This time, in the series of stories about medical experiences, the story of a very young woman. Maia is 27 years old, but she still doesn’t even know exactly what her health problems are, because the queues are endless and the number of examinations to be performed is large.
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“I started having unpleasant symptoms and discomfort under the left rib cage – sometimes there was swelling in this area, other times everything became hard as a rock and pressed on the ribs. I also notice that the left rib is slightly higher than the right. Also, lately I feel a kind of pressure in my head – it’s not pain, but it feels like “stars are running past my eyes”. I have blue circles under my eyes even when I’ve slept very well at night, the feeling of fatigue is frequent,” the worried Maia outlines her feelings.
With these complaints, she turned to the family doctor, who initially sent her to ultrasonography, where she had to wait in line for 8 months to get a visit paid for by the state. It is possible to get money for the money even tomorrow, paying 90 euros. Maia doesn’t have that kind of money, so her anxiety only increases: “I openly told the doctors that this is how I can die while waiting for my turn for examinations. I can’t afford to leave for money, so I just have to wait and hope that it won’t get worse. Surrender myself to fate.”
During one of the visits to the family doctor, the young woman also asked if it would be necessary to send blood tests, maybe they would show something, to which she received the answer that there was no need.
“Already in my little experience, in contact with medicine, I have felt what it is like when one quickly sends to another, but in the end they say that I am just a simulant, because nothing bad can be detected. Therefore, I am not looking at the ultrasonography scheduled in 8 months with high hopes either – it will probably only mean that I have to sign up for yet another line of doctors.”
Unfortunately, this is not the only such story in Maia’s family. Dad was hospitalized some time ago after a microstroke. He was quickly sent home with a whole pile of referrals. The feeling of well-being was bad, it seemed dangerous to wait in the long lines, therefore the father saved money and used paid services.
“It turned out that he had several strokes, bleeding in the brain, calcification in the heart. The heart and head require operations that cost 2,000-5,000 euros. You have to wait 2 years in the queue paid by the state. I wish dad would live that long! I often hear pessimistic thoughts from him about what will come sooner – death or surgery.”
On the other hand, Maija’s aunt joined the queue several years ago because she needed a heart operation. It was canceled due to Covid-19, although it was very important for life. Unfortunately, the aunt did not wait for the operation and died.
Maya is worried: “I’m only 27 years old, it hurts me that doctors don’t save lives, because often they don’t care. We are less than 2 million inhabitants in Latvia – if even half of us gathered at the government house once, not shouting that the Saeima should be dismissed, but asking simply to take care of us, maybe then something would change?”