Ben Leander Willgruber | Visual Designer and Writer

Trying to have my tonsils removed while trying not to lose my mind over the health care system

As you may or may not know, I have had a lot of problems with my tonsils since I’ve been diagnosed with Diabetes Type I. Over the course of one year I have had tonsilitis (angina) more than 10 times and always had to take antibiotics to get better. About six months ago I decided to have my tonsils removed and the day of the operation has finally come… Or so I thought.

Waiting for five hours is so. much. fun.

I am not oblivious, so I didn’t expect to go to the hospital (LKH Universitätsklinikum Graz) and be done in an hour for my pre-op-exams. So, I started reading Kafka’s Metamorphosis while waiting. My boyfriend was there with me, waiting patiently. One hour after my appointment was supposed to be was when I first asked when the doctor would be ready. The secretary told me to wait patiently as he would be there with me in a second. Two hours after my appointment was when I went on my first cigarette break and asked the secretary why it was called an appointment and not a recommendation of seeing a doctor, maybe.

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Five hours later I was done and left the hospital close to a mental breakdown. I started seeing the irony in mental health care professionals not acting professionally. All I wanted to do was never to enter this hospital again. However, things were now set for my final operation. Everything would be fine, I thought.

Things weren’t fine.

Four hours after I was told to be in the hospital for my operation, a nurse finally showed up, went through the procedures and told me they had a couple of emergency OPs and it might still be a while. I didn’t care as long as I would get my tonsils removed.

An hour later, I got called into the doctor’s office.

He had ‘bad and good news’ and asked which ones I’d like to hear first.

I had a feeling and told him I wanted to hear the bad ones first.

‘We can’t operate on you today.”, is what he told me and when I asked him ‘Why?’, he told me that they had too many emergencies.

‘So can’t you operate now?’, I asked. My question was unanswered. ‘So, what are the good news?’

‘The good news is that we can operate tomorrow at 9AM.’

What. the. actual fuck.

‘I specifically asked for a later appointment because it takes me a while to get ready with my OCD.’

So, he offered the 11AM appointment. The only catch: I have to stay in the hospital to keep the appointment. He told me that they might have to give my bed to another emergency if I left. Seems like they much rather book appointments that might not ever happen.

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It was then, I furiously unleashed all my anger.

I know that the doctor can’t do nothing about it (other than being honest and not trying to conceal bad & bad news as bad & good news), but I had to get off of my chest how annoyed and angry I was at the whole situation and the organisation and how I had to stay sober (aka not eat and drink anything) all day just to find out my appointment – again – wasn’t happening.

I did the only thing I could do and got the hell out of there. I have taken the risk of not having a bed. I have, however, also taken the opportunity of spending another night in my own bed, not having to share a bathroom with a couple of strangers. Even if I lose my appointment, I know I did the right thing for me.

My appointment upheld but still, I didn’t get my operation done. 

When I went to the hospital in the morning the doctors told me they couldn’t operate because I had a soar throat (figures after not drinking for hours yesterday) indicating a new infection. I went back to my regular doctor who was just as angry about how I was treated in the hospital and didn’t see a hint of an infection. ‘Just to know better than them’ he gave me an appointment at a local lab to have my blood checked to see if the hospital was right or not.

Meanwhile, I am a minute away of taking a knife and trying to remove my tonsils myself. Maybe they fix what I do when I come in as an emergency.

xoxo2

Ben

Suggested further reading:
Becoming a Cyborg by myself
The Biggest Challenges of 2018 by myself
Studie vergleich EU-Gesundheitssysteme von Der Standard (German)
Die Zukunft der Gesundheitsvorsorge von Die Presse (German)
EU-Vergleich: Oh, du krankes Österreich von Kurier (German)

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