Saturday, May 19, 2012

Do No Harm

     I've been thinking about this post for several days.  At first I was tired, defeated even, and then I didn't want to make people mad, followed by unsure how to word what exactly I wanted to say, and my inner journey eventually dumped me firmly in the perpetual state of Pissed.

      Unless you're close to me, or have been the unfortunate victim of my Hellfire Wrath over the last month or so, you probably don't know that I've been pretty bad off.  It came to the point where I thought that I'd actually need a blood transfusion, if you catch my drift- which would have been very inconvenient since I have no idea what my blood type is.  I hate going to the doctor, even moreso when I no longer have medical insurance, but I couldn't concentrate anymore, and I forgot where I was half the time, bad way to be when you're driving two kids around with you.  Finally, I had to agree that I needed to get looked at.

     I decided that my best bet would be with the physicians who treated me when I was pregnant with Tempe since the physicians who delivered Connor already proved themselves incompetent.  Since hatching Tempe, my doctors have signed on as hospital staff physicians instead of private practice OB/Gyns.  The atmosphere was markedly more tense and hospital-like since their transition.  There were only one or two nurses on staff who I recognized, and the lab technicians had been replaced.  Since the hospital has taken over, I was required to fill out new paperwork.  I tried to be as honest as I could with the Q&A part of the form, but by the time I worked my way through ten pages of liability and consent forms, I was pretty bored and just wanted something done to fix the fountain that had become my Lady parts.

     After two hours of waiting, I was taken to a room and handed a paper gown that I probably had on all wrong.  The doctor read my file alright, enough to see that I didn't have insurance- because those were the first words out of his mouth.  The second was that it was probably post-partum depression.  I was pretty prepared for that, but it irritated me anyway.  Of course I'm depressed.  I have zero energy, I'm using gallons of clothing detergent to get the gallons of stains out, and I'm fairly certain that I could keel over at any time- but it's not post-partum related.

     He went ahead and performed my PAP because it was due and then looked at my chart.  From whatever boxes I'd checked, he decided I must have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.  That would be just fine if I was infertile and lots of other things I don't suffer from.  I was perfectly normal until last month, it's in no way chronic, but he seemed proud of himself and I'm poor so that was that.  He gave me stuff to fix me presently, but in a couple of days I'll get a lot worse before I"ll presumably be all better again.  Impressed I was not.

     This is the part that I've fretted over.  I've tried to reason it, argue it, beautify it even.  But in the end I decided to write exactly how I feel.  It doesn't matter if it's rhetorically-sound or politically correct.  This is my blog, my little corner of the universe where only my opinion matters, and if you don't agree with me then so be it.

      The 'bottom line' should never be more important than helping people.  The medical profession is supposed to be about healing.  I understand that you had to pay lots of money to obtain the specialized knowledge that you have, but poor, disenfranchised people get sick, too.  And not everyone without medical insurance is necessarily poor either.  Now, not all doctors are like this, I know enough physicians who help people when they know they have no way to repay them to not completely hate and/or discredit the whole lot.  They're not filthy rich, but they have a devoted following and respect that money cannot buy.
     Hospitals are businesses, not a mecca for the ailing- just in case you were somehow that delusional.  People with insurance often receive useless testing because Hospital Bureaucrats know that your insurance will waste lots of money for you to have them.  While people without insurance are given the bare minimum.  It doesn't even matter if the patients are millionaires with the economic ability to pay for whatever will make them better.   

     I'd go as far as to say that 98% of doctors chose their profession based on its earning potential.  I have to admire doctors who participate in programs to help impoverished peoples at home or abroad, but their spirits are quickly deflated because their programs are tragically underfunded both monetarily and medically.  Most illnesses can be prevented with inoculations and cured with antibiotics, but these things are hard to come by and expensive. 

     I'm not saying that anyone should treat me for free, but I am saying that we all have the right to equal medical treatment, regardless of income or coverage.  It's not something you can appreciate without living it or seeing it firsthand.  Saying that might make me a Socialist or whatever, but I consider myself a Humanist.  Money doesn't matter.  Money is a useless piece of paper that is supposed to be a representation of however much gold we may or may not have in a vault somewhere.  Gold is worth whatever WE say it is.  Thusly, money is worth whatever WE say it is.  Just like the Constitution says whatever Congress says it says.  We could wake up tomorrow and Gold could be absolutely worthless, or it could go through the roof and be worth Trillions of dollars an ounce.  Money is worthless!  People are not! 

     I know that my OB/Gyns are not bad doctors, probably not bad people either, but I can honestly say that this last visit was disenchanting at best.  He diagnosed me, but not because he put forth any real effort and if he has fixed me, then it was just good luck- not because he actually tried.

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