Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Our Lady of the Damned

In a recent comment Jeanne wrote:

"I am really disturbed by the descriptions you give of your care at Our Lady of the Damned. One oncologist? He never sees patients? You see a different resident every time you go in? I would be insane.

I know that it's all about the money, but I'm really concerned for you. Have you considered moving? Is there anything I can do to help? I don't make that offer lightly, please let me know. You deserve the attention of the best doctors you can find, whether you can afford to pay them or not."

Jeanne, you're right: I do deserve the attention of the best doctors. I deserve much better medical care than what I'm receiving. But so do the 45,999,999 other uninsured Americans. And the underinsured, the medically indigent, the people whose insurance has maxed out, the people with no transportation or ability to get to a decent medical center or for that matter to any medical center. Not to mention people in other parts of the world where there is no medical care at all, much less optimal care. But in a profit driven market there's not enough of that attention to go around.

I'm just a minor bit player in a much larger tragedy, already guilty of using the educational, racial, social, and other privileges I have to be assertive and maybe give myself a slight edge. I don't have the resources or energy to move now, and besides I doubt I'd be getting much better care at any other public teaching hospital.

I really appreciate your concern though, and you're right: it makes me totally insane. I'll try to write more about the situation at Damned General over the next few weeks. My next chemo is Thursday the 4th, so I'll be knocked out of the ballpark for a few days. But there is a lot to say, and sooner or later I promise I will. Stay tuned.

8 Comments:

Blogger Jeanne said...

I know. I sometimes feel guilty about using my educational, racial, social and other priveleges to get better care than people who don't have these advantages. And I do this constantly. That's what my blog is all about.

I also sometimes feel guilty about the cost of my care, $300,000-plus a year at this point, and what that could buy in Africa, for example. How many children's lives could be saved with that money? Am I worth it? I try to be worth the cost of my medical care.

One of the ways I try to make my life worth $300,000 a year is by ranting and blogging about these issues. I may be deluding myself here ...

I do think, though, that when you are in a tight spot, as you are, you have the right to use every possible advantage you have to get the best care you can. And I am serious in my offer of doing whatever I can to help. Do you want a fundraiser?--we could do a one-breasted Amazon calendar for you, those of us who have lost a breast to cancer could, anyway.

Or an Our Lady of the Damned calendar.

Kind of like that old saying about education being fully funded and the Pentagon having bake sales to raise money for fancy weapons.

Argh. That noise you hear is me screaming in frustration on your behalf.

Jeanne

1:27 PM  
Blogger Elena said...

It really stinks that good people have to go through chemo-hell to live. May the force be with you in the garden of life.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with a fundraiser. I organized one, quickly, in the middle of a yawn, with hardly only minimal followup, and made $7500.00, all of which went directly into a bank account for a Katrina victim friend. This was email based, with maybe 25 or so names on the email, I think, probably less. I provided a link to an album of pictures of the family. It's VERY doable.

another susan

4:42 PM  
Blogger Twisty said...

You know, my eyebrows grew back, but only half-strength. That Adriamycin or Red Devil or whatever the fuck is a bad motascoota. Some days I curse myself and cave in to patriarchal beauty mandates and fill in the bald spots with mascara. Don't tell anybody.

I hate my Damned General with every compromised cell in my mutilated body.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Lymphopo said...

I pencil in fictional eyebrows sometimes, otherwise I look way too much like a hard boild egg. If only there was some way to construct fake nose hairs.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My brother fought his last, tough fight last year. He was really tickled about losing his nose hairs though. He told; "man, I can breath like a son of a bitch now".

Keep writing, please.

3:59 PM  
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9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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5:04 AM  

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