Friday, May 25, 2012

To save a life

There is an article in today's news with the headline, "World's tiniest artificial heart saves baby's life." Doesn't that, in a nutshell, explain exactly what is wrong with our medical system? From all the evidence that I have seen firsthand or read about, every single patient who has ever, ever applied to our medical system for help, either has died, or has the ultimate prognosis that they will die. Every single one. Not one life has ever been "saved". Not one. Do we actually need to remind our doctors, pharmacies, hospitals, nurses, clinics, and everybody that they are not God? The other day, I went to go see my doctor about my hypothyroidism. This is an old, well-understood disability which modern medicine can easily and successfully counter. Of course, the problem originated on account of other treatments that other doctors prescribed for me, many years ago, but we won't even go into that issue right now. This visit was a waste of my time, my gas, and my insurance company's money, because prior to the visit, the doctor's office had failed to send out an order for testing the TSH levels in my blood. The physician's assistant who attended to me did not apologize at all for their oversight. Instead, she chose to make an issue out of my blood pressure, which came in at 140/80. If she had checked my records, she would have found that my pressure has been quite close to those numbers for the last 20 years or more. If she had consulted her textbooks, she would have read that older people normally have a slightly higher systolic number. When she suggested that it needed close monitoring and possibly drug treatment, I got a little testy with her. This was unfortunate on my part. I was caught by surprise by the sneak attack. It is annoying enough to have to drag myself into their office, several times a year, to arrange for a drug regimen which has not changed for ten years and has no indication whatever that it will change, simply so that they can cover their backsides and make a little extra money on the side. I didn't need the diversion, at that point in my journey. But the incident gave me pause to reflect again on where I stand on all of this. First and foremost, I think it is pretty reasonable to predict that I will, at some point, die. As far as I know, medical science has never cured even one person from death. Not ever. Not one. I suspect that if that were to occur, that the news would get out and people would know about it, so I am pretty confident about my statements. Second of all, I am rather fond of my faculties. Not only do I enjoy communicating the blather of my mind through the use of my hands or mouth, but I enjoy walking, cooking, splitting firewood, bending over to tie my shoes, learning a new language, playing the saxophone, wiping my own bum after I take a dump, and a host of other activities. However, the strong impression that I get from our medical community is that their approved, or preferred, way for people to dies is to very, very slowly lose all of their faculties for interacting with this world, until they become totally immobilized, and stay that way until they become penniless and their insurance refuses to cover their bills anymore. At that point, it is finally okay for them to die. Sadly, however, that does not happen to be my preferred scenario. Both of my grandfathers died of heart attacks before they were 55 years old. I figure that I have enjoyed, so far, 8 extra years, and blessed years they have been, and I am grateful to God for that time. But dying of a heart attack, with a sharp, quick pain and then its all over, has considerable appeal to me. I am not likely to adopt any of the behavior patterns of plenty of those around me to hasten the event, morbid smoking, eating, drinking, a slovenly and slothful lifestyle, extra salt and sugar at every possible occasion provided in lieu of real taste by all the purveyors of prepared food in this culture. However, the chances of my willingly taking blood pressure medication, ever in my life, can be found at the same levels of magnitude as the chances of my, well, trying to hijack an airplane with my trusty fingernail clippers which they took away from me last trip.....

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