One of the most unpleasant things about my stints at in-patient rehab places was knowing that I was highly unlikely to get any actual medical care should I wind up needing it.  Actually, I thought that under any other circumstances I would certainly see a doctor to find out whether the abdominal aches were symptomatic of liver or some other organ damage, and why my feet now felt sort of numb all the time.  But I dared not say a word, lest I incur the wrath of the vindictive, embittered sober miracles on staff at such places, who seemed to be salivating for me to accrue enough write-ups such that I could be “excused” (e.g., kicked out) or the program.

I spent 10 days in a “detox facility”, which was a rented 3-bedroom house in residential tract in one of the more run-down suburbs around here, staffed by a couple of tweakers who had glommed onto sustenance jobs in “the industry”.  My first night there, I started to have withdrawal seizures, to which staff and other residents reacted with equal parts annoyance and bewilderment.  Finally, someone called 911, much as someone might have had they found me unconscious in the bathroom at a house party.  An ambulance came and got me and took me to a hospital about 10 minutes away, where I stayed overnight.  In the morning a staffer from the detox place came and picked me up and brought me back to the facility.

A couple months later, I received a bill for around $3000 for the ambulance ride and the hospital stay.

Interestingly, about a week after the trip to the hospital, when such time was approaching that I would transfer from the detox place to another in-patient place, I was taken to some county-run clinic where I was given a test for tuberculosis.  However, I got the sense that this was part of the established routine there, and not looked upon as an inconvenience or aberration.

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