Last week I made a video on YouTube and I didn’t think that it would be something that would be so huge. I didn’t think that it would be — you know, it was the number two video watched over the last few days on YouTube. I mean, why, I don’t know. Maybe because I was honest in a world where most people aren’t, I guess. Most people like me, I’m honest, and I shared with you a bit of the story of what happened to me. I believe if I haven’t had listened to promptings, I’d be dead today. I also learned an awful lot about compassion. I went into the hospital and — well, let me give you the story from the beginning.
Glenn Beck – YouTube Star
It was the day after Christmas. I went in for just regular surgery and I went into a place that’s not even — I mean, this used to be a two- or three-day hospital stay but because better living through pharmaceuticals, I’m sorry, better living through HMOs, we no longer put people in the hospital for this. Nothing has changed. We just don’t pay for it anymore. So congratulations on that. You get to go home right after the surgery.
So I went to this place and I’m going to name names. My doctors are Littlejohn and McClain from Stamford, Connecticut and they are the best of the best. These guys are absolutely amazing. I have the best team of doctors you can imagine. So Littlejohn and McClain, I go in and they’re performing the surgery and McClain is, you know, the guy with the knife and the anesthesiologist, he’s there and he puts me under and I’m at this place called the Tully Hall Center. The nurse, when I first walk in, the first thing I say to her after about ten minutes of talking to me, I said, can I tell you something? Already this experience is the best experience because I am so nervous about all of this stuff and you’ve made me feel so good about everything. She was just fantastic. And I had a great experience. I go in, I go under.
Now, this is where it starts to go awry. Starts to go awry after the surgery. The anesthesiologist told me later, he said, I didn’t want want to say anything but this is the worst case I’ve ever seen. He said, and I’ve never had anybody wake up on the table before. He said, as soon as I turned you off, as soon as I turned all the juice off because we were done, he said, you woke up and turned around and said, I’m in pain. He said, so I turned everything back on. It took three hours to stabilize me on pain.
This is where it went bad. I was on morphine, fentanyl which I found out later is an end-of-life drug, Toradol, percocet, and a morphine pump, some sort of — it started with an N. I don’t remember what it was but something else that they gave me with a pump every six minutes I could take it. Morphine, fentanyl, Toradol, percocet every two hours and a morphine pump. I was screwed up.
When I was in the recovery room, the nurse who was watching me, I would hear alarm bells and she would say, "Mr. Beck, breathe, Mr. Beck, just take a deep breath." I was not breathing. I was so under the influence of drugs that I kept going under and just, I’d stop breathing. And the doctor worked his — he was fantastic. He worked his brains out to try to keep me out of pain but alive. Well, that evening he wanted to put me into the hospital and the last place I wanted to go was the hospital and my wife, much to her chagrin, let me make the decision on going to the hospital and I didn’t, and I went home for about two hours. I went home and I got a blessing from a member of my church and then I got back into the car and I went back to the hospital.
This is where things went really awry because this is where I came to encounter our healthcare system as it stands today. And by the end of the story you will hear, after this story hit the Drudge Report on Friday, the head of the hospital called me and he was all freaked out. I’ll tell you where this guy just doesn’t get it but you have to wait for the end of the story. You’ll get it right away because I’m betting that you’ve had experiences just like this.
I went back to the hospital and before we left the house, the doctors said, you call me and we will call in advance to make sure they’re all ready for you. So we did. Now, I’m in massive, massive pain. I still have these patches on me, these fentanyl patches which is at the end of life when you have been on morphine for a very long time and you have cancer and you’re going to die from it, they put these fentanyl patches on you. I found out later, or I read the directions on the box that they stop your breathing. They can kill you. They’re as serious as you can possibly get. I’m still in agonizing pain. I’m still taking percocet on top of it.
I go to the hospital because I can’t take the pain anymore and I also can’t go to the bathroom. So I have to be catheterized. I get to the hospital, I walk through the front door. I shouldn’t say that. Impractically carried by my wife. She’s helping me into the front desk, the reception area. The lady barely looks at me at the front desk. Now, I’m crying. I know that’s unusual, you know, for me. I’m crying. My wife is holding me up and she says, my husband’s doctor called, they’re expecting him, he needs to have a catheter put in and he needs pain medication right away; he needs to be admitted. She said, okay, well, have a seat. And I just looked at her with tears in my eyes and I said, I don’t think I can. She said, oh, yeah, hang on just a second. So she went back, she came back and said, somebody will be with you in a second. So we waited. She went back behind the counter and she talked to the two other nurses that were standing there and they talked about the things that they were going to do that weekend and, you know, what their holidays were like, et cetera, et cetera. They were having a pleasant old time. Meanwhile my wife is holding me up still waiting for the nurse to come back. Finally I said, excuse me, ma’am, is somebody coming for us? What is the latest? She said, jeez, I’ll check, let me look, I’ll go to triage and I’ll look.
She went and she looked into a window that was about 15, 20 feet away from us. She looked into a window and said, he’s with somebody right now, he’ll be with you in a moment. Just then the door opened up and he came out, the triage nurse. And he looked at me and I’m still weeping, clearly in pain, can’t sit down. My doctor has called and I said, yes, my doctor has called. He said, just a minute. Next? He called somebody else who was sitting down. He went in. My wife said to me, "Honey, go lay down on the couch." I said, "Honey, I’ll never get back up." She said, come on. So she went, she took me over to the couch and she laid me down on the couch there.
This is where it’s a good thing that some of us don’t carry handguns all the time because this is where I about lost my mind. As I laid down on the couch, few minutes go by. The triage nurse then comes in and he says, okay, Mr. Beck. Now, I’m trying to get up off of this couch. My wife, who weighs half of what I weigh, is trying to help me up. This guy, this triage nurse, is 250, 300 pounds, big guy. Not only does he not go to help my wife help me up, he actually had the audacity to stand there and drum his fingers against the door and look at us like, come on, come on, come on. He never made eye contact with me during the whole time. He had his back to me most of the time. I went in, he gave the triage and he walked me back to the back. I’m sorry. He didn’t walk me back. My wife practically carried me to the back. He kept looking at us. He got way ahead of us. He kept looking at us like, come on, keep up.
Finally a nurse who is about half my size, a guy, he turned around and he saw us come into the emergency room and he said, oh, my gosh, do you need help? He was the first guy, after about 40 minutes of somebody saying, do you need help. Don’t talk to me about healthcare. Don’t talk to me about HMOs. Don’t talk to me about anything else. Don’t talk to me about how you need a new CAT scan. Don’t talk to me about how you need a new facility. Talk to me about how you could have a hospital full of people that don’t see people in pain. When he said to me, "Do you need help," I immediately broke out again in gratitude for that guy not because I was in pain but for the compassion that he showed not to me but to my wife. My wife was suffering just as much as I was. My wife was trying to put on a brave face, was trying to help her husband walk, and he was the only guy that caught it.
We sat in that ER with no pain medication, after my doctor called, with no pain medication and my bladder fully extended. Your bladder usually holds about 400ccs. My bladder, when they finally emptied it, was 1500. It was so stretched out they had to keep me on a catheter for days to be able to bring it back into line. Took almost two hours before I got any help. Then when I went up and I was checked in, I insisted that my wife go home. They checked me in. It was about 4:00 in the morning now. I said to the nurse, I said, I’m having problems breathing. You’ve got to help me with the breathing. My anesthesiologist said that you need to monitor me. She looked at me and said, you look like you’re breathing fine to me. Handed me a pillow and wished me good night. Wasn’t until the next morning, I tried to stay awake as much as I could. My doctor came in and said, you haven’t used the morphine pump at all. Are you feeling better? I said no; I’m afraid I’m going to die.
It wasn’t until there was a nurse change before the doctor came in. She went on her own. She went and she got oxygen to put oxygen on my face. She monitored, on her own while the other nurse hadn’t. Every time I closed my eyes, I was afraid I wasn’t going to open my eyes up again.
Later that turned into something much more dark. I was in the hospital for five days. They had me on this medication for five days. I got into the hospital after coming off of a huge tour, the most successful tour we’ve ever done, most spiritually uplifting tour we’ve done. We just finished, we’re what, our book has been number one or number two on the New York Times list now for six weeks? Bigger success than we could possibly imagine. Television is a huge success, radio is a huge success. I went into the hospital on a Thursday, feeling pretty good. By Saturday night I was ready to kill myself. And not from pain but because I was absolutely void of all hope. There was no hope. Darkness surrounded me like it had never surrounded me before, from things that I swear to you are right out of the movie Saw. The things I saw in my mind’s eye over those few days and how it miraculously turned around coming up in just a second.