Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Thursday, October 02, 2003  

Well. and I never. Yesterday was a first for me - and for the whole family. Daddy was scheduled to check into the hospital at 6. Nobody but I had had more than about 5 hours of sleep and I woke at 3. The hospital smelled of Clorox - to which both Mom and I are, at least hypersensitive. The wait was tedious, though not particularly long. The interview with the anesthetist and his staff was kind but tense. The doctor seemed breezy and confident with only talk of success. Finally a tiny Asian nurse - the circulating nurse, she whispered to us, with a thick accent - interviewed Daddy a final time.

“When was the last time you ate?”
“Yesterday - except for those pills”
“When did you last have an aspirin? “
A pause.
Flip flip flip of some papers
“But when did you last take aspirin?”
“Yesterday morning.”
“Excuse me”

She leaves then returns. In that faint sing-song voice she asks, “When did you last have aspirin?”
In a much more exasperated voice “I told you. Yesterday morning. I take aspirin for my heart.”

The room is tense now. She leaves. She returns. “Dr. M. will speak with you”

The doctor steps in. He’s in scrubs. He can’t perform the operation. For the first time he tries to impress us with the delicacy of the operation rather than the ease with which he will successfully perform it. What is it about surgeons? A confident manner is fine, but only now do we actually hear that he must pry apart the bits and pieces of the brain that govern speech, sight, fine motor coordination to create a window through which his instruments can slide to drill out the tumor below! Aspirin does to platelets what Clorox does to wool - it removes the felting (or clotting) properties of the cells permanently - the same way chlorine removes the scales of wool fibers. This is why it’s used for heart patients whose hearts have trouble pumping thick cloggy blood through ancient weak veins and arteries. But it takes 7 - 10 days for the body to produce new, sticky, clotting cells. Daddy should have been told not to take aspirin starting 10 days ago. The Dr.’s office claims he was told, but there is nothing in all his papers about pre-op procedures that says so.

This is the same Dr’s office that said “don’t worry about a thing. We’ll contact the heart dr. and we’ll be calling you with a date for your operation.” And then there was silence for 2 weeks. and then a hurricane. And the heart dr.’s nurse who “takes care of those patients” was out sick and the rest of the staff just ignored what was “not their problem” and the brain dr.’s office never followed up and here sits my 79 year old Dad thinking the Profesionals will take care of it and the professionals don’t give a rats ahem-part. I guess as long as they get a paycheck who cares. They certainly don’t care that my single-parent self-employed (means if she doesn’t work she doesn’t get paid - there is no leave when you’re self-employed) sister drops $$ on a week off with plane ticket from Oregon. Nor that next week, when they breezily reschedule the operation, my staff is on vacation and I’m supposed to be covering for them!

Some things suck. This is one of them. But the arrogance of the medical profession never ceases to amaze me. And the more “specialized” it is the more arrogant it seems to be. Reminds me of medieval clergy - holding all the keys to your secret fears. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate medical wizardry. I just hate how much power it has over the congregation, who sits in the dark, unable to read the sacred scripts, having to take on faith both the breezy assurances that god is in his heaven and all’s well, but it’s our fault if things got screwed up.

So. It is all to do again next week, and with far less ease and warm fuzzy comfort than it would have been this week.

I have been unable to knit a stitch on the SGV. Though I’ve sent in the entry, I doubt it will be finished in time to actually submit it. I just don’t feel knitterly inspiration right now. Well. Too bad. I’m back home again now but since I must be out of the office next week again, I’m going to work.

So this is what it's like when things go aglang aglee

posted by Bess | 6:27 AM