsikMaker
When you just can't hold it any more...
"That there is a chemical you can put in pools that turns blue when you pee."- Sad_Cherry2884GIF by South Park Giphy
As the saying goes, you can't believe everything you read.
But for the sake of others, still best to avoid peeing in pools.