it's not irony

Sometimes I have to wonder- really wonder - what the fuck is wrong with this universe?


symbiosis, of a sort?

Following in the path of fellow bloggers, I formed this entry. Which fact in itself illustrates my point, I suspect...

Dr. Charles recently wrote of medicine in days gone by... And as it can still be, at times, these days. His entry was written in response to one by the Anonymous Clerk.

Charles put me in mind of a conversation I had w/ my mom recently- We were talking about a world in which people, mutually respectful of one another, seek help from others whose expertise outstrips their own in some way-
I go to the plumber, knowing he can fix the pipes. He is respectful of my knowledge in other areas, and is appreciative of the fact that I have sought him out, supporting his way of life.

I feel like it should be similar with doctors.. I am a person, going to another person, seeking help through their knowledge/expertise. It should be a respectful transaction, with each party recognizing the other's intellect and individual knowledge.

Too often, in today's world, one party or the other screws this up. Patients are at times wheedling, disrespectful, cheap, dishonest, unprepared, blameful, etc. Doctors can be paternalistic, arrogant, and all the same things as the aforementioned patient. Or simply forgetful of the fact that their patient should be on equal footing with them- person to person.

Not just in medicine... As humans, I think we all too often forget that we're in this together. (this being life, politics, economics, everything!) The doctor helps Joe today, next week Joe the engineer revolutionizes medical technology.
Hell, the cleaning lady may have a lot more to offer than meets the eye.
The plumber fixes my pipes this week, and maybe next year I write a poem that makes him reconsider his world, his profession, or any number of things.

I have an appointment with my internist today, and I wish I could show him this side of things. Sadly, I'm just another dumb kid toward whom he can direct his superiority, most of the time.

But what of the way these transactions should play out? Perhaps we don't give it much thought, to our own loss.
I wonder, who might there be somewhere that feels like I do about my internist, but feels that way toward me?

Perhaps we should consider one another, and be humbled.

the next country

Neglect seems to be a pattern of late, most unfortunately.

In addition to some hospital time, surgery, etc... Within the past 2.5 weeks I've lost my two remaining grandparents-

I was asked by the family to write my grandfather's obituary, which I was simultaneously honored and saddened by. My grandfather lived a long and wonderful life, however- And while his passing is difficult I would like to think that he is happy, somewhere in the next country. I would like to think that his parents awaited him, that his brothers laughed to see him again. I would like to think that my aunt, his only daughter, who was stricken so suddenly by cancer, was waiting- her beautiful eyes crinkling at the corners with a smile for the father who had so much love for her, who so anticipated the possibility of reunion. I would like to think so- and perhaps it is so. Who am I to say otherwise?

My grandmother, on the other side of the family, died the day I had surgery. I awoke in the recovery room to news of her passing. Which, though sad, was a blessing; her great pain, her infirmity, her senility- and, towards the end, her fear... all mercifully ended in the quiet hours of her sleep.
I would hope that she, too, was greeted- She lost her mother when she was only five years old, in the great pandemic of influenza that also took her newborn sister. To grow up motherless, forced to abandon her native language totally by her school teachers - These things must have shaped the distance between my grandmother and her own children, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I cannot claim to have known her well. But she was loved nonetheless, and I think now about her past- think, she must have had strength beyond my knowing, beyond what met the eye.

They will be missed.