One of the more surprising and unexpected realizations in life, I think, is that doctors aren’t infallible. For years, if you’re lucky, your experience of doctors visits is the annual checkup and the occasional ear infection or strep throat, both of which are easily diagnosed and treated, done and done, easy. It’s bewildering and disorienting, then, when you’re thrust into a situation in which you realize it’s not quite as clear, and that diagnoses are really just guesses and treatments just theories and you’re hoping you’ve got the doctor with the right ones. How doubly stressful to be concerned about a loved one’s health while worrying about the way it’s being handled. It’s sort of out of your hands, but also not. These are things I’d like to know, that I wish I’d been taught: the questions to ask, the orders to challenge, the appropriate expectations.
B is in the hospital for the second night, and tonight’s nurse wasn’t as kind as last night’s, who let me sleep in the hard-angled chair (for which she gave me a pillow and blanket) until 5 am. Tonight’s nurse was lenient, but only until 11. Everyone’s just doing their job, and their best job at it. But twice I had to be the one to leave the room and ask someone to take his temperature (101 the first time, 102.3 the second) when he very clearly had a fever. And so I panic, because I remember that people can be distracted or lazy or unsure at any job, and medicine isn’t exempt from that. But what do you do? That’s what I want to know.
Really, what do you do.
"What’s your favorite thing about your mother?"
"She loves life more than anyone I’ve ever known. I hope she doesn’t mind me telling you this, but recently she’s had some health problems. And her health got so bad at one point, she called me and said: ‘I was starting to wonder if there was any reason to go on. But then I had the most delicious pear!’"
"Listen I’m all for body-positivity but obesity is just so unhealthy and leads to so many diseases and it’s really just about being healthy I care so deeply about everyone being healthy I care so much."