February 25, 2016
How are you? That’s just spiffy.
Once or twice in regards to choosing a doctor, anyways.
Speaking of which, it’s time to start wrapping up my tale of an [*allegedly] heartless medical malinger, that being the one and thankfully only, Dr. Gypsy Faith Paar. Granted, her physician credentials may be sound, but judging from my personal and I might add painful, experience- I’d have to opine strongly that her interpersonal skills could use a few major tweaks.
Think about rebuilding Atlantis exactly like it used to be, and you’ll get where I’m going with this. If I were to paint an analogy of what I think of those said skills, it would be akin to being forced to eat an entire pallet of PEEPS. Sure, in the beginning it’s all sugar and squishiness, but halfway through, you realize you have made a severe error in judgment, and you’re the only one who’s going to actually suffer.
Personally, I’ve been fortunate enough not to have ever been disabled by the melancholy that follows a marshmallow-based sugar binge, but I’d assume that at best, it’s highly unpleasant. Which reminds me… if you remember my last little screed, I introduced a new player on the field, that being Paradise Family Medicines office manager. Theresa O’Brien, whom in essence, I less than charitably described as a “human Sham-Wow”- a harsh assessment that I still stand behind.
To be fair, it’s probably really hard to get a signal when you’re out on the golf course ignoring concerns regarding your employees, so I guess I should cut them some slack. Therefore, I do have a diminutive amount of empathy towards her plight… an exceedingly diminutive amount, I might add. Because in the end, she’s also the human speed bump getting in my way regarding settling this issue amicably. As I’ve noted in previous writings, it’s almost impossible to hold a doctor to account for what they’ve done or haven’t done, due to the fact that both the doctors office and their regulatory agency [ AKA: BOMEX ] will generally, and I’m quoting myself here;
“place the protection of the doctor long before the safeguarding of the patient, and both actively whitewash the issue for the benefit of the practice to the detriment of the public that filed the complaint in the first place. And both in the long run, present as morally bankrupt.”
How comforting. The foxes not only guard the henhouse, they’re also the ones in charge of staffing it as well. I’m sure that’s for the best, right? After all, what screams “safeguarding of the patient” more than definitively deciding without public input that potential ones must never get to ascertain what a doctors been accused rightly or wrongly of? Yep. Nothing to see here folks, move along. Just be obedient little cattle, and make sure to pay us exorbitantly (and repeatedly) for that six minute visit we made you wait 45 minutes for. Sheesh. I never thought I’d live to see the day where La Cosa Nostra could be presented as the nice guys by way of a straightforward comparison.
At least the mob is somewhat honest- violent to be sure, but at least when they make an effort to cause great physical harm to you, it’s by design, and not outright alleged negligence. No matter what you may assume of their practices, even the most stalwart outsider has to begrudgingly admit they at least show love for their craft, which is more than I can say for my former physician.
One might tend to think that after twelve years of “practicing” she’d have acquired some form of competence in regards to proper bedside manner, but you’d be wrong. All kidding aside. I’ve had better treatment at the hands of a drunken mob of Jorōgumo*, and those wenches are just straight up bitches.*[Google it. It’s so worth the effort.]
Being the thorough sort, I followed up on my complaint to Theresa concerning Mrs. Paar with the only other option accessible to me, that being the bloated, lethargic (and completely owned by physicians) agency that actively shields doctors from public perusal, the aforementioned BOMEX.
Eagle-eyed readers may have caught the exceedingly subtle indication that I don’t entirely trust this alleged patient protection agency, and that personal belief was reinforced after discussing my concerns with Leah Russow, one of their investigators- now, before I enlighten you on why this is, let me start by saying Leah was a delight to chat with, despite the seriousness of my reason for contacting her in the first place- courteous, professional, and obliviously dedicated to her job.
But in the same sense, so is Captain Phasma, and her bosses are Sith-lords, so I think we all know how that level of management tends to view disruptions in the workplace. I originally was going to let Theresa’s “investigation” of my claims stand, believing that only the most monolithic cretin lacking both basic humanity and common sense would fail to see why Mrs. Paar’s behavior was so reprehensible, and sadly in that respect, I was right.
From: Teresa O’Brien <email@example.com>
To: “*********@yahoo.com” <*********@yahoo.com>
Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 7:52 PM
Subject: Paradise Valley Family Medicine
We have investigated your concerns and have found the care and treatment provided by Dr. Paar to be appropriate. We will provide copies of your medical records to your new physicians upon completion of a medical records release form.
Paradise Valley Family Medicine
Hmm. Odd. No reason to why she thought that was, nor is there any reference to the several complaints I discovered online about Dr. Paar that mirrored my personal experience, and had brought to her attention. It’s almost as if she was hoping that her highly evident ass-covering response would make me go away. I do have to admire the bravery, if not the outright chutzpah, in declaring that you investigated yourself, and shockingly… found nothing wrong. Given that display of failed professionalism, I might have been somewhat bubbling over with annoyance, and fueled by such- fired off the following email-
From: ********* <*********@yahoo.com>
To: Teresa O’Brien <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 9:35 PM
Subject: RE: Paradise Valley Family Medicine
If you had no intention of doing the right thing, you shouldn’t have stated otherwise. May I suggest that in the future, you think before you offer false platitudes. Your doctor has a charted history of this type of behavior, yet you choose to ignore it.
I doubt the court and social media will, but we’ll see. I cannot wait to see what else remains to be discovered- I’m getting all tingly just thinking about it. In closing, you are at best, nothing more than a spineless cog in a medically – themed Ponzi scheme.
Sigh… I’m starting to think that I need to get cards printed up with how I handle lies, incompetence and sheer malingering, and hand them out to all the new people that I meet. I’m pretty sure it would save a lot of time and effort when the subject of what the best response would be if somebody decides to come at me, regardless of whether it’s from malice or ineptitude.
Think of the stirring motto on the Welsh Flag: “Y Ddraig Goch Ddyry Cychwyn” which is sometimes attributed as either “the red dragon advances”, or “the red dragon should go forward”- no matter which version you ascribe to, there’s still a big, red, fiercely ticked-off dragon coming for you, and there’s no way that’s ever going to end good, even if you do think Smaug is all shades of awesome. But there is an upside to all of this- if you’ve ever wondered what a chicken wing feels like right before it’s stripped clean, you’re about to have that masochistic itch scratched, and that right quick.
In Mrs. Paar’s case, that would be the filing of a formal complaint with BOMEX, not that I thought it would truly make any difference, but what the hey- life is all about rolling the dice, right? Granted, there were a few heartening early developments, such as Leah asking me for all the emails I sent Theresa, but that joy was short-lived, when Leah offered up details about the process that I did not know about, despite my previous dealings with this alleged protector of the people.
As I’ve noted in previous scrawlings, patients have zero rights when it comes to knowing what the end result is after they file a complaint against any doctor, which in my opinion, is bulls**t, plain and simple. If I can easily find out how many food code violations my local McDonalds has accrued, logic should hold that the same standard should apply to anyone who’s been given the colossal responsibility of maintaining my internal organs and the meat-suit that surrounds them.
But logic is no bulwark against the greed that has corrupted modern medicine, and it certainly is no match against the agency that places the value of a doctor’s reputation above that of their patient’s lives. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, as it were. Cynically speaking, this shouldn’t come as a shock- money has long been the new model of Hippocrates for most doctors, and they’re going to make certain that their green river never stops flowing, no matter what or whom gets in the way.
This perversion of their sacred oath even extends into yet another pillar of our values, that being the Law. Granted, the current incarnation of our legal system favors the powerful and the wealthy as it always has, but even with all that- it has been known to actually work the way it should every now and then. I know, I know…I was shocked myself.
So how does one hit 21 against a dealer who’s not only holding all the aces in their back pocket as well as up their sleeves? Well, the answer to this conundrum is quite simple…you won’t.
Silly little patient, your value is in being a financial asset only, not a moral one. And when it comes to personal ethics these days, you’d have better luck getting Donald Trump to front a Selena cover band before you’d see the majority of physicians today showing truly genuine remorse over their mistakes. In fact, BOMEX is under NO moral or legal obligation to bring past transgressions’ to light, even if cut of the same cloth.
Think about that for a second- even if your doctor has made the same fatal mistake twice, this “protection agency” isn’t allowed BY LAW to inform any one of that fact, nor is it subject to lawful subpoena if you’re trying to see if such events have occurred previously in regards to ongoing or future litigation, no matter how egregious. By way of example, you’d be offered more protection from the court system that tickets your neighbor for not cleaning up after their dog long before the agency that’s tasked with safeguarding your life.
Granted, while both deal with steaming plies of fecal material, only one group of clerks gets to actually brag about what they do for a living. My guess is that when questioned at parties, BOMEX’s hamstrung investigators probably just tell everyone they’re in charge of overseeing Flint’s water supply, as overall, it seems like you wouldn’t suffer the embarrassment of having to defend how you earn your paycheck nearly as much.
Please tell me again how this agency protects patients when you now know that their charter demands the contradictory. Go ahead… I could really use the laugh. What isn’t funny is the knowledge that scores of patients have not only been most certainly harmed by this self-serving corruption of the public trust, but that there may be an unchecked pool of potentially dangerous and highly incompetent hacks mangling medicine who are protected wholesale.
Oddly, I don’t find this comforting, but it sits just fine with BOMEX, apparently.
Now, you would think that once a doctor has been reported, they’d try to remain low-key and not rock the boat, but that would require both concern and intelligence- two factors easily discarded when one is keenly aware that your actions will never see the light of public record, or face any consequences for the same. So what does a true professional do when faced with such a complaint?
Well, if you’re my ex-doctor, you proceed to double down on your previously documented course of density and lash out. At this point remember, I had been informed that Mrs. Paar had recused herself as my doctor and while she was no longer my acting physician, she could make decisions regarding my care under the auspices of a 30 day period. Rarely is this clause exercised by most departing doctors, but this she did, and with all the decorum of a feral chipmunk, I might add.
As a means to keep my condition under a semblance of control, I’m “on” a wide variety of varied medications – as expected, insulin falls within that category, but I also require two different drugs to ease symptoms of diabetic-related nerve-pain (also know as neuropathy) which when left unchecked, makes catching your spawn-hammer in a vise seem a pleasant diversion.
One of these medications is the highly addictive and tightly controlled opiate known as Oxy-Contin, which in regards to my need is (fortunately) an exceedingly low dose- hardly enough to drop a toddler, but still handy nonetheless. Typically, I can make a 30 day supply last almost three months, as for me, it’s more or less an edge smoother in regards to the daily pain I experience.
Here’s where it gets fun- it’s also bloody expensive, typically costing $200.00 for a 30 day supply, or $2400.00 per year. For someone like myself who currently doesn’t have medical insurance, it would be impossible for me to take this drug without the fact I’m on an aid program from the manufacturer who dispenses it to me for free after meeting certain guidelines.
Damn Socialism giving away free stuff, and all that. The way I receive this drug is by FedEX, and when it comes, I have to be there to sign for it, as it is a controlled substance. As you may imagine, since I’m working during the day, more often than not I miss them, and have to arrange a pick-up at one of their numerous distribution centers, usually within 24 hours of said attempted delivery.
With a sense of slowly dawning horror, I realized that Mrs. Paar had reduced my dosage of 225mg twice daily to 100mg. Knowing that the 450mg daily dose was barely cutting it (hence the need for the Oxy as a backup) this made no sense whatsoever, and since her office was now closed until the following Monday, there was also no way to ascertain why she made the decision to change my six year protocol of treatment without either asking me or more importantly- informing me
I’m not really sure what the math comes to, but isn’t that an almost 75% reduction of the painkiller that barely works? I’m no doctor, but then again neither is Mrs. Paar, if she thought that this loomed large as a good idea. So trying to remain calm, I take close to my normal dose (4 pills instead of two) and ride out the discomfort of being under-medicated, and call her office first thing Monday, where I am sadly once again connected to their human Sham-Wow, Theresa.
In fact, I’m pretty sure she’ll set the bar so high God will bang his head on it at some point. After putting forth some impressive verbal gymnastics, Theresa informs that the reason for reducing my Lyrica was that Mrs. Paar was “concerned” about its effect on my “failing” kidneys. Hmmm. Interesting… she’s “concerned” about the long-term effects of a drug I’ve been taking six years with no side effects, but not at all concerned about the highly addictive narcotic she also prescribed that can allegedly cause damage? That seems odd, does it not? But it gets better. Not only does she reduce the medication with a proven track record, she neglects to prescribe new meds to take its place.
That’s some sheer f**king genius going on there “doc”- not only are you highly incompetent at delivering bad news, you apparently think that crippling pain is the gift that keeps on giving. Come Christmas, I’m gonna get you something nice to return the favor. I’m not sure what form my appreciation should take, but I’m thinking that something along a two week sabbatical strapped to a ravenous fire-ant mound while slathered with honey would be a good place to start. Not because I’m an angry person per se, (although I have valid cause to be) it’s just so that Bleach Job Barbie would have a personal insight into the pain bus she threw me under without so much as an actual thought to, or any input from, the person it would directly affect- that person being me.
As I’m dealing with the additional news that I’m going to be buying a ticket for the pain train, Theresa glibly asks “what kind of pain I’m in”, as an alleged means to gauge just how much false concern she needs to project over the phone. What kind of pain am I in, you ask? Well… I can tell you it’s not “happy” pain, the kind where you see a long lost friend again, or “fun” pain like when you’re having really good sex, or even “gleeful” pain where you find yourself tied to a chair while an Asian dominatrix wearing thigh boots tells you how you’ve been disobedient and are going to be punished the way a naughty boy should.
But perhaps I’ve said too much.
So to recap: essential and useful meds cut 75%, highly addictive medication left unmolested, and no back-up prescription prescribed- all without a single consultation or discussion with me, the actual F***ING PATIENT. And this, as Theresa so brusquely described in her only missive, is “appropriate”? I shudder to think what “inappropriate” might portend- odds are it involves breaking three biblical laws and involves a dyslexic wombat wearing latex thigh-highs. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not my idea of a good Tuesday, and the fact I try not to judge.
Thus begins almost four months of a personal living hell, punctuated with bouts of relentless insomnia, weight loss, the searing blistering pain of a thousand red-hot knives stabbing me over every square inch of my body, along with the unforeseen loss of my new job as well, due to physical issues affecting my skills, helped in no small part by Mrs. Paar’s lack of concern. Now despite all this, there was an upside to be had: at least none of my horrendously debilitating pain would be borne by Mrs. Paar’s delicate as fairy wings conscience, which as one may surmise, did alleviate some stress off my engulfed by nerve-fire shoulders.
Zen. It’s there if you look for it. All you gotta do… is really believe.
But as we wind down to the end of my opus regarding Gypsy Faith Paar and her allegedly obvious inadequacies as both a competent doctor and part-time human being, one question looms, and it’s a nagging one that’s always bugged me: have you ever heard the phrase, “practicing barista” or even “practicing janitor”? And if you were to ponder my hypothetical query for a mere moment further, has there ever been a time in your life where you’ve uttered the words: “That’s my best friend Sergio, he’s a “practicing” pizza delivery guy” in all seriousness? Of course not, since we all know Sergio’s a practicing male stripper, but that’s beside the point.
Hell, we even give freshmen senators the benefit of the doubt- we don’t simply infer they’re “practicing” selling their votes, we take for granted that they’re already well on their way to being professional scumbags, and give them their due credit. So why do they always say a doctor is “practicing” their craft, yet rarely (if ever) apply that term to any other discipline outside of the Law? Now, an optimist might suggest that the term suggests both fields are ever-changing, so that there can never exist a point where you’re not “practicing” some new-found knowledge that requires incorporation into your established skill-set, but that’s undeservedly noble for my jaded world-view, and it’s also wildly inaccurate when set against all the other trades- after all, no matter what you do, there’s always something new to learn in regards to your chosen endeavor, and that never ends…
Ever. So why all the calculated humble-bragging? Please note, I did say “calculated”, for a reason. In my experience, most (not all) doctors are supremely arrogant, the level hovering somewhere between washed-up 70’s rock star and opera diva. But they’re also keenly aware that such a persona doesn’t play well among us mere mortals, hence the pathological inference that their reason for becoming doctors was altruistically driven, a noble desire to make a difference in the amount of human suffering- something Mrs. Paar does attempt, but much like her alleged bedside manner, can’t really seem to get the hang of, no matter how many times she may “practice” it.
The inherent cynicism I possess dryly notes that when it comes right down to the brass tacks, the majority of anguish these specific doctors ease up is mainly the type that affects their bank account- no more, no less. No matter whether they’re good or bad, concerned or not, the one thing that they always regard long before their patients is the money and the title- the rest is extraneous.
Need proof? Just look at Mrs. Paars response to me after she informed me I was “dying before her eyes”- there was no follow-up advice, no concern in how I would take the news, no, she immediately let me know that payment was still expected, but at least it would be “discounted”, bless her frigid little heart. Remember, she did work her peroxide-fueled ass off for almost six minutes, and that’s what I relly needed to focus on at that moment… her future BMW payment.
Now I know what you’re thinking:
“Gee all you’ve really done is point out over this four story arc is that at worst, she’s allegedly unprofessional, possibly petty, and may share some of the characteristics of the iceberg that took out the Titanic, but just when, oh great and terrible Artbitch, are you going to highlight her so-called “incompetence”?”
You ask. I deliver, and it’s just shy of awesomely epic, if I do say so myself. And I do. And I shall. Repeatedly.
Seriously. Is there a committee or something I don’t know about?
A question for another time, I guess.
When my new doctor comes in, two things strike immediate: this dude is tall, and he looks pissed. If this were the “Bachelorette”, not only would I have not been given a rose, it looks as if my parting gift would have been jammed down my throat sideways using my own snapped-off legs to do so. Great. I’m off to a fine start and I haven’t even gotten to the “hello, I’m Wayne” part, which let’s be honest- is typically where it usually starts going south for me.
Holding my lab tests in his hand he says, and I’m paraphrasing here: “Hi, I’m Doctor *****- first, I’m reestablishing your pain protocols immediately, as there was no medical need to reduce them in the first place, and second- you’re not dying. Ok, you are… but at pretty much the same rate as the rest of us, I’m happy to say.
Also, your kidneys and liver are not, I repeat, NOT in failure- your kidney numbers are at 51, failure numbers are around 10, and across the board, these are the numbers I’d expect to see in a diabetic man your age. If anything, your labs signify a slight amount of tweaking is required, but not much else. As for your liver…. well, there’s nothing in these recent labs that indicate any other issue than what I’d expect to see.”
Wait a minute. Hold the phone. WTF? Are you telling me that after four months of sheer fucking physical and mental anguish, that other than pain that can be eventually medicated down, I’m essentially fine?
Ok, get a grip… you will not, I repeat, NOT get in your car, stop off at your storage unit, pick up your lucky chainsaw with matching splattering smock and go pay Mrs. Paar a visit at her office. Why?
“pre-mediated” gets tossed around the courtroom, and third- my smock is still at the cleaners, and they’ve been asking way too many questions lately. And besides… it’s Monday, and we have a heavy week ahead- it’s much too busy to have to bother with picking up some much-needed, and ultimately necessary, quicklime. Not to mention establishing a believable alibi on top of it all.
In the end, it all comes down to free time, and sadly, I’m just swamped.
“In fact,” says my newest BFF, “there’s not only no current notation in your records regarding an issue with your liver, none of these labs has any recent bearing on your liver health at all- I have no idea how she even came to this conclusion, as it would be like me having to go to an event in California, and deciding to park my car in New York.”
[Inner monologue. Again.]
Hmmm. You know, if I drove pretty fast with the windows rolled down, I’m pretty sure my smock would be mostly dry by the time I got there….
Nonono- this isn’t a productive train of thought, and I have to approach this the way a Creative like myself should- with an artistic bent. Normally, that would involve running scenarios through my psyche wherein I devise karmic balance utilizing that age-old gambit of dyspeptic wombats, but I’ve been told that in the long run, they eat way too much and that they’re terrible conversationalists.
Sigh. C’est la vie.
So. Not only has bleach-brained Barbie caused me great emotional distress by leading me to believe that I’m dying, not only has she help advance physical pain which has severely impacted my life, she’s also managed with all her years of alleged dark side training to aim her Death Star at my metaphorical Alderran and miss not by inches, but by light-years, hitting the totally innocent Tattooine instead, by way of pop culture example.
Damn Sith Lords. Always screwing up the weekend. But to quote the human Sham-Wow, she: “found the care and treatment provided by Dr. Paar to be appropriate.“, and therefore, I apparently have no right to be upset, or expect humanistic reparation for my suffering and emotional distress. So what’s an angry, vengeful, and obviously completely justified Artbitch to do?
I can’t find a lawyer to take my complaint to its logical zenith, although all those I contacted agreed (rather directly) that she needed to be sued out of existence. It’s also obvious her ass-covering bosses could care less if Mrs. Paar maims somebody as evidenced by their silence, and only God knows if BOMEX will do the job it claims to do.* [*Allegedly] Granted, there’s a ton of vigilante scenarios manifesting, most of which end with the punch line “Goodbye, Mr. Bond”, but as I stated earlier, violence isn’t the answer- although the version involving Wile E. Coyote and his arsenal of ACME products should be. The thought of my ex-doctor being flattened by a giant anvil falling from the sky as she’s attempting to tell the Roadrunner he’s dying does strike as funny, but in the end, is essentially pointless.
After all, she’d just re-inflate her head with an air-pump, and I’d be right back where I started- angry and feeling powerless against a rigged system. But that feeling is nothing but ether and smoke- I can do something, and that’s spread the word about this [allegedly] uncaring, unqualified, unethical and utterly soulless practitioner, and thanks to the vast lands of the Internet, I not only can do this once, I can do it FOREVER. While I sleep. Bathe. Take in a Milla Jovovich movie. Or anything else I choose to do, 24/7. That’s the beauty of the digital age- there will never not be a time where this series of screeds doesn’t pop up in regards to her name or whatever unfortunate practice hires her.
I may not have taken her metaphorically out, but I have left a wound that will never heal, and that’s almost good enough for me. Plus, it’s gonna itch like crazy, so that’s just extra icing on the cupcake of barbed bitterness. Misdiagnosis. Mental torture. Misery. And for the privilege of being subjected to all of this dross, you get to pay exorbitantly, and they get to avert responsibility.* [*Allegedly]
That kids, is what us cynics like to call one f***ed-up deck of cards.
But there is an addendum I’d like to point out to both Mrs. Paar and her alleged Renfield if they’re reading this right now.* [*They very well may be, since I send them emails regarding these postings, because at my core, I am a people person, and after all.. who doesn’t like seeing their name in print?]
The grand total of people who’ve read [until now] is in the thousands, and I’ve personally responded to over 250 emails- granted, that’s not anywhere near Kate Upton numbers, but it’s still pretty damn significant nonetheless. At the very least, there are now scores of people who will at least hopefully reconsider going to her, or the practice that puzzlingly keeps her around, despite easily searchable complaints.
Google. Apparently, it’s just not for downloading naked Halle Berry photos and seeing how truly important you aren’t. Not that I’ve ever checked, as that’s just beyond self- absorbed, and as we all know, I hardly ever talk about me. And I have no idea where all those pictures of Halle Berry on my laptop came from- it’s a mystery. One that sadly, will never be solved. Scooby- Doo and the gang be damned.
So, I’m done. That’s it. I’ve purged my soul and more importantly, my life of this alleged peroxided parasite, and that’s the truly healthy part. But even better, I took a cue from my former doctor, and now know that all I’ve written wasn’t only necessary…
It was appropriate.
“The mistakes of doctors are innumerable. They err as a rule out of optimism as to the treatment, and pessimism as to the outcome.” – Marcel Proust, Sodom and Gomorrah
“Shabelsky: Doctors are the same as lawyers, the sole difference being that lawyers only rob you, but doctors rob you and kill you too…” – Anton Chekov, Ivanov