This blog inspired by things said by Rebecca Matos at her blog
And Maha Bali’s blog “Pushing: A Matter of Perspective & Faith”

Illness isolates us, we withdraw from the normal social exchange, become more fragile and when we try to explain the hurt raises up and chokes us or comes out in an emotional over-reaction.
Things are coming up in me as I wait for the final word on whether the chemo worked. And since the decision on whether I needed another heart operation depended on being rid of the cancer there’s going to be another wait of unknown length for the cardiologist to contact me–she frequently forgets me and even showing up by air ambulance doesn’t get her attention.
All this deciding by others that doesn’t include me is further isolation I know will be made worse when I finally go to the appointments and face the bland normality of being “cared for” by agents of an institution that could as well be a place where misfits are tortured until they give-in and promise to be suitably reduced to unfeeling objects.
Rehearsing what I need to tell them it becomes clear I will say nothing. What can be said? They have treated my cancer only (same with my heart). Who I was / am before and during my sickness is beyond their job description and for their purposes behind a wall of caustic remarks designed to scrub me from their thoughts. “You seemed satisfied.” “You never mentioned this before.” “Your past experiences are to be gotten over and have no bearing on your treatments here.” On and on meaning only “We don’t hear you but no matter because we know best what you need and if you would just get over being a person we’re sure you would feel much better.”
I realize this all sounds like feeling-sorry-for-myself stuff but it’s part of a rebuilding process to reclaim myself from the judgement and disrespect that’s been my life since 2007. Recently a friend recommended “The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love” by Bell Hooks and though I haven’t received the book by mail yet my thoughts are on change and also isolation as the price of survival as a person. Not a happy choice.

The upfront price is to stay away from the medical system except in dire circumstances. This sounds a bit crazy but the medical system here doesn’t work for rural people and depending on it is as likely to kill you as staying away. People who don’t understand the dynamics of the failed systems  here suggest I try a different medical team. It’s perfectly logical and meant to help except that option is closed. There is only one clinic in town and all but one of the doctors there didn’t participate in standing dumbly by while I died of heart failure right in front of them. This happened at the one hospital in town that they also are the only staff for. There is only one cancer clinic for northern Alberta run by the one organization that serves all of the province. All the care outlets originate from from this one provider and they don’t talk to me by any means beyond appointments where there’s no time for chit-chat that doesn’t involve  praising their magnificence. Same with cardiology except they forget about me except for a yearly call to see if I’m dead yet.
So my choice is do I rely on people who not only fail me but are also intent on treating like a piece of garbage or do I reclaim myself and leave them behind? Right now my choice is to not study their abuse any more. I want my life back.

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  • thesmallc  On April 13, 2015 at 6:30 PM

    Scott, I want you to feel peaceful so if that means you need to walk away, then I support that decision. One of the issues we face as humans is having expectations from others. So when these expectations aren’t met, we suffer. Additionally, we expect others to behave the same way we do. But we’re all different.

    We have no control over how others behave and it isn’t our fault. (I sometimes spend time wondering if I am responsible for certain situations.)

    I think freedom starts with letting go of situations we have no control over.

    Wishing you all the best, Scott. You deserve that and more.

    P.S. And thank you for sharing my post on your blog.

    • scottx5  On April 13, 2015 at 8:09 PM

      Rebecca, part of my dilemma is to try and fix a model of me built from my behaviors when I was sick. Neither my wife Leslie nor I like it here and part of the problem we have no desire to accommodate “difference” when it involves belittling of who we are so unthinking little despots can lecture us on our behaviors. People don’t get to do that to us.
      For peace we’ve decided to start fixing up the house to sell and getting out of here. We just don’t fit here.

  • thesmallc  On April 20, 2015 at 1:10 PM

    Scott, I am checking up on you. Hope all is well. Please keep us posted.

    • scottx5  On April 20, 2015 at 2:48 PM

      Thanks for checking in Rebecca. My computer is giving up so I’ve been on and off for a couple of weeks. Chemo is done and the oncologist says the cancer doesn’t show in scans but my blood chemistry hasn’t settled down and still shows proteins associated with cancer. Will be checked again in 3 months. The aneurism in my heart looks stable and I find out in June for sure so likely no need for another surgery any time soon.
      Medical system is still disorganized and you still have to push to get service–no surprise there. Feels good to be done!

      • thesmallc  On April 20, 2015 at 3:19 PM

        Scott, I am glad things have been stable for you. Hang in there!

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