Pardon My Schadenfreude. Discussing Disaffected Doctor Suicides

Somehow in my journey of researching and living with Crohn’s disease and chronic illness generally, I came across the case of disaffected medical doctors killing themselves.  Apparently it’s not just chronically ill, chronically let-down and chronically pissed off patients who are becoming disaffected with Western medicine and everything it entails.  According to at least one doctor who has taken to researching the issue, doctors and medical students are subjected to what she concludes are “human rights violations” when they are financially coerced by their medical schools, employers and licensing boards to get with the Western medical program and all it entails or lose their livelihoods, lifestyles and all the goodies they were expecting when they decided to get into medicine in the first place.

As a fellow licensed professional also subjected to the standards of my profession I can relate to the financial coercion part, as can anyone who has ever had a job anywhere.  The difference with medical doctors of course is that any alleged or actual coercion they experience to get educated and gainfully employed as medical doctors “coerces” them to directly harm other living beings such as the patients they “practice” medicine on and live animals on which they practice vivisection and medical experiments while in medical school.  Leaving aside for a moment the question of whether someone is ever morally blameless when they decide to knowingly physically harm a person or animal for their own material gain (or to avoid serious losses including financial ruin and everything that entails in the context of capitalism and patriarchy) I find this research and what it reveals relevant to my own experience as a disaffected chronically ill person who has abandoned the harmful medical standard of care that was only hurting me and making me worse.

Continue reading “Pardon My Schadenfreude. Discussing Disaffected Doctor Suicides”

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Self-Sufficiency, Responsibility, Preparation, Independence and Other Nonstarters. Part III. The Punchline.

In Part I of this series, I described my history with an insane physically, emotionally and sexually abusive nuclear family that combined with our collective lack of resources made me realize that if the S ever HTF that I would be on my own with no one in my family either willing or able to help.  I decided that I needed to be “successful” in life if I had any hope of securing a safe, sane and comfortable future for myself free from abuse, including abuse from men which I knew by watching and listening to my mother’s experience could and would ruin my life.  In Part II I describe the execution of my plan — I applied and was accepted to law school and graduated at the top of my class, hopeful that a law degree would provide me with the employment skills and financial security I knew I needed to keep myself safe.  I worked my ass off for about 6 years chasing an elusive “savings” and financial safety net that would catch me if I ever needed catching.  In the end, the only substantial money I ever made as a practicing attorney were the legal settlements for two work-related injuries I had suffered on the job as a lawyer.  My career and my best-laid plans were largely a bust by the time I was laid off the final time, lost my apartment in a hurricane, and was diagnosed with a serious debilitating chronic illness, Crohn’s disease.

In this Part III I will dissect and analyze what happened to me as basically the punchline of a cosmic patriarchal and capitalist joke — modern girls and women are led to believe that educations and careers can and will save us from the oppressive lives our mothers and grandmothers led but this is easier said than done.  In reality, my experience and observation has led me to conclude that, under capitalism and patriarchy, women’s “success” or power largely refers to women’s increased spending power as “successful” consumers who make money for other people, where we first accrue an enormous student debt load and then both mandatory and so-called discretionary expenses increase faster than our incomes making the goal of achieving true financial security elusive at best.  Women are in fact prevented in every case from creating safe, sane and comfortable lives for ourselves, including the financial security to protect ourselves from the very worst of patriarchy and capitalism when things go sideways, whether we have careers, or children, or neither or both.  It really doesn’t appear to matter at all.

Continue reading “Self-Sufficiency, Responsibility, Preparation, Independence and Other Nonstarters. Part III. The Punchline.”

Please Support My Work Via Patreon

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As I have discussed on this blog, I am a seriously chronically ill cannabis refugee and am facing financial ruin and homelessness due to the last 5 years of medical expenditures related to my diagnosis and treatment for Crohn’s disease, a crippling incurable and progressive autoimmune disease of the digestive tract.  After treating for 2 years with Western medical treatments which were not only ineffective but also making me feel worse, I left my partner, my home, my state, my profession and my previous life behind and traveled across the country to seek pain relief and healing through the use of medical cannabis.  Thankfully, I have found significant pain relief and some amount of healing from my disease far beyond what conventional treatments had to offer and I am so grateful to have been able to do that for myself.  Unfortunately, after more than 3 years of paying out-of-pocket for out of state lodging and cannabis treatments, at this time, I have nearly reached the end of my personal resources to deal with this issue.  Due to forces beyond my control, I am not currently eligible for disability- or need-based benefits despite my unfortunate diagnosis, significant disability, negative prognosis and financial need.

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How Can a “Tummy Ache” Be So Disabling? Sh*t Friends and Family Members Say to Crohn’s Patients. Part V. The Response.

In Part I of this series, I described the mind- and body-shattering symptoms of Crohn’s disease, a crippling autoimmune disorder of the digestive tract that also causes systemic effects like joint pain, skin eruptions and fevers.  In Part II, I describe the horror of Crohn’s treatment which apparently one has to actually experience in order to understand or empathize with.  In Part III I described my escape from the Western medical industry — after 2 years of suffering with only more suffering to look forward to, and no relief in sight, I packed one suitcase and made a reservation at a vacation rental property in a cannabis-friendly state where I had planned to stay for 2 months and heal myself with medical cannabis.  In Part IV I described my treatment successes as well as the fallout and negative consequences of my decision to leave my partner, my home, my state, my profession, and the Western medical industry behind.  From there, I will let the reader surmise what would have been an appropriate response from friends and family and hope that they are able to provide that considered, appropriate response if one of their own friends or family members fall ill, and to understand that they themselves are unlikely to receive the same considered response under the same conditions and to be prepared.  Being let down by the very people who are supposed to be there for you is a devastating blow.

In this Part V I will describe the actual responses I have received from friends and family regarding my situation which have been so inappropriate, unhelpful and physically and mentally draining that I have had no choice but to cut off all contact with almost everyone I know.

Continue reading “How Can a “Tummy Ache” Be So Disabling? Sh*t Friends and Family Members Say to Crohn’s Patients. Part V. The Response.”

How Can a “Tummy Ache” Be So Disabling? Sh*t Friends and Family Members Say to Crohn’s Patients. Part IV. The Fallout.

In Part I of this series, I described the mind- and body-shattering symptoms of Crohn’s disease, a crippling autoimmune disorder of the digestive tract that also causes systemic effects like joint pain, skin eruptions and fevers.  In Part II, I describe the horror of Crohn’s treatment which apparently one has to actually experience in order to understand or empathize with.  In Part III I described my escape from the Western medical industry — after 2 years of suffering with only more suffering to look forward to, and no relief in sight, I packed one suitcase and made a reservation at a vacation rental property in a cannabis-friendly state where I had planned to stay for 2 months and heal myself with medical cannabis.  3 years later, I am still here and facing a terrifying and uncertain future as a seriously chronically ill cannabis refugee.  In these parts, I hope to show how desperate and hopeless a situation I was (and still am) in as a seriously chronically ill person who was not responding to conventional treatment.  From there, I will let the reader surmise what would have been an appropriate response from friends and family and hope that they are able to provide that considered, appropriate response if one of their own friends or family members fall ill, and to understand that they themselves are unlikely to receive the same considered response under the same conditions and to be prepared.  Being let down by the very people who are supposed to be there for you is a devastating blow.

In this Part IV I will describe the fallout of my decision to leave my partner, my home, my state, my profession, and the Western medical industry behind.

Continue reading “How Can a “Tummy Ache” Be So Disabling? Sh*t Friends and Family Members Say to Crohn’s Patients. Part IV. The Fallout.”

How Can a “Tummy Ache” Be So Disabling? Sh*t Friends and Family Members Say to Crohn’s Patients. Part II. The Treatment.

In Part I of this series, I described the mind- and body-shattering symptoms of Crohn’s disease, a crippling autoimmune disease of the digestive tract that also causes systemic effects like joint pain, skin eruptions and fevers.  Since getting my Crohn’s diagnosis, friends and family members have spoken and acted in such ignorant and hurtful ways towards me and my situation that I have unapologetically cut off contact with almost everyone I know.  I just didn’t have the physical or mental stamina to deal with their hatred or to correct their misperceptions about me, my disease or my “new” life complicated by serious and debilitating chronic illness.  When I say “hatred” I am referring to hate as a verb: the process and practice of othering me, my body, my experiences, my needs and my life.  I am sure if anyone asked them if they hated me they would say they didn’t, not in the noun-sense of feeling hateful emotions towards me.  But in the political, material sense, othering is hatred — the kind of hatred that civil rights groups have actively resisted and sought to eradicate because othering causes disenfranchised people to suffer and die when their needs, desires, interests, perspectives, histories and calls for justice are roundly ignored.

In this Part II, I will describe the horror of Crohn’s treatment which apparently one has to actually experience in order to understand or empathize with.  In my experience, which I have seen mirrored in many online support groups for Crohn’s patients, the accepted treatments for Crohn’s are often brutal and offer minimal or no relief.  Furthermore, with its toxic Big Pharma poisons, invasive tests and risky surgeries, Crohn’s treatment often causes “side-effects” that are as bad as or worse than the disease.  For example, an immune-system obliterating series of infusions was the next weapon in my gastroenterologists’ arsenal and is known to cause opportunistic infections, cancer and even death.

Continue reading “How Can a “Tummy Ache” Be So Disabling? Sh*t Friends and Family Members Say to Crohn’s Patients. Part II. The Treatment.”

When You Can No Longer Consume, Conform, Reproduce, Obey. What “Disability” Means Under Capitalism & Patriarchy

“Consume, conform, reproduce, obey” is a reference to the 1988 American science fiction film “They Live” which suggests that subliminal and other cultural messages essentially program people to behave in certain ways which benefit the state and for-profit corporations.  Although the film was fictional, there is an excellent case to be made that it was also based on real life and the real experience of human beings existing under the brutal systems of capitalism and patriarchy.  Here, we are expected to conform to society’s rules with an alleged “greater good” prioritized over the needs of the individual; to obey the mandates of our elite corporate and public overlords created by them to benefit themselves at our expense; to reproduce if we are able and to seek medical assistance to conceive if we cannot; and of course to consume as many products and services as possible which generates income for the most wealthy and powerful among us.  Most able-bodied Western people do these things without thinking too deeply about them or they do it for as long as they physically and mentally can.  But what happens when, due to a serious chronic and debilitating illness or injury, we are no longer able to conform or obey because our illnesses direct our lives?  What happens when our ability to consume is hampered because we no longer have an income?

Here, in the face of serious and disabling illness or injury, the coercive reality of our station is writ large: the new role to which we will conform is that of a professional patient; we will consume medical goods and services whether we want to or not and whether they improve or further damage our health or not; and we will obey this mandate or, without means to supply ourselves with food, shelter or the necessities of life, we will be left to die.  This is the foundation and essence of the disability-based benefits structure and it is very real indeed.  As a seriously ill Crohn’s patient, this is my current (and likely future) station and I am furious about it.  Recognizing my immense vulnerability as a disabled person I am also saddened that it has come to this, horrified that I will be unable to stop it, and terrified for my future.

Continue reading “When You Can No Longer Consume, Conform, Reproduce, Obey. What “Disability” Means Under Capitalism & Patriarchy”