We’re Going to Need to Run Some Tests

You know how it goes…you’re ill, not feeling well, something’s wrong and you make an appointment to see the doctor at their earliest opening…which is, typically, a month or two from the day you call the doctor’s office. Ah yes, such is healthcare in the richest country in the world.

Sort of like being back in elementary school, or cramming for college entrance exams that will allow you (or your parents, if they’re somewhat loaded with spare cash or just  kind) the golden opportunity to outlay $20K and more each year for an “education” that will have you humming the piper’s tune in 4 short years or less – the doctor wants to do a series of tests. For what…well, that’s the problem.  He/She isn’t sure, so in order to make sure of what they’re not sure about, they’re sure you need to do the tests.

Because you’re ill, feel like something is really off, or concerned your time on this hell hole might soon be coming to an end, you oblige and start the tests, and this is where the real fun begins.

It might first be a series of blood tests.  How much blood is needed to find out what they’re not sure you is ailing you…lots. Not just one vial, more likely 5, 6, maybe more vials of the vampire’s breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have a lot of tests to run.

luis-melendez-530478-unsplashYou inquire, meekly, because after all, doctors wear white lab coats and look really smart – why so much blood?  Well, the right ventricle of your aorta “nonsophicals” could be blocked…or it could be that your deviated septum is causing a gaseous buildup in your lower intestinal tract…or it could be the drainage from your plugged up nose is leaking into regions in the body they’re really not sure about.  A series of blood tests will tell us more, the white lab coat assures you.

If you’re really lucky, the blood tests show nothing abnormal, but you still feel like shyte, and knowing you can’t blame EVERYTHING on the guy with orange hair, you conclude that more needs to be done to get to the bottom of what’s wrong. The white lab coat solemnly nods in agreement.

The next test could include wonders of a gel-like substance rubbed over whatever area that is troublesome that will enable a technician to take an instrument in hand, rub the gel into the area that is particularly tender, producing mild to excruciating pain, along with really boring (or horrific if you’re really ill) black and white images showing things they won’t tell you about until the white lab coat can review. The “review” could take a while. And though you were told that the ultrasound is just like a massage, it isn’t.

If your truly fortunate, you get to have an MRI. Nothing like getting a taste of being alive in a coffin BEFORE you actually assume room temperature. If even the slightest bit claustrophobic, you’ll need to be “knocked out” for this one. Don’t worry, the white lab coat tells you, they’ll give you a “sedative”.  No…I don’t want to sleep in the frickin’ coffin, I want to be stone cold out of it.  Well, that might be a problem…but the sedative will help, you’re assured.  It doesn’t.  Into the tube you go, with your choice of music to listen to (like that is going to comfort you – yes, humming along to Beethoven’s 9th, will keep you from realizing you’re in a goddamn tube with no way out.)  But it’s needed, they tell you, or they’ll never be sure of what you might have.

So, after a series of blood tests, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRI’s, upper GI’s and, if your really lucky, lower GI’s and even more delicious tests that can’t be noted here due to the graphic details of what excruciating pain is really all about, you have another doctor’s appointment, now 3 months out from when you originally called in, to go over “the results”.

Schedule this appointment at the crack of dawn so that you won’t be tempted to start “happy hour” at 9:00 a.m. for your 3:00 p.m. appointment.

“Well,” the white lab coat intones, as you nervously take a seat, thinking – yes he/she really knows what they’re talking about because they’re wearing that white lab coat, “we can’t really find anything wrong”.  Jesus, Mary and Joseph!  All that for nothing?  Yes, life can be such a bummer most of the time.

They’re just not sure what’s your health problem –  but, praise Jesus, they can tell you to take Tylenol or Ibuprofen for your symptoms. Of course, you could have figured that one out yourself…maybe, you think, you should start wearing a white lab coat.

But don’t despair, they could actually find something wrong with you…and from there, well, there’s probably not a cure…but there sure are a lot of medications waiting for you – pharmaceutical junk to keep you well enough to keep taking their junk.

Curing you of whatever ails you seems to be a problem here in America:

Wall Street Admits Curing Diseases is Bad for Business – by Lee Camp

In a recent report, a Goldman analyst asked clients: “Is curing patients a sustainable business model?” Salveen Richter wrote: “The potential to deliver ‘one-shot cures’ is one of the most attractive aspects of gene therapy. … However, such treatments offer a very different outlook with regard to recurring revenue versus chronic therapies. … While this proposition carries tremendous value for patients and society, it could represent a challenge for genome medicine developers looking for sustained cash flow.”

Yes, a Goldman analyst has said outright that curing people will hurt their cash flow. And he said that in a note designed to steer clients away from investing in cures. Can “human progress” have a bottom? Because if so, this is the bottom of so-called human progress—down where the mud eels mate with the cephalopods. (Or at least that’s how I picture the bottom.) –  Lee Camp, via mintpress.com

“The story so far:  In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.” ― Douglas AdamsThe Restaurant at the End of the Universe

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Tonight’s musical offering:

Leonard Slatkin leads the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s Second Symphony (3rd movement: Scherzo)

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