ADA, Civil Rights ADA, doctor-patient relationship, Hippocratic Oath, patient rights, Salud Clinic Colorado, trust of health care provider
Many thanks to all who said such wonderful things about yesterday’s saga of the rescue of the family piano.
Working on that essay was the sweet fraction of yesterday; the rest was given over to a fiasco.
My new physician at the local poor people’s clinic tried to get away with a real breach of “do no harm” yesterday. She had refused to re-prescribe a drug for PTSD I’ve been on for twenty plus years until an appointment a month away, setting me up for a bitch of a withdrawal, in violation of the standard of medical care.
I had to drop everything and look up things like the Guidelines for the Prescription of Regulated Drugs in Colorado, and the Colorado Revised Statutes 18-18 something. Lo and behold, she had the discretion to issue up to five refills without seeing me, and had only refilled three times.
I put this fact in front of her administrators and we had a show-down. After I smelled “we don’t want you as our patient anymore” I invoked my civil rights including Title III of the ADA– that you can’t terminate a disabled person unless that person poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others, with the burden of proof on the provider– and gave my arguments for why I would have an airtight case for a personal injury/medical malpractice lawsuit, the drug was refilled until the appointment.
I was so utterly disgusted by all of it that I gave my thirty days’ notice as their patient. Finally, after hours of frazzlement, I began to speak soothing words to myself, as in, “go back to bed. Get some rest. ”
My dog and I went into my cool and dark room and sleep “knit the raveled sleeve of care” for a time.
I woke up and checked my voicemail and there was a call from the petty administrator saying she was sorry she had missed my call and that the Rx had been called in.
I have gone up against district attorneys, county deputies, probation officers, nursing home administrators, clinic administrators, an entire clinic-full of orthopedic specialists, , the chancellor for the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado.
As a vulnerable little girl, as an adolescent and on into my adult life, I didn’t know how to protect me from bad things. I wandered into the arms of a whole bunch-a renegades before I got it that I was being used rather than loved.
I know how to protect me now; I can produce a motion for District Court in under ten minutes. I know how to try to negotiate reasonably before filing a motion. In recent months, I have been trying to live life open and unarmed; I’m really, really sick of fighting, and getting sucked in to things that would take a Dream Team to sort out. The Jedi, who generally does acknowledge her own part in things, wants to lay down her sword of light.
But how unfortunate that the truism “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is truly true, and that some people–those who view themselves as untouchable– are very often not reasonable or fair and have to be wrestled to the ground in the most in-your-face ways to honor the law of the land.
In the job I had for almost 25 years as a writer, editor, and manager with an employment law publishing firm, I read cases that seemed incredulous, yet were all too real. Most would not have been necessary had employers respected employees’ rights as human beings first and as human beings with legal rights second. How I managed to come out not being the greatest cynic in the world I’ll never know. Health care is one huge caseload.
I hope you find peace through your music and via other words over the coming days.
You had a terrible day yesterday. I hope today was better.
I’m sorry to read you are still being treated this way. I hope, as Doug said, that today was/is better. Hang in there.
Lyle Daggett said:
On one of the T.V. stations here sometime during the past week or so, a local commentator did a brief editorial about the widespread phenomenon of people whose incompetence is so large and all-encompassing that they don’t comprehend how incompetent they are.
“There are many things,” he said, “that any one of us doesn’t know. A person of average intelligence and awareness will likely understand that there’s much they don’t know. A person of truly great incompetence, though, more likely won’t realize how much they don’t know.” As I recall, he related this, briefly, to corporate executives who have tanked the economy and to the geniuses at BP who have sprung a leak in the earth.
This came to mind, reading your post here…
I also, this evening, read the marvelous piano post prior to this one. Oh, piano stories. We had a piano in our house (a Steinway upright) always from when I was very young, and it seems to me now that most of the homes we ever visited, relatives and family friends, had either pianos in them or some other music.
I’ve played piano only sporadically and without ardent seriousness, dabbling now and then. Once poetry bit me my choice was made.
I did, however, once teach myself to play the slow movement of Beethoven’s Moonlight sonata. I would have been around 15 at the time. I sat at the piano, and worked my way through it, two or three bars at a time, little by little until I could play the whole movement.
I never felt that I had an organic feel for the whole piece, I didn’t have a sense of how the passages flowed one from another, this apart from the technical or mechanical clumsiness of my playing. (I say this understanding that for many people just learning to play such a piece at all would feel like a small miracle, and it still does, a little, to me.)
It’s been years, decades, since I played it last, and I would have to learn it again almost from scratch at this point. Poetry, fortunately, formidable as it can be, hasn’t scared me off yet… 🙂
Hi Lyle– so very nice to hear from you and many thanks for reading me and liking the piano piece– the jedi/sheriff one well, necessary… I imagine you felt and understood the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata better than you think….xj