Harold Burch’s home has a spectacular view in Paonia, a rural part of Colorado’s Western Slope at the foot of Mount Lamborn. But the landscape has been little consolation to the 60-year-old as he has battled a cascade of health problems during the pandemic.
“It’s been a real rodeo,” Burch said. “It’s been a lot of ups and downs and lately it’s been mostly just downers.”
Burch has battled chronic osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and has had two major intestinal surgeries. One specialist he was seeing left her practice last year. Another wouldn’t accept his insurance. Then, Nov. 1, he started experiencing major stomach pain.
“When we talk terrible problems, I can’t leave the house,” he said. He hasn’t eaten anything substantial in three weeks, he added.
Burch had to wait that long to be seen by a primary care doctor. He said the doctor told him, “‘If things were different, I would tell you to go to the hospital and be diagnosed, have some tests run and see what’s going on with you.’ But he says, ‘As of today, Delta County hospital is clear full. There are no beds available.’”
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Source: Colorado Public Radio