Thursday, June 04, 2009

about Tennessee doctors.

The most ironically named healthcare organization in the world, Mercy Health Partners, has granted me an audience after a year of them refusing to return my phone calls and, notably, of them leaving me to writhe in agony in a pool of my own feces for five days. That, you may remember was back in September (my birthday week) and I've been in therapy for PTSD ever since. I had begun to find a sense of peace with that when they called asking me to come kiss their ring or something. But of course, it all came roaring back and now I'm back to not sleeping and major crazy time burning in effigy and calling down curses upon the Assholes and the Assholes they rode in on (aka Rural Medical Services).

It's not good for me feeling rage like this. So, I deflect with humor as much as possible. But with all things truly hilariously funny--there's an edge to it. After all, it's only funny if the baby carriage actually does fall down the stairs or if the pain patient actually gets poo on themselves in my case. Anyway. I agreed to go to the appointment and now I find myself wondering if I'll be able to get through it without erupting into a Medea-esque crazy bitch rage. Or making unending references to their soullessness, lack of medical ethics or insatiable desire to kill kittens.

Do you remember the Germans episode of Fawlty Towers? If you are too young to remember this, go find it on YouTube. In it, Germans are staying at the hotel so no one is supposed to mention The War. So Basil (John Cleese) spends the entire episode making Hitler references.

How am I supposed to get through this appointment without mentioning The War, for God's sake?


  1. kazari said...
    Build a voodoo doll of the doctors. Add as much as you can to it - then burn it.
    Then go visit a friend (maybe warn them first) and tell them EVERYTHING horrible you want to say to the doctors. ALL the snarky one liners and clever words you've been storing up since September. Everything you can possibly think of. it may take a while.
    Hopefully, you have enough of it out of your system by then, that you won't be tempted to use those words in your 'interview'...

    good luck with it.
    Galadriel said...
    I don't KNOOOOOW! "Doc, I--War--have this--War--problem that--War--has been--War-- ..."

    I suffered through insane headaches from a nasty pinched nerve last year, with doctors who kept telling me it was just migraines (I've had migraines all my life--this wasn't migraines) and stress. A primary care doc and 2 neurologists. KILLKILLMAIMSLAUGHTERKIL--um. Anyway.

    When I finally got treatment for it and realized how they'd been, basically, condescending and lying to me ("Oh, yes, we hear you, we understand...but try these anti-depressants anyway, yes, the ones you gave us notice in writing that you can't take.") I looked for a new doctor.

    I took in my summary of all the problems I've had in the last 10 years or so. This included things like broken bones and medication changes, but there's still a lot to it. The new doc glanced at this and decided I was a hypochondriac. (Insert much swearing here.)

    I went back to the pain management doc, the one who did find the pinched nerve. I asked for a referral to a doc who would be able to handle a person coming in with a lot of chronic problems, and not assume offhand that they're hypochondriac. Got a recommendation.

    Then had a bunch of people tell me that the only way to deal with a doctor is to go in and describe the symptoms as if I had no idea what the problem was, and just talk about how much it hurt or how incapacitating it was. But I had test results, X-rays, diagnoses, etc etc...and I'm no good at manipulation.

    So fortunately this NEW new doctor is really interested in why I have all these problems ("you're an internist's dream"--is that encouraging, or scary?)...because there's no way I could pretend ignorance and be that manipulative. I don't know how. Can people really do that?

    I mean, that really was the advice everyone gave me: pretend you have no idea what the problem is, and just describe the symptoms while trying to lead the doc in the right direction. (That worked really well before we got a diagnosis on the pinched nerve, didn't it? That's why I lost half a year to incapacitating pain. Yup.) The idea makes me sick--but I have personal reasons to abhor manipulation in any form.

    But hey, if the doc is as slimy as the ones you've seen so far, maybe the only way to counteract slimy is with slimy. Maybe?


    Yeah, I'd be saying "War" every other word. Sigh.
    Gary Carden said...
    I think that health agencies require their staff to take medication that induces amnesia. They never remember what they did to you or said to you, but they damn well note that you seem to have "an attitude." I seem to be spending a lot of time dealing with "authorities" who are offended by my attitude which was provoked by what they did to me in the past. I guess that is how writers get reputations for being "difficult." Take the meds and run. Go home and double your Netflex subscription.
    I've been falling down a lot lately, but I've finally realized that it ain't that bad. If I'm in the garden, the ground is cool and I can smell honeysuckle and hear birds. Eventually, I figure a way to get up. It beats sitting in that doctor's office all afternoon only to be told that I probably need an X-ray....forgetting that I have already had one. Or two.
    Jbeeky said...
    Doing okay there? I get nervous when you post about doctors and incompetence and then don't hear from you for a few days.
    Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...
    After seeing all ads on TV resisting change in the health system, for "We have the best healthcare in the world." (Makes you wonder what analysis they read)
    and having to listen to the nutty depiction of Canada's "socialist medical system", it is reassuring to know that the American Medical system fails its patients once in a while.

    For all its faults, and there are a few, Canada's univeral health care system is half the price and by most measures serves the medical needs of Canadians better than the US system it's citizens.

    I suspect you doctor's visit is a waste of time and you will rage against them and they will use that to justify their failing you. "We are fortunate to be free of that crazy woman!"

    Good luck anyway.
    Jessica Gottlieb said...
    Please come back to civilization. you don't know it, but what you really need is a team of Jewish mothers.

    We are very healing folks.

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