About this blog

Disclaimer – Nothing on this blog is meant to serve as or substitute for medical advice from a licensed health care provider. If you are sick, call a doctor. If you are very sick, call 911 (U.S.) or go to the closest ER.

The title – It comes from a passage in Margaret Atwood’s book “The Blind Assassin”, which isn’t a book about health other than that the main character/narrator comments on her experiences aging.  Here’s the whole piece that I read and bookmarked.

      “… enraged at myself. Or not at myself – at this bad turn my body has done me. After having imposed itself on us like the egomaniac it is, clamoring about its own needs, foisting upon us its own sordid and perilous desires,the body’s final trick is simply to absent itself. Just when you need it, just when you could use an arm or a leg, suddenly the body has other things to do. It falters, it buckles under you; it melts away as if made of snow, leaving nothing much. Two lumps of coal, and old hat, a grin made of pebbles. The bones dry sticks, easily broken.
    It’s an affront, all of that. Weak knees, arthritic knuckles, varicose veins, indignities – they aren’t ours, we never wanted or claimed them. Inside our heads we carry ourselves perfected – ourselves at the best age, and in the best light as well: never caught awkwardly, one leg out of a car, one still in, or picking our teeth, or slouching, or scratching our noses or bums.”

Content – Medical and health care. Patient-provider relations is a common theme. I am not a health care provider. I have no medical training. I am a person writing from a patient perspective, occasionally calling on my personal experiences or vocabulary gained working as nursing support staff, being raised by nurses, or married to an ER residency program for 5 years.

This is an anonymous blog because I do discuss my personal medical information and experiences which include topics like diarrhea predominant IBS and recto-vaginal endometriosis.

I’d prefer to keep the blog anonymous. Anonymous means it doesn’t have my name or personally identifiable information on it. If you think you know who I am from my writing, please keep it to yourself just out of respect and courtesy, if not ethics and principles.

My tone – It’s a problem for some, I know. I’ve chastized for being “negative” and “angry”. E.g., I got flamed by a woman on a Lyme patient list when I was trying to lighten someone else up, and I has used some sarcasm. I wrote back to a guy who’d been suffering from a hard to treat case of Lyme due to a delayed diagnosis and whose coworkers kept saying stuff like “How come you’re not better yet?” and “You’re still sick?” The poor guy was at his wit’s end and sounded pretty down. My reply was not about angels and virtual hugs but it was genuinely empathetic. What got me flamed was that it included something like this: “Hey you should wait until one of them gets sick. Then invite yourself over and jump up and down on their bed singing ‘people who need people’ out of tune at the top of your lungs” I hadn’t realized we were all supposed to be perfect martyrs, suffering with beatific grace. I will point out that although I say my tone is “a problem”, I’m not necessarily saying it’s MY problem. I claim it as my cultural heritage, coming from a working class metropolitan area in the Northeast of the US with heavy doses of Irish on both sides of my family.  If sarcasm, bluntness, and liberal use of profanity isn’t your personal style, don’t judge….consider this a diversity experience.

Making contact – Comments are moderated. Trolls will be rejected.  If you feel you’d like to get in touch with me, you can comment and let me know you want me to get in touch.  Please know though that I’m not interested in hearing about how I can be helped by magnet therapy, vitamin C overdosing, aura balancing, crystals, scrubbing with peelings from the inner skin of a nut found only on the south eastern side of Fiji, or whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing to put my mind-body vibes in harmony with the great cosmic whatnot to guarantee perfect health and good bowel movements. My dissatisfaction with medicine and health care is not because I believe western modern medicine can’t work well. I just think that the people practicing it sometimes end up practicing it or being limited in their practice of it such that it won’t.

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  1. queenofoptimism

     /  May 20, 2010

    Best About blog section I have ever read. I’m quite a fan, dyspatient!!

  2. Aw gorsh… (is there a “bashful” emoticon?) I think I owe Ms. Atwood a serious thank you for her unbelievably excellent articulation of what it feels like to find your body faltering with no end in sight.

  3. R. G. Maines

     /  June 5, 2010

    I agree with queenofoptimism, best ‘about’ section I’ve ever read! Big fan!!


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