It is the end of a very long day and I am pissed off, cranky and loathing the medical profession again. It has been a while, so I was probably overdue for a rant. It is so unfair – I am someone who truly appreciates the medical system we have in Australia. When people bitch about how crap our amazing medical system is, I feel like telling them to piss off to America with no insurance, break their leg and then tell me how they feel when they emerge from the hospital with a $15,000 bill. I also have come across some truly amazing doctors in my time. My dad is a doctor for a start. When the kids dad was first diagnosed with cancer we had a surgeon who went beyond the call of duty. The professor I tracked down in my frenzy after the kids were first diagnosed would email me and call me from wherever he was in the world and he was a leader in his field who was not too important to think that patient care came first. I truly believe George Jelinek of Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis fame is a genius. My old time country GP is an absolutely top bloke who doesn’t put up with any of my crap but is also a bloody good doctor. So I have the ultimate respect for the medical system and so many amazing doctors.
It is just that the rest of them suck.
Right now it feels like my face is a big infected mess. I am not sure whether the scabby bits and the weepy bits are normal. I have no idea what I am meant to put on my face to ease the dryness, cracking and pain. Whilst I was wondering all of this I realised that my doctor (who I had thought was a good one) had given me absolute nil instructions as to post-treatment care or procedure. She had not detailed what was the worst case or the best case scenario. She had just given me a cream which I needed to use because of my family’s history and had genuinely implied that it would not be too bad at all. Well, fuck that for doctoring. It is simply not good enough. As a doctor you have a duty of care to your patient, when you exhibit no duty of care, then in my mind as a doctor, you suck great big hairy dog’s balls.
I rang up her clinic to be advised as to what I was meant to do with my face. My doctor was away (she was probably skiing in Aspen) but her partner advised me to pop into the clinic so he could have a look. Telling me to pop into the clinic is a little bit like Telstra telling me to duck up the road to the nearest shop with my faulty handset (my handset has never been faulty). It makes me see red. It makes me get angry and irrational. If she was instructing a patient perhaps she should look at the fucking file and see that I live a 2 ½ hour drive away. Perhaps she should put the other doctor on the phone. Probably though he was having lunch even though he did not schedule himself a lunch break and had still double booked patients just for the hell of it through this time frame.
The receptionist said to me try some Vitamin E cream – when I questioned any type of moisturiser as it was actually very painful to put anything on my face she went really quiet. When I asked her about Vitamin E Oil she checked with the nurse who apparently said it should be ok. At that stage I moved beyond anger to acceptance that I was dealing with a dumb fuck and there was nothing further I could do about it. I did tell her very politely that “should” was not very reassuring for me. She laughed when I said that. Well, fuck me. I did not think it was very funny. She then told me that she hoped my face got better soon. I told her that I hoped it was going to get better soon as well. What I did not say was that I did not think it was appropriate that the clinic ‘hoped’ for anything, that they should really know things. And that if my face did not get better as she hoped it would, that I would be very cross. Before she hung up she told me not to forget that I could just pop in for the other doctor to have a look at me if I wanted to. When I pressed end call I gave her the type of finger that uses so much energy it looks like you are doing a strange Mexican wave.
The other thing that really shits me about doctors is that they are smart. They are maths and science smart. They are obviously not humanities smart otherwise they might be a little bit better at empathy and communicating and shit like that. They are maths and science smart so they don’t have to learn how to talk to you. So if they are maths and science smart they know how many times 15 minutes goes into an hour. I am terrible at maths and science but even dingbat me can work out that 15 goes into 60 four times. So why the fuck then does it feel like they book eight 15 minute appointments in an hour. If you are smart you know that does not work out. So why they fuck do it? It is power – a strange obsession with wielding power over the needy patient masses. My sister posted on facebook earlier this week that she had been sent a reminder for an appointment at 9am so she got there at 8.45am to find out that her appointment was actually at 9.15am and she was still waiting at 9.30am. Her appointment was no doubt the first appointment of the day. She was waiting for a smart person – so why the fuck does that not add up. It does my fucking head in – the head with the deteriorating face– that one – it fucking does it in.
I would love next time I am kept waiting by some jumped up little specialist for 90 minutes to present them with an invoice for 90 minutes of my time. That would be fun – but it would probably result in me being kept waiting 3 hours at my next appointment whilst my specialist had a nanny nap behind their surgery door, whilst occasionally giving me the finger. So I would never say anything. But it shits me to tears it does. Right now I am not allowing anything to shit me to tears, because the tears hurt my scabby face. Fuckers I say. Fuckers.
We are doing a Fuck you to routine this week. It started on Fuck you Monday and has sort of snowballed. I hope it is not the beginning of a long slippery slope leading to my children being out of control teenagers who hang outside supermarkets, one of them wearing those really high shorts with the pockets hanging below the hem at crotch level and the other one of them wearing shorts that are hanging so low you can see the stretched and worn band of his undies. I must admit due to my disintegrating face I have little energy by the end of the day so we are eating dinner together at 5pm and watching the catch up episode of My Kitchen Rules together.
It has actually been quite lovely to sit and eat together and bitch about the bitchy contestants on MKR – so glad that the kids’ favourites are the same as mine – they like nice people as well! I digress – I made this last night when I had had my first proper face wash in 3 weeks and I emerged from the shower in tears. I was craving a comfort meal which is exactly what I ended up with. This was amazing. It was the best pasta dish I have made thus far. The kids and I finished off enough pasta for 4 people. This is one for the bible. It was bloody good. I am salivating whilst even thinking about it.
Divine Vegan Puttanesca Spaghetti
1 packet spaghetti
1 large handful of basil
250 gram sundried tomatoes – roughly chopped
250 gram pitted kalamata olives – sliced
4 tablespoons capers
2 punnets cherry tomatoes – halved
2 onions – peeled and finely diced
8 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
½ cup olive oil – the good stuff
Salt and pepper, chilli flakes
Prepare all your ingredients and put a pot of water onto boil.
Once water is boiling add the spaghetti.
In large fry pan add the olive oil, garlic and onions. Whilst softening I like to season with salt and pepper and chilli flakes. Once olive oil is hot and onions are translucent ad everything else apart from the basil. Allow to simmer and become incredibly yummy whilst the spaghetti is cooking. Once spaghetti is almost ready add the basil.
Drain spaghetti, return to the pot and add the sauce. Mix and serve.