Friday, July 14, 2006

Do No Harm

Hippocrates was a Greek physician born in 460 BC on the island of Cos, Greece. He became known as the founder of medicine and was regarded as the greatest physician of his time. He based his medical practice on observations and on the study of the human body. He held the belief that illness had a physical and a rational explanation. He rejected the views of his time that considered illness to be caused by superstitions and by possession of evil spirits and disfavor of the gods.

Hippocrates held the belief that the body must be treated as a whole and not just a series of parts. He accurately described disease symptoms and was the first physician to accurately describe the symptoms of pneumonia, as well as epilepsy in children. He believed in the natural healing process of rest, a good diet, fresh air and cleanliness. He noted that there were individual differences in the severity of disease symptoms and that some individuals were better able to cope with their disease and illness than others. He was also the first physician that held the belief that thoughts, ideas, and feelings come from the brain and not the heart as others of him time believed.

Hippocrates traveled throughout Greece practicing his medicine. He founded a medical school on the island of Cos, Greece and began teaching his ideas. He soon developed an Oath of Medical Ethics for physicians to follow. This Oath is taken by physicians today as they begin their medical practice. He died in 377 BC. Today Hippocrates is known as the "Father of Medicine"

I swear by Apollo the physician, by Æsculapius, Hygeia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgement, the following Oath.

"To consider dear to me as my parents him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and if necessary to share my goods with him; to look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art if they so desire without fee or written promise; to impart to my sons and the sons of the master who taught me and the disciples who have enrolled themselves and have agreed to the rules of the profession, but to these alone the precepts and the instruction. I will prescribe regimen for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgement and never do harm to anyone. To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death. Nor will I give a woman a pessary to procure abortion. But I will preserve the purity of my life and my art. I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art. In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves. All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal. If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot."

Dad met with the oncologist Tuesday. He will meet with him every Tuesday. He will complete the 10 radiation treatments to his brain and then receive 10 radiation treatments to his lung. (I had thought he was going to receive 30 to his lung.)

They can only do so many treatments to the brain. Radiation kills good cells, as well as cancerous cells, too much could, basically, cook your brain. Dad was surprised they were only going to do 10 treatments to his lung. (Initially, the oncologist only wanted to treat the brain, the pulmonologist pushed for treatments to the lung). He questioned the oncologist about it.

The oncologist responded with: "Well, the horse is already out of the stall".

Yes, he really said that.

How is that for a total mind fuck?

To say something so callous, so casually. Mom re-phrased it as: "We don't want to bother wasting the radiation treatments on you". I usually talk to my parents every day. I didn't hear from them Wednesday, now I know why.

Put yourself in my Dad's situation for a second, how would hearing something like that affect you?


My Dad was completely devastated, so was Mom. Wednesday was a bad day.

When I heard this, all I could mutter was "Mutherfucker".

I want to track this bastard down, grab him by his scrotum and go total Drunken Booger on his ass. What would Hippocrates think about this numbnuts?

It's assholes like this that enrage me at the unfairness of my Dad getting sick.

My Dad is a good man. He's kind and decent. He's selfless. He would never, ever, say an unkind word or be inconsiderate to anyone. He has risen above every challenge he has faced in his life, with admirable grace and dignity. He takes responsibility for himself and would never even consider blaming someone else for his lot in life. He's conquered his addictions. He's the best Dad in the world. He's the best Grandfather in the world.


Why is he the one whose life will be shortened by Cancer, while this arrogant, selfish, self-centered, insensitive, sociopathic, so called Doctor, who took an oath to do no harm, yet inflicted immeasurable mental and emotional damage to my father, lives in good health?

I totally believe in the mind/body connection. A mental and emotional blow such as this can have devastating consequences on one's health, especially when fighting cancer.

The pulmonologist apologized to my parents for the oncologist's reprehensible behavior. She went on to explain that they want to shrink the tumor in my Dad's lung to relieve symptoms, before they start the Chemo to kill the cancer. They don't like to do radiation and Chemo simultaneously. It's too much for the body to handle.

There were several ways the oncologist could have chosen to explain the course of treatment, he chose the cruelest.

Dad was in much better spirits today. In true SuperDad style, he, once again, has risen above negativity thrown in his path.

I, however, am not so forgiving. Anyone up for a midnight lynching?


KFarmer said...

Yes. That comment was so not called for... I'm so pissed I cant even think straight...

Denise said...

I've been reading the ongoing saga about your Dad's cancer, so I've been lurking and sending my good vibes.

But this behavior from a doctor?! I am also a "Daddy's Girl" and if I happened to be present for something like that, I would have had some distinct choice words for the oncologist. And then proceed to get kicked out of the office, booyah. At least my Dad would have got a laugh out of watching his wife and daughter tag team some asshat.

So count me in on the lynching, lady. :)

Stu said...

Fuck that fucking guy! I am more than happy to drive to that hospital and wait for his ass to walk out the front door. I'll take him for a walk, as they say. Happy to do it. Miserable fuck.

Ericka said...

count me in on the lynching party, although that's fairly quick. let's infect the s.o.b. with something really painful and really hard to diagnose and then watch him struggle.

Stu said...

I don't have an email for you, so I'll check here: Did you get a letter from us about contributing to the ASPCA in honor of Blaze? If you want, email me and let me know, as we're still collecting donations (and sorry if this is the first you're hearing of it, as Chuck and I each thought the other had contacted you)... Thanks, Stu

Suldog said...

Just horrible. Some physicians seem to have no idea how much their words can affect healing - or at least the mental state of their patients. They seem to view humans as machines of some sort and see themselves as mechanics.

Keep your chin up. Prayers are being said in many places.

Melinda said...

Thought I'd break out of my lurker status to say that I'm totally up for the lynching.
I too am a "Daddy's Girl" and even if I wasn't I'd still find this behaviour completely unacceptable.

Just wanted to let you know that I'm praying for you and your family to get through this. Cancer is terrifying, but it CAN be beat - my grandmother is a two-time survivor of breast cancer (two complete mastectomies) and just celebrated her 92nd birthday.

May God bless you all and help you to keep positive (even in the midst of jerks like that doctor).

Chunks said...

I've resisted commenting because I don't really know what to say. I am so terribly sorry that this is happening to your dad (and ultimately to you) My prayers for you are many and I just hope that whatever time your dad has left is filled with love and happiness and as little discomfort as possible. Whatever time treatment buys him, take advantage of.

I'm so sad for you and I feel like everything is coming out wrong. I'm here if you need me. Peace.

Sharfa said...

I am really glad I have you all in my corner!
Remind me never to piss any of you off. ;)

Good idea Ericka - I agree, let him get as sick as my Dad an have someone treat him the same.
I don't think he'd like it too much.

K, Denise, Stu & Suldog - thank you, you're a posse to be proud of.

Melinda - GO GRANNY! God bless her. That's the story I want to be telling when all is said and done.

Chunks - sweetie, you said it just fine and I appreciate it. I feel the love and concern. Thank you.