Studies in Crap: The Healthcare Edition

6 Apr

If the last couple of months have been hard, then these last three weeks have been the hardest of my entire, short existence on this planet. Now, don’t get this confused with some poorly executed plea for help or a last-ditch effort to gain support or empathy. Truthfully, what’s going on in my teeny tiny excuse for a thing I call a brain can only be described as dark at best. The things I take for granted, the things that stabilize the chemically imbalanced mind that I used to call my own, have slowly exited the playing field. My optimism has been depleted. My humor has been lost.  My basic creature comforts have ultimately been replaced with a never-ending carousel of physicians, needles, procedures, intravenous drugs, and a myriad of prescription pills. The endless stares of pity from friends, family, and colleagues alike sting like that first cigarette. You know they mean well, but that doesn’t deaden the impact of seeing their facial expressions as they eyeball your every move from your Craftmatic adjustable hospital bed. Up until now, I was always the first one to utter the too often spoken expressions of “Life isn’t fair” or “Life is a bitch”. Those meaningless quips were dealt out ever too often as a way to deal with the unpredictable and ugly cruelty we all deal with on a daily basis. Little did I know, I was setting myself up to eventually devour each and every single one of those once innocent words. Now, those silly tables have definitely turned. Having worked in medicine for the greater part of thirteen years, I have seen and heard every possible horror story. I have witnessed the worst of outcomes. I have been the one at the opposite side of the hospital bed handing out those absent-minded words of so-called encouragement. Currently, my faith in the profession that has provided me with a way to take care of myself and family has dwindled to the level of non-existence. Being bounced from physician to physician only to see them smile with a lost look on their face,  shrug their lab coat encrusted shoulders, and without hesitation, whip out their prescription pads has made me sickeningly aware of the gross fact that I am, indeed, just a number. Gone are the times when I was an actual patient. Gone are the times when it was okay to address me by my first name. I am now “Room 211, Bed #2”. TJ Johnson has now been transitioned to just a random account number. I used to be blind to the reports I would read in the newspaper. I would be the first one to argue about just how good we Americans have it. Today, I am not that sure anymore. For the sake of argument, I am completely stereotyping here. I know there are really good physicians out there. I have watched them with my own two eyes. I have worked side by side with some the of the brightest, skilled, and wildly talented doctors that money can buy. The problem is, these great ones that I speak about, will wholeheartedly agree with me. We all know it’s broken. I just never thought that I would ever be in the position that the system wouldn’t actually work for me. I am an insider, remember? Hell, what do I know? What’s that nurse? Sorry, I have to go. It’s time for my medication. Don’t let me fool you, it’s probably just the pills talking anyway.

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9 Responses to “Studies in Crap: The Healthcare Edition”

  1. Tiffany April 6, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    Amazing writing, through pain brings brilliance. Or through pain meds bring brilliance? Whichever, chin up marine.

    • studioeightonesix April 6, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

      Haha! Yes, I think pain meds breed brilliance.

  2. Trace April 6, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    I’m sorry Teej, no one absolutely no one should have to go through all this shit. I feel helpless as do most of your loved ones, it is hard watching you hurt and suffer… I wish I could take it all away. I’m glad, you do have a wonderful support (family and friends) that will rally for you.. all I can say, is I’m here if you need me… a long with 3459840594 other people :) Keep your chin up.. You and Paige are strong..

  3. Suzanne April 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    Pain and darkness… but a computer to blog, right? cause I love your writing.

    • studioeightonesix April 8, 2010 at 7:43 am #

      Irony is a lovely thing, huh? In all actuality, it took me about a week to get up enough strength (both mentally and physically) to actually write this. Cry me a river, right?

      • Suzanne April 8, 2010 at 10:45 am #

        Not at all! I remember when I first started blogging, I was in desperate need of an outlet then and I didn’t tell anyone I had it for 4 months. I have never been through what you are going through, but support even from strangers (like myself) can help you climb back out of the darkness.

      • studioeightonesix April 8, 2010 at 10:54 am #

        Very true! Thank you so much for the support! I love to write, so I am glad there is someone out there other than my close friends and family that actually read this. :)

  4. Angela April 8, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    I am so sorry for all that you are going through. I hope things get figured out very soon!

    • studioeightonesix April 8, 2010 at 9:56 am #

      Thanks, Angela! I appreciate the support.

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