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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The Mandela effect is when multiple people share the same, incorrect memory.
Its name stems from when paranormal researcher Fiona Broome falsely believed that the future president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, died in prison in the 1980s.
A false memory she shared with a number of others.
Our memories have been known to deceive us, as we might frequently forget someone's name or one of our numerous online passwords.
But when we share a memory that turns out to be false with many others, convincing ourselves it wasn't the truth can be a very difficult ordeal indeed.
Redditor Mysterious_Boat_1701 was curious to hear people's most unsettling experiences with the Mandela Effect, leading them to ask:
"Which Mandela effect freaks you out the most and why?"
A mysterious gym
"Just had one personally."
"Went to a mall where there was supposedly a gym, asked around and nobody that worked at the mall knew what I was talking about."
"Looked around and couldn't find it."
"Come back a few months later and it’s right there in front of my face, you'd have to be strung out to not notice it."
"idk how or when it just appeared but it freaked me out."- prex320278
A "fruit"ful logo.
"That the fruit of the loom logo never had a cornucopia."
"What’s crazy about that one is that someone emailed the creator of the logo about it and he said even he remembers it having one."- mrcock2·
Less well intentioned than they thought.
"I Mandela effected my whole family once."
"Years ago there was a football player on a rival team that always did a dumb celebration after he got a sack and my family and I always hated it."
"One night after he did it my family started trashing the celebration and I said as a joke 'we are all going to feel terrible when we find out he is doing that celebration as a request from a make-a-wish kid'."
"Fast forward to years later and our team is playing that team again."
"The player got a sack and did the celebration."
"I rolled my eyes and said 'I hate that celebration so much' my mom instantly turned and said 'don't say that, he is doing it for a sick kid'."
"'I actually like it."
"So I was like 'what?'"
"'No there is no sick kid', my whole family then proceeded to argue with me'."
"They all vividly remembered reading articles about it, seeing special report segments before games about it, and other information."
"Some of them even thought they knew the disease the kid had and even extra details about why the kid chose that specific celebration."
"They all had these shared memories that they were sure were true."
"I was floored by all this and insisted none of that was true."
"So we looked it up.'
'No kid like that ever existed.'
"They still have trouble wrapping their heads around this one."
"Turned out human memory is not near as reliable as we think"
"It was American Football and the player was Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings and his cattle roping sack celebration."
"This was maybe 10 years ago."- AUSpartan37College Football Win GIF by Michigan State FootballGiphy
His eyesight was better than we thought.
"Mr. Monopoly's monocle."- Additional_Day9903
It's not easy being green.
"I have a personal one that to this day a decade later still destroys my mind."
"I had an old(ish) 2001 dodge neon."
"With BLACK SEATS.'
"I drove this car for years and years, like 80,000 miles.'
'All through college."
"I took work breaks in my car, commuted hours every day total, to college and then the opposite direction to work and back."
"I even lived out of this thing on several occasions.'
'The day I go and trade it in, I'm pulling misc things out of the car at the dealer."
'And the seats are GREEN."
"Not even a little."
'Like very unmistakably GREEN."
"In my black Neon, with black interior, that ALWAYS HAD BLACK SEATS."
"My girlfriend then, wife now, goes oh they've always been green."
"EXCEPT THEY F*CKING WEREN'T DON'T LIE TO ME."
"This is still upsetting to this day..... life is a lie and nothing is real."- ZakuLegionWinona Ryder Omg GIFGiphy
An urban legend was born.
"Not a global one, just a family thing."
"Back in 2002 my grandma had her 60th birthday, my father took us home at 10.00pm, ready for bed."
"We, me and brother, were 12 and 14 at this time."
'All went well."
"Over the years, a story was made up that we went missing after visiting the local playground after dinner at said grandma's birthday party."
"Some neighbors help to search us, the whole train of 'missing children in a smal village'-thing."
"Fun fact: we never went missing."
"Dad brought us home, put on 'Toy Story' on tv and left."
"My brother and I heard first about this in 2015.'
"From different people on different occasions."
"'Ah your one of the missing boys'."
"I first thought they were mocking me for a different event.'
"I got lost, but it was 2013, alcohol inflicted, different story."
"But then they ALL tell us the same story about us going missing."
'And the stories are damn close to 'true' in every story my mum is driving around the same neighbors to different locations to search, old wine yard, old mill etc."
"Sometimes I think I got lost on the most brutal way."
"I was lost and changed this plane of existence with another one."
"It sometimes made me think about my whole life."- tjorben123missing kenny mccormick GIF by South Park Giphy
Memories are a fascinating thing.
They can be changed or altered with even the tiniest suggestion.
And making the truth seem less believable than lies.
One last time. One last meal.
How do you chose a last meal?
Let's hope we never have to find out.
People on death row get that option.
Do they deserve it?
Whose to say?
But they have it.
A steak. A pizza... Burger King.
The food world is their oyster.
Oyster. Also an option.
The menu is endless...
Redditor No-Caterpillar4212 wanted to know what our menu choices would be if we faced the end. They asked:
"You're on a death row, you have one hour left, they ask for your final meal - what is it?"
I'd want 2 hours in a Golden Coral with a bar. Covers it all.
Masailor moon cooking GIFGiphy
"Everything my mom has ever made."
"I want a nice filet mignon, medium rare, a baked potato with everything on it, and a nice Cabernet from a good year - I'm thinking 2135."
"'Sorry, we couldn't get the Cabernet from 2135. So instead of what could have been a great wine request from a more plausible period of time, you get this crappy stuff we sourced from Wal-Mart. Enjoy your meal, I hope that maintaining your sense of humor was worth it."'
"Something badly cooked so I will be sick and want to die sooner and have diarrhea so bad it will be a last revenge!"
"Taco bell it is!"
"If Taco Bell makes you poop a lot, it's a sign that you probably need more fiber in your diet."
The Yuck Factor
"A huge bowl of baked beans, a bowl of shredded wheat, a six egg omelette, and a gallon of apple cider. I'm gonna make it awful for everyone."
"Save yourself the hassle of eating all that, just ask for one pack of sugar free Haribo gummy bears. Should make for an interesting time for the folks watching you die."
"You void your bowels when you die too so that should be lovely."
PerfectFried Chicken Scandal GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy
"Fried chicken with some Fanta."
Fried chicken is on the top of everyone's list!
DetailsInterested GIF by Nick CannonGiphy
"150mg of MDMA. I’m dying happy."
"This should absolutely be allowed. If our leaders insist on the practice of capital punishment then the condemned should be able to ingest any substance they damn please."
"McFlurry. Those machine are always broken. I just bought myself some time."
"Is this like an American thing? I worked at a McDonald's in Denmark once and our machine was never once broken when i was there."
"I saw a video about this once. I'm a little fuzzy on the details but I think it has something to do with the contract that was signed in America. Only one company is allowed to do maintenance on the machines and they basically lock out if it's cleaned incorrectly. It's a crap system."
"Cabbage!! Add some cabbage. I don’t know if an hour if enough to take effect but there was an old coworker on a cabbage diet. Omg she smelled, like it was coming out of her pores. She knew she smelled and kept apologizing and reminding us of the diet."
The OG Always
"Olive Garden. Unlimited soup and breadsticks."
"I saw a sketch once, can't remember who it 2qs from. But a an inmate ordered the all you can eat buffet and had been eating for like 8 years. He's constantly on the toilet and takes micro-naps between bites."
"Unlimited for 1 hour. Cool."
How GoldenGolden Girls Dorothy GIF by HULUGiphy
"If my grandma is still alive her potato soup and cheesecake. Hopefully I'd be able to cook said meal with her one last time."
Let's hope none of us has to make this decision.
Most people have friends they've been close to for most of their lives.
But at the same time, friends evolve, and everyone finds themselves losing touch with any number of people they at one point considered their friends over time.
Most of the time, this isn't intentional, but just simply happens.
On rare occasions though, people might realize that their friends were not exactly who they thought they were, and didn't like who they revealed themselves to be.
Redditor One-Refrigerator69 was curious to hear stories of people who realized their friends were not exactly the nicest people to be around, leading them to ask:
"When was the moment you realized that your friends are assholes?"
Compared to others...
"When I started hanging out with better people."- Darklink326
All it took was getting my life together
"When I quit drinking ‘cos it was killing me."
"There were people I literally saw every single day who just disappeared as if by magic."
"12 years ago this week, as it happens."
"I’m not anti-drink, far from it."
"Some people, me included, just can’t enjoy it without it becoming a problem."
"Everyone is different."- bigdaftgeordie
A little perspective goes a long way.
"After I realized that other people don't sh*t on each other on every possible occasion in their circle."
"And that it isn't right when a 'friend' uses every known insecurity as an argument against you when you do not behave the way he/she would want you to."- ViscousPlatemanThe Simpsons GIF by MOODMANGiphy
Lack of respect for other people's things
"I let my friend borrow my ps2 when I went to boot camp."
"When I came back, he said he sold it and gave me $50 I think?"
"This was in 2006."- madmike-86
Lack of mutual respect
"When he does sh*t to me and acts like it’s no big deal, then I do the same back and he gets offended."- Primary-Maybe-2749·
Constantly being taken advantage of.
"They only bothered with me when it suited them."
"I'd rather have nobody than have to deal with that."- zombi33mjhappy eric cartman GIF by South Park Giphy
When they literally revealed themselves to be criminals
"When they robbed me at gunpoint."- Ok_Student8032
When they stopped liking them after a change of situation
"Fourth grade, when my parents economical situation went downhill and suddenly no one invited me to their birthday party."
"Until Seven years later no one had never invited me to their birthday, or to anything at all actually."- Justalittletoserious
Not being able to get a word in...
"When they tell me to shut up when I say anything."- the_golden_cheesela respuesta GIF by Becky GGiphy
Violently playing with emotions
"She got a boyfriend and would let him listen to our phone calls and not tell me, even if I was crying about personal stuff that I would only ever tell her."
"Then they both started lying to me about my crush liking me back, forcing both him and me into awkward positions, telling everyone we liked each other so they'd play along, swapping places constantly to make us sit next to each other, pressuring him into giving me a lap dance, making him kiss the prettiest girl in the room, etc, and encouraged me to shoot my shot more and more."
"All the while they knew he didn't like me, he had told them both directly."
"One night I was crying on the phone cause I was so confused why my advances weren't working, and they just kept explaining it away, blaming some other bullsh*t reason and telling me to try again."
"The next day they told me they were laughing throughout the whole call, because I didn't get it and I was so upset."
"I should add I had no dating experience at all and nobody had ever liked me at this point."- Juliemj
It's always sad when our friends disappoint us.
But when our friends proved to be completely different people than we thought they were, it can be devastating.
As the saying goes, one never truly knows who their friends are.
When visiting any foreign country, one should always be familiar with the laws and customs of the land.
After all, what might be generally accepted on your home turf, might be frowned upon, if not illegal, elsewhere.
For that matter, even locals might need a refresher course on what they can and can't do while at home.
A recent Redditor was curious to hear what tourists and locals alike should avoid doing in the USA, leading them to ask:
"In the United States, what should you never do?"
Stay out of the skies!
"Don't fly a drone in Washington, DC."
"The whole D.C. Area is a no fly zone."
"It's a federal offense."
"Just don't do it."- PeytonCarrK
Cops can't be bribed.
"Don't try to bribe cops when you get pulled over."
"I had some Argentinian friends immediately pull out their wallets and start pooling their cash when they got pulled over once.'
"Fortunately someone in the car noticed and told them to put it away immediately."- PeytonCarrK
"Don't pay off the police."
"My dad has friends from several third-world nations where it is common practice to give the police some cash when you are pulled over."
"However, if you try to bribe a police officer here, you'll get into a lot of trouble."- JohnASmiley
Know your rights.
"Everyone, including foreigners, has the right to be silent and have a lawyer when being questioned."
"Don’t say anything."
"Also, even if you speak English fairly well, ask for an interpreter."- WickedLilThing
Enjoy all that nature has to offer... carefully!
"Don't wander off in the national parks."
"It's very real wilderness and you can get lost and die out there."
"This includes going over railings you aren't supposed to, or off trails."
"People have died accidentally falling into a steam geyser that looked like normal water, mauled by animals or left to the elements."- AlphaOhmeganational parks GIF by Visit The USAGiphy
Allow plenty of time!
"Expect consistency at TSA in airports."- WickedLilThing
Some terminology doesn't translate...
"If you’re from England, they’re called cigarettes here."- Yung_Onions
Make sure your license is up to date.
"If you come from a walkable country don’t come here expecting the same."
"There are some areas with good public transportation and bicycle/pedestrian friendly streets but for the most part, especially outside of cities, the areas are designed to accommodate cars more than anything else."
"The reason a lot of Americans drive everywhere is because, depending on where you live, we have no choice."- The_Cars93Dog Driving GIFGiphy
Wait for instructions.
"Get out of your car and approach the cop when being stopped by a cop unless told to."- hildrash
Whether your'e waling down a street in a foreign country, or the street you've lived on for your entire life, it's always wise to be on guard and aware of your surroundings.
Not to mention, obey the law.