Wednesday, October 17, 2012

This is Why I Hate Doctors

If hope is a thing with feathers, despair is a thing with teeth. I was gazing at the fall finery one afternoon, when despair got a grip on me.

I am never going to get better. I had actually realized this before, though I'm not sure where. It might have been in the ER during the five hour wait to be seen, or in the small, dark hospital room with the neurology resident.

In any case, surely it is true.

My sister is the best gift giver in the family, partly out of excellent instincts and partly out of wealth, working as an investigator for the federal government. Again, she asked me what sort of gifts I would like for Christmas. And again, I ended up with things like duvet covers, a new alarm clock, luxe pajamas. My life has become so narrow, lopped off and cauterized a dozen times till only a stump remains. Somewhere behind me is the bulk of my life.

Now I'm pretty sure my neck has become unstable, as a result of muscle wasting from my untreated GI issues. I've had a headache for three weeks and episodes of leg weakness so profound I can't stand up. I've also had choking spells where it feels like my windpipe is closing.

What frightens me most is that the sicker I get, the more my doctors edge away from me. None of them seem to feel any sort of "commitment." When my legs were so weak I couldn't walk without falling I went to the ER. They didn't want to admit me because the neurology resident said it was "just your joints." My father had to argue with them that he couldn't take care of me.

Once in, the MRI of my head and neck were okay, so they discharged me with a prescription for muscle relaxants without even waiting to see if they would help. It's not legal to discharge someone who can't take care of themselves properly, so first they gave me a walker.

All the while, they kept implying that there was nothing really wrong with me, asking questions like, "Do you have any hobbies?" and "Why aren't you working?" One resident asked me, "Why don't you want to go home? Are you being abused at home?"

"I can't walk!" I exploded. I must have fallen six times in the hospital, because the doctors were never fast enough to catch me when they asked me to walk for them. I still have the bruise on my hip.

It got so tiring having to stand up for myself in the face of such behavior. Everything was getting to me: the lack of pain management (ice packs and tylenol) the ignorance of EDS and the refusal to take instruction, and worst of all, the attitude of crushing indifference.

Rather than a patient, I felt more like a fly that refused to land so it could be swatted.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Go vegan. I'm telling you go vegan.