Mar. 31st, 2013

tearonthefire: (Taarna)
I realize I haven't written in a few weeks, nor have I said one word regarding a recent cardiac episode but a response today from a friend of a friend is prompting me to speak out. I say 'speak out' deliberately and not 'speak of' because of the utter pretension present in all the levels of the conversation I had with this person.

First off, let me give a very brief description of, 'the cardiac event'. I began to feel a strange sensation in my chest that others would call 'skipping a beat' but these skips were occurring more than once a minute. I'd never felt something like that before, pause, and was concerned, pause, so I went to my local hospital. Please note the inserted drama as it punctuates the fact that I never go to the hospital for anything, unless I think it might lead to significant long term pain. Now I'd like you to also note that this moment, the moment of not knowing what was going on and not knowing what to do about it, was about the most optimistic moment of the entire experience. Everything else just highlighted the failures in the medical establishment.

You might be curious at this point as to what the whole story was, well you're going to be disappointed and you're going to have to wait until I finish writing about the experience, which may not be over as I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to file an ethics complaint. I will spoil part of the upcoming article by telling you that it involves my asking to be treated as an out patient and while not exactly being denied such action, I did state my wishes more than seven times. I asked for a DNR, which under the circumstances would have never needed to be observed, and again while I was never denied, the paperwork was also never presented. I asked for an asthma treated and the previous two circumstances were repeated. I asked to speak to a doctor, again repeat. And so on. Ending in me leaving the hospital.

Back to my rant at hand. I have shamelessly used the situation and my unknown condition to make several Andy Kaufman-esque type jokes, ie their only really funny to me. The best example I could give would be, 'why would you say/do that with a heart penitent around'. See, pure hilarity. It's kinda tied into the whole notion that people, average people, don't really want to be reminded of other's conditions or limitations, as that would mean they might offend them or need to treat them with special consideration. At heart everyone wishes to see everyone else as a kind of reflection of themselves and to be confronted with something non-normative is, uncomfortable.

Perhaps this is why the friend of a friend said that they had no sympathy for me because I wasn't taking care of myself. Well first of all this statement is full of moronacy, a combination of moron and lunacy. If I had not left the hospital on my own volition and was treated, released and followed-up on but still needed long term medical intervention for my health, how would that have affected the situation. Would they then have sympathy for startling me with their hand slap to the table and would they then feel bad if I want into a cardiac infarction because of it. More importantly would they have not felt bad, given everything that did happen and I had gone into arrest because of their hand slap.

Doesn't that stop your mind dead for a minute, as you contemplate everyone that has ever said that they have no sympathy for something that is happening to you because of something you have done. Doesn’t that make you think, 'what if it was a whole lot worse, would they still have no sympathy. What if I died?' Well it shouldn't stop your mind dead, these people are self righteous brats and if you have ever said it to someone, maybe you should think of why you would say such a thing. I myself have no idea why this person would think I deserve my condition or am undeserving of sympathy just because I would not play an instituted game with a hospital or hospital staff.

And it is a game but I will also admit they do genuinely wish to help and/or cure people. It's just that we as a society aren't very good at it. Let me throw some statistics at you. The National Patient Safety Foundation did a survey in 1997 to obtain a patient's opinion, whatever the reason, as to whether or not a 'misdiagnosis or treatment error' occurred. Forty-two percent reported that some error occurred without giving much detail. You might just chalk that up to them 'feeling' some error occurred but if nearly half are reporting just feeling 'something' was wrong then there is still a systemic problem. Furthermore eight percent gave details of whatever error they felt had occurred. Another troubling statistic as reported by the New York Times, I will admit however that I could not find the original study stating this; autopsies performed on fatally ill patients show that around twenty percent of them have been misdiagnosed and mistreated. One more statistic and this one is slightly chilling; in a study done by Steven J Rothrock, MD published in 2000, it sighted an error rate in over diagnosing appendicitises in child of less than twelve of between twenty-eight and fifty-seven percent peeking at nearly one-hundred percent for children under two. This basically means that three to six out of ten children under twelve and nearly all children under two are needlessly being cut open and having a part of themselves removed, for no good reason.

So what does all this fact spitting really mean? Well it means that this friend of a friend's 'faith', I use the word faith in quotations deliberately, is unfounded. I could sit here and just copy and past study after study showing the shortcomings of modern medicine. I could also sit here and regale you, albeit boring, with my endless misadventures regarding the medical community. But again it still has no bearing on this person's reaction or statement. Why would I be less worthy of sympathy and by extension consideration, because it seems difficult or impossible to give one consideration without sympathy, just because I chose to take the statistic of 'probably nothing serious will happen' over the 'let's be safe' attitude.

It might simply come down to faith in the system. And I will admit that I might be misanalysing this person but for the purposes of this article I'll just assume I'm right. The idea that I might have my own judgement on my current state of health and that my judgement might be better formed then that of a doctor's, or worse supersede that doctor's, is absurdly foreign to this person. Faith in modern medicine and in the skilla, if not infallibility, of modernly educated doctors has become a sudo-religion in itself. The idea that no one can help you or that you may be better equipped to help yourself, goes against the modern zeitgeist of medicine. Just look at Dr Oz, everything he says, include that raw coffee beans will make you loose weight without doing anything, is believed just because he is a doctor and he is a real doctor, unfortunately.

Also unfortunately, it is impossible to budge these people from their faith. Even if their doctor makes a mistake and even if that mistake is serious, they are forgiven. The statement, 'their only human', should and dose realistically apply before that mistake is made and it is up to the individual to be vigilant and not blindly hand over their bodies to another human without know what's going on. Doctor's are not sudo-gods, they are not even better read then most of their patients on the chronic conditions they have. And worse they might have biases about those conditions, even going so far as to refuse that they are in-fact real medical conditions.

So am I worthy of sympathy, even after everything I've stated. No I'm not, at least not in this person's 'belief' and they are completely entitled to that 'belief'. But it's also a completely unsubstantiated and indefensible 'belief' and as such completely without worth. Just believing in something doesn't give one entitlement to the gold metal of conciseness, it doesn't even give you entitlement to the spirit award of conciseness. A person such as this is simply a spectator, sitting in a complementary seat of the arena of life. Their only contribution, to jeering and cheering the competitors.

God damn! GOD DAMN! Sometimes I say things completely beyond my own mettle. I need a victory cupcake now.

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tearonthefire

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