Monday, February 10, 2014

Just 'Cause You're A Doctor Doesn't Mean You're Not an Idiot

Medicine doesn't always make things better. In fact, sometimes it makes things worse. I don't just mean the pills that you take, I mean the medical interventions, surgical or otherwise, that are supposed to help.. It's happened twice in the last couple months. I get frustrated with medicine because I work in it, and I would never want to make something worse for someone, but it seems like it's just not avoidable sometimes. 

Doc was supposed to have the shunt put in his brain to help him walk. It was supposed to be life-changing. It may be life-changing, but it won't be for a while. At the end of November, Doc was having chest pains, and failed to tell us until many days later. His doctor sent him to the emergency room where they admitted him and did a whole bunch of procedures that were supposed to help with the chest pain. The chest pain was never that bad according to Doc. I don't know if I believe that, but that's what he says. The procedures they did are not designed to lengthen lifespan, but just to relieve pain. He wanted to know why he should have a procedure that wouldn't lengthen his lifespan for pain that was not severe, but we all felt like it was a good idea because when he does have pain, he doesn't tell us. We went along with it even though he wasn't totally on board. He's a doctor, and doctors know that you don't have surgery just for fun. It's  has to be something you need, where the risk is less substantial then the quality-of-life improvement would be. We did it anyway. 

In the process of prepping him for the shunt, the stents that had just been put in had been completely overlooked. Shortly before he was supposed to have the procedure to put the shunt in, these brainiacs realized their mistake, and now this non-life-saving procedure that they did is inhibiting him from what could be a life-saving procedure. At least a quality-of-life saving procedure. This is frustrating. I was angry. I yelled. I yelled a lot. I asked why a lot. I'm past that point, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating.

Medicine is supposed to fix things. I work in medicine, and I've seen it do lots and lots of good for people. Today, I don't have a lot of faith because I really feel like everyone who should know better is just screwing up all the things.  I feel like we've been let down on so many different occasions by things that were supposed to be minor and not life-changing. It's frustrating. 

It's so frustrating.

As always, it's hip to be square, (and frustrated!), kids.

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