Friday, August 21, 2015

When Medical Protocol Over-rules Common Sense, Some Doctors Couldn't give a Damn

A month after a bi-lateral mastectomy 
I am very, very angry at the medical profession.  I have been through a lumpectomy, then a partial mastectomy, then a bi-lateral mastectomy and then more drains inserted, including the removal of a port that flipped 180 degrees and a new one inserted between the 20 July and the 17 August – all this without appropriate pain medication.
The last time I was this angry was when I took on the Department of Social Development for abusing the rights of South African children.  Although I won both Supreme Court hearings, the anger made my blood boil and I am sure that that anger was the precipitating event that led to my leukaemia.    My blood boiled until it got sick.
The pain I have endured has damaged my spirit and my soul.  I have been to hell and back again more than once and instead of me feeling like I have turned the corner and am moving towards healing on a physical level (only talking about the boob situation now), I am extremely angry with the doctors who have attended to me.   This is not because they could not help me by controlling my pain, but because they refused to help me.
Medication does not do the same thing for all people.  Morphine does not take away my pain, nor does it take me to cloud cuckoo land and it certainly does not calm me in any way.  I develop extreme anxiety, have hallucinations and get paranoid.  Morphine or a derivative of the opiate is the drug of choice for all doctors today.  I have so much morphine prescribed to me that I could start supplying the town.  I could become the new drug dealer.
The only medication that controls my pain without doing serious damage and mischief to my mind is pethidine.  It takes away the pain and I can function as a normal human being.  But the doctors say they can’t give that to me because I will become addicted.
Now honestly – do they really think I am that stupid to swallow that crap.  Morphine is addictive.  Booze is addictive and quite frankly, I don’t give a continental flying fuck about addiction at this stage of the game.   I can deal with addiction later, if that is what is going to happen.  
I am angry that I have had to go through so much pain that it has coloured my mind, consciousness and spirit in screaming red where nothing else exists.  And all this because the doctor’s protocol has taken the place of common sense?  Will I ever forgive them for allowing me to suffer when there was medication to help me get through this nightmare?   I hope so because I don’t want to carry this anger with me, but it will take some time before I trust a doctor again.  If the doctors were to have experienced even one 10th of the pain I have endured, they would have medicated themselves.   Why do doctors not LISTEN to their patients?  Why do they think they know more about the patient’s body than the patient?  The patient lives in his own body so therefore WILL know more than the doctor?  Since the Hippocratic Oath went out the window, so too did the care of most doctors.  It is now a meat market, a business, a way to make a quick buck.  Not ALL doctors, but most. 
I have been fortunate, within the last ten days, to find a kind General Practitioner, of the old-school; one who still believes in the Hippocratic Oath, who treats me with respect and who cares about me as a human being.  The difference between this old-school doctor and the ones who have been attending to me through this month of hell has been made even more obvious by his kindness.  
Medicine today is big business.  It is about making money and doing the least amount of work.  It is about not caring enough to take a chance, just in case the practice insurance premiums go up.  It is not about caring enough to even listen to the patient.  I was the unlucky recipient of a surgeon shouting at me when I told him that there was something wrong with my port, because two days previously it showed on a portogram that the port was in working order.  In two days things can change, but he did not see it like that.  He made me feel like a worthless piece of shit deserving of no consideration or respect.   Only when I asked him to show the sisters how to insert an elbow needle into the port and he was unable to do so, did he order an X-Ray.  There WAS something wrong.  The port had flipped so had to be removed and a new one put into the opposite side of my chest.    What point would there have been to say, “I told you so”?   Did he apologise?  Not a chance.  I just had to deal with more surgery.
The specialists I have dealt with from the diagnosis of Hairy Cell Leukaemia to breast cancer have, for the most part, been arrogant, did not listen to me, showed me no respect and made me feel like I was wasting their time.  It would do the world a great deal of good if the medical profession had to learn a little humility and a little compassion.  They must also realize that they too can become ill and become dependent on another doctor, and maybe that doctor won’t give a shit either.   Do unto others ….

May my anger recede as my body heals...I don’t want this anger to slow down my healing process.  
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