Saturday, June 26, 2004

Well, it was Top Hat, and Burmese take-out, and both the children, Lydia and Pete, were there. Lydia has just graduated Middle School, and she was fixing a photo album of photos of herself and her four best friends. At least three of them have been friends with her since kindergarten, and none of them are going to the same High School next year, so it is a landmark event for her.

Larry had wanted me to see his GP. He offered to speak to him about me, so that at least I would be able to sit down with someone and look over those MRIs and bone scans that were taken... more than two months ago, already. I said OK. He called me to say the Dr. was out that week, but would be back on Monday, and I was to call Greg on Monday after 10 a.m. to check for an appointment.

Monday, 10 a.m. came, I called and got the Dragon at the Gate. "What do you want with Greg?" she asked me, in a prickly tone. "I am a friend of Larry's and he told me it was agreed I should talk to Greg after 10 on Monday." Silence. Then the Dragon comes back: "Leave your name and phone number, Greg will get back to you."

The day wore on. In the evening, Larry wanted to know whether I had followed my instructions. When I told him I was waiting for a call back, he asked me whether I wanted him to call, to try and get an answer for me. "No," I said, "What's the point? This is the doctor's first day back in the office, there is really no point pushing for attention, it will get me nowhere fast. Let's just wait until Greg calls me back."

"What happens if he doesn't?" Larry asked.

"If after three days he does not, I shall call to ask whether I have fallen through the slats," I responded.

"All of a sudden, you are so patient," Larry says. Wadda you mean? I have been trying to get someone's attention for almost three months now.

Anyway, the next day, Larry called again to let me know that his doctor had called him to say he did not want to meet me, he thought I should be seeing someone else who was familiar with my case. I think Larry twisted his arm some (he is a very forceful lawyer), and the poor man told him to tell me to call Greg for an appointment.

So I called Greg again. Got the Dragon at the Gate again. This time, I did not ask for Greg, I merely recited that I was Larry's friend and had been told to call for an appointment. Silence. Then Greg came on, very business-like: "How about July 12?" So I finally have an appointment for July 12.

Last night, Larry wanted to know whether I had done as I was told and had called for an appointment. When I told him "July 12", his eyes fell out of his head and his jaw dropped to his knees.

"Would it help if I called and asked them whether they could see you earlier?" he asked.

"I don't think so," I answered, "It's quite clear he is less than enthusiastic at seeing me at all and is only doing it because you have twisted his arm."

"I could twist his arm some more..." Larry started.

That's when I lost it. I could feel my face crumpling up and my throat tightening and the tears coming up, and a feeling of utter desolate anguish flood through my entire being, and as the tears started flowing down my cheeks, I sort of croaked out: "Look, at this point, I am feeling absolutely dreadful, and the last thing I need is to be seeing someone who doesn't want to see me. I want someone to help me who actually wants to help me. I don't want to be seeing someone who effing doesn't care."

I managed to pull myself together before going any further. But I still feel bad about losing control because it certainly isn't Larry's fault if his doctor is comfortable and lazy with his top line insurance clients, having to take a few Medicare clients on the side so as to be listed, most of whom he has known, like Larry, for over twenty years.

No matter what the quality of medical care I have received in my entire life, it seems doctors and other people have talked to each other about me much more than ever they have spoken to me personally.

So, Gil can throw the book at me all she wants about my complaint that I am "invisible", or "transparent", the fact is that I have a better handle on the situation than most people could possibly imagine.

In 1994-95, I went ten months without treatment, through some eighteen fully trained MD's who didn't examine me properly, didn't examine me at all, ran the wrong tests, told me there was nothing wrong with me, told me I had a virus "like everyone else right now". Finally, I got to my surgeon, and was on my way to some sort of life extension. He shows me off to his students, nowadays: "Here is PF, I don't know why this woman is still alive!" Everybody laughs. Once day, I asked my gastroenterologist how come my case had been so difficult to diagnose, and his answer was: "It wasn't at all difficult to diagnose. You were a classic case, a first year medical student should have been able to diagnose you, based just on your medical history, never mind your symptoms."

The karmic retribution... Yup, that's it. It's written in all the texts. Search no more. Just change it.

Today, the pain is 1)intolerable; 2)relentless. I can hardly walk at all. Taking a shower and getting dressed was heroic, I thought I would never be able to get out of the tub.

"Talking of football..."

"Nobody was."

"Well, perhaps not but..."

One has to laugh at the idea that little Greece has wiped out mighty France, who clobbered England not so long ago. As some wag said, "Now we can watch some real football."

I spent some time yesterday afternoon on the BBC sports page, playing all those little animations they have loaded there. I also spent some time on another little simulation site which I clicked on somewhere--probably Douze Lunes, I can't remember. It had a URL of sport.gazeta.pf, but it didn't pan out when I tried to switch to it, I probably got it wrong.

Well, that's all for now. I think I shall be lucky if I manage to eat today, and get to and from my bed, to my desk, to my bathroom, to my altar, whatever.

I have no real idea what next, but I get the picture it ain't going to be much fun.

I have a much-sought-after, obtained-only-by-grace-of-Dragon medical appt on July 12 too! Must be official "see people you'd rather not" day for the nedical field. ;)

I wish I could help. For that matter, I wish we could figure out how to transport food by fax. I have some wonderful soup here which I bet you'd like.
Every impression of PF over years of occasional quick sightings and conversations is always good form, bright colours, sunshiny insights, kindness, and laughter. Then recently outside Myosetsuji a momentary shadow of pain, which set me wondering about how things really are. Half an hour of hearty Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo to the Gohonzon is coming up. (Here's hoping it gets through quickly and does some immediate good.)
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