I get so tired sometimes of allopathic doctors, their staff, and managed care. I know it probably isn’t fair to roll them all into one hated category, and I know that I have a lot of friends who work in this field, and I don’t mean you guys at all. I mostly mean all of the people I would have to deal with to ever get to see you, and it would probably only be you if I were particularly lucky, and you probably wouldn’t have much time for me because of all of your other patients, or you’d be exhausted because you’d been up for 30 hours or something ridiculous. The system’s not fair to you, either. I hope that you’re still fresh enough to not be like this. I hope they train you how not to be like this in school. And I hope when you have a choice in the matter you hire staff who isn’t like this…
I just think… That every symptom is just that — a symptom of something bigger, more complex, probably not treatable by the recommendation of an over the counter decongestant (I’m not freaking congested — my throat hurts because my glands are swollen, and your OTC drugs will just dry up snot that isn’t even there to dry up). Also, I know that the doctors’ time is valuable, but since when do I pay you (Kaiser!) considerable amounts every month to have your appointment-maker-person give me medical advice (snotty, high-horse advice at that)? I know it sounds like a cold, but I’ve had colds, and if this is a cold, it’s the most unusual one I’ve ever had. My mouth is covered in cotton-mouth nastiness (not painful, not visible), and it’s freaking weird, and I took today off of work, not tomorrow, so that I could come in and see someone about it, only to be handed a 9:30 appointment tomorrow. You people assume too much. The people you’re blowing off are people with bodies and minds and feelings and lives. Just like you and your parents and kids. We’re not hysterical, stupid, hypochondriac freaks.
I feel shitty. And the root of it all is that my heart hurts (nothing specific, just mild malaise), I think, and my mind is idle. And I think that’s the root of so many of our physical problems, and we just want to feel better as quickly as possible, mask the somatic symptoms so we can function, neglecting our sad little hearts longer and longer. Not that the symptoms aren’t important — I’m quite anxious to get rid of these. But I know that’s not all that’s wrong. I guess that’s all I’m saying.
These Okkervil River lyrics just caught my attention: “The mind turns an itch into a bruise, and the hands start to twitch when they’re feeling ill-used.” It’s a strange and lovely song about war criminals and empathy (called “The War Criminal Rises and Speaks”). You should check it out.