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CA Guy Fixes Health Care Problems Performs Butter Knife Hernia Surgery

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by copythat

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In The News

Fixing a lack of health care takes some ingenuity: A 63-year-old guy's recovering from a much-needed hernia surgery he started himself. Severe pain can make people do crazy things--and sometimes smart ones: A CA guy tries to fix his own hernia rupture in his stomach by playing 'surgeon' himself--with a butter knife.
The Glendale man's spouse phoned police -- to inform law enforcement her husband was 'sick and tired' of waiting on that surgery for a hernia rupture he'd already had, apparently causing him great physical pain and suffering. The hernia surgery would've been slated faster but he had no health insurance. He found a way around that health insurance problem: The wife says her husband decided to take matters into his own hands toward the end of July, using a 6-inch blade. The 'softest' of blades -- but a blade no less. Apparently he thought he was a filet mignon.
When the Glendale Police Department arrived, officers found the man stripped for surgery: The California man was reportedly naked on a lawnchair. It makes sense -- no one would want to try to clean up a couch after such a process. He kind of had a butter knife sticking out of his abdomen. Cops say the man playing surgeon-for-a-day was cooperative, and even pulled the butter knife out of his stomach upon officer request.
Glendale's Sergeant Tom Lorenz says: "As an officer, we are told that no call will be the same, and to always expect the worst — from the dumbest thing in the world to carnage." Says Lorenz: "This falls somewhere in between."
It seems Sergeant Lorenz is unfamiliar with a concept: Pain can cause people do incredible things, including altering their thinking a bit. Digging around in their own body -- or even inflicting pain, to try to stop the intensity of an ailment, no longer necessarily becomes the unthinkable. Nearly anything that could reduce severe pain levels can make sense to the suffering. Nor is inflicting an injury in order garner medical help unique -- just ask the uninsured Michigan woman who shot herself in the shoulder to get medical surgery she needed.
Unfortunately for Kathy Myers, the woman who shot herself, she didn't quite prove 'crazy' enough in those seemingly-bizarre efforts to gain medical assistance. After shooting herself in the arm with a .25-caliber handgun in the name of a shoulder surgery, the result wasn't a psych ward visit. And that meant no medical treatment for the existing ailment either. The hospital treated Myers for the new gun shot wound only -- skipping the shoulder surgery the woman said she desperately needed, and was willing to do pretty much anything necessary to get.
Unfortunately for 41-year-old Kathy Myers, severe shoulder pain turned into the lesser of her problems. After gaining an additional gun shot wound to her already ailing shoulder, Myers added legal woes to two injuries: The Berrien County Prosecutor's Office was also considering prosecuting the woman for firing a gun within city limits.
The man suffering from a hernia rupture -- who remaines unnamed by police in Glendale, CA -- ended up a bit more fortunate than Kathy Myers and her attempt at pain relief. Pain from a knife is no fun. A slice from a butter knife that's dull may be even less fun than a cut from a sharp blade. But knowing one pain is temporary can make it a bearable concept, in the minds of some, if that short-term pain can mean an end to severe and constant suffering.
It all makes the Glendale man's butter knife act far from the dumbest thing in the world. Rather, it's about the smartest thing a person in excruciating pain could've done: The man from California was immediately admitted for emergency care at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, where he got treated for both psychiatric care -- and that medical hernia surgery he needed. And that wouldn't have happened otherwise.
According to Glendale's Sergeant Lorenz: "Whether they have insurance or not is not a matter anymore [after the butter knife incident], seeing that he is [now] in the care of the [Los Angeles] county. Because of that, he will get the removal or repair of the hernia at taxpayers' expense."
No one could have phrased it better, Mr. Lorenz.


Glendale, CA
United States
34° 8' 33.0288" N, 118° 15' 18.27" W
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