A Tale of Two Hospitals (or How Ignorance is Bliss)

Long-term readers of this blog are aware that I endured a crash on my motorcycle while commuting to work on May 31, 2016. I was rushed to the closest hospital by ambulance.

Then just this past Friday, my Spouse had a serious medical emergency, and I rushed him to the hospital closest to our home. This is a different hospital, and man, what a difference we felt by ignorance.

What? What do I mean by that? More after the jump…

The hospital to which I was transported when I had my motorcycle crash was built in my home county in 1963. It is well-established and was recently expanded and renovated to be the second largest hospital in my home state of Maryland.

However, it is a Catholic hospital. They claim that they treat everyone the same, but in my case, they didn’t. Short summary: I was treated fine until two hours after admission to the ER when my husband showed up. Almost immediately after he arrived, the way I was treated became hostile. Within 20 minutes after the Spouse arrived, I was unceremoniously dumped into a wheelchair, crying with pain, and rolled out of the ER.

This post explains the results of a settlement to a discrimination complaint with our state. The settlement was accepted in lieu of a lawsuit. My attorney told me that I could probably have won a very large award had I sued and the case went to court. I wasn’t out to bankrupt the hospital, but rather, teach it a lesson — that same-sex married couples should not be treated with such disrespect and contempt.

Contrast that with the hospital closer to our home. That hospital is actually much older, but also has gone through a rehab/remodeling recently and was bought out by a larger regional hospital conglomerate.

When I escorted the Spouse there last Friday, we were treated respectfully by all staff from reception, initial intake, and while in the emergency room by medical staff, nurses, and physicians. It was obvious that we were a same-sex couple, and from the ring on my left hand and also from information on the intake forms, it was known that we were married.

But the best thing was that no one said anything in any way or treated us differently at any time. Our same-sex marriage and relationship as a couple was blissfully ignored. What mattered is what was going on with my husband. Not anything about us as gay men. The attentive staff listened to me and spoke with me as they would speak with any spouse regardless of the sex of the spouses.

At first, saying that “ignorance is bliss” sounds negative. But it really is not. How we both were treated respectfully regardless of our sexual orientation and marriage status — was welcome. Finally — our relationship not being an issue made us happy and actually relieved anxiety.

Life is short: our marriage is the same as any other married couple. (Or, ignorance really IS bliss!)