Some of our customers have been asking where I have been. I am out making deliveries each Saturday after setting up our crew in two locations. Jimmie, my hubby, used to do the deliveries but he has been very ill. Until two weeks ago we had no idea just how ill he was.
Two weeks ago he began to pass lots of blood. He was being treated for a urinary infection. He began having heart symptoms and refused an ambulance. I rushed him to the hospital and our lovely girls took off to the market praying for us.
After 5 transfusions and a diagnosis of urinary cancer he has come home to die (there never was an infection). This is our story.
Jimmie has had symptoms for many months. Due, I believe to his age, the medical system failed him. They threw medicines at his symptoms but never ran any tests to see what the underlying problem was. Several doctors actually patted him on the back and told him,”You are doing good for your age.” Now we know that simply wasn’t good enough.
Add to that the fact that medicine is compartamentalized into specialties and that compounds the problem. He has seen so many “ologists” that his care is segmented and no ONE doctor knows what the others are really doing. A quick glance at a file on your way into the exam room doesn’t complete the picture of an entire human being. Medicine has lost it’s humanity. “Do no harm” nearly means do nothing.
So, this week we were back on the “ologist” tour–visiting the many new doctors that will see him on his journey toward death. We began with the “PCP” or primary care doctor. Insurance requires that you see this person every time a decision is to be made about how to treat your problem/ailment. Here we found out that the awesome doctor we had in the hospital could not follow up with JImmie since he isn’t on his insurance plan. So much for continuity again.
After the PA (couldn’t get an appointment with a real doctor that day) reviewed the gravity of the hospital stay with us and the diagnosis of cancer and staging he asked if we had any quetions. We inquired about specialists to follow up with possible treatments and the testing that Dr. Benson (from the hospital) had told us should be done. The PA stated that he would have the office staff begin the referral process. We reminded the PA that on more than one occasion his staff had taken over 30 days to make arrangements with the insurance company and get back to us. In light of the aggressive nature of the cancer and the advanced staging of said cancer that would not be acceptable. He assured us that he would make STAT orders.
Then we asked him our second question. Jimmie hadn’t slept in over a week due to pain and discomfort except for the nights the hospital had given him morphine. We asked for additional pain meds or for sleeping pills. I expressed my opinion that people can not heal or fight disease if they are not well rested. I informed the PA that Jimmie slept only in 15-30 minute increments and moaned even during that time.
The PA informed us that he “didn’t believe in sleeping pills because they are addictive and make you behave like you are drunk.” After dicussing that Jimmie is facing a quick and painful death I struggled to keep civil with this PA. I told him that addiction at this point in Jimmie’s life was the lesser of evils. I asked him if I should go buy some alcohol and have him drink copious amounts instead if being “drunk” was an issue (I was playing devil’s advocate). He prescribed the sleeping pills and reminded us to follow up with a pain specialist.
Then he got his stethescope and began to listen to Jimmie’s heart. He saw the psoriasis on Jimmie’s arm and told him that this bothered him and Jimmie should see a dermatoligist soon because it might be skin cancer. Really? The man has less than a year to live and you want him to spend part of his precious time at the dermatologist? Jimmie informed the PA that he would buy wart freezing products and spray himself before he would go back to the “quack” dermagoligist he had been sent to last time.
Finally, he handed us the referral paperwork and prescription for sleeping pills and a blood test order for–cholesterol. Jimmie just had that in May. How important is a cholesterol check up in the bigger picture here? We didn’t ask him anything else. It is impossible to reason with an idiot.