Food and Weight: An Ongoing Journey

Stupid Way to End a Year

Posted on: December 31, 2013

I’m sitting here at my computer with a lot of pain, anger, sadness, and frustration tonight. Some of it, I can talk about, some not, since I believe the person involved occasionally looks at this blog.

Mainly, I’m sitting here wanting to shove everything in the refrigerator into my mouth, to stuff it all down. But I know that that’s self-destructive in so many ways.

1. A friend’s mother passed away. I feel for my friend since she has been undergoing all sorts of turmoil during her mother’s final illness. Not much I can do to help, but I am here if she needs me.

2. A cousin of mine is recovering from surgery for pancreatic cancer. This is the cousin I had wanted to be closer to all my life, although my father managed to sabotage that, as he did relations with most of the family on both sides. Still, I am glad that my cousin and I have found each other and are talking again. He says that, so far, his prognosis is good, and I am happy about that.

3. My cardiologist who was all for doing the open heart surgery, is now backing away from it because the surgeon he wants to use, who happens to be his boss, has rejected me out of hand as a candidate based on my age and weight (or so the cardiologist tells me – I’ve never seen or spoken to the surgeon). What they want to do instead will do nothing to solve the problem or give me my life back, and I am very angry. I am planning to refuse to have a pacemaker put in, since all they want to do that for is so that they can give me more drugs that won’t solve the problem without risking accidentally stopping my heart. Further, it seems the cardiologist never told my primary care guy that he was backing away from doing the surgery –my primary care guy found out when I saw him in the hospital and told him what was going on. He agrees that I should have some say in what happens to me, and that it was wrong for the surgeon to reject me without ever having seen me in person or spoken to me. Several people I have spoken with suggest that the surgeon is rejecting me because he doesn’t want to risk his “complication rate.” I agree with this assessment, and that means I’m going to have to talk to my primary care guy about getting a new cardiologist if the cardiologist won’t find a different surgeon. For one thing, I would not want a surgeon who doesn’t want to work on me doing so. I learned my lesson about that over the hemorrhoidectomy, thank you very much.

4. I have had to rethink who I want on my Medical Power of Attorney. I need to have people on there who I can trust. Unfortunately, I have one family member that I absolutely cannot trust to do what I want, as was proven yet again during my last hospital stay. So I have had to remove that person from the MPOA. Unfortunately, that person is making it all about them. Despite having done nothing but try to get me to mistrust all my doctors, hiding my wallet and credit cards without telling me where they were being put, and letting the patient transport guys walk off with my robe (then telling me I didn’t have a robe, when even the patient belonging manifest showed I did), even though out of all the things done watching that my robe didn’t get left behind was the ONE THING I had asked this person to do, this person claims that it will follow my wishes explicitly. The person’s response to being told of being removed from the MPOA was to ask my 90-year-old aunt to find out why, and insisting that I was now totally disowned by the person. My aunt asked me what she should tell the person, and I told my aunt to tell the person to call me if there were questions. Oh, when I told the person I was removing them, I was told that all my friends would just let me die, so I was making the wrong decision, “as always.”

The thing is, I need to be concentrating on my health now, not on all this petty crap. I’ve spent most of this weekend in tears, to the point where I seem to have broken a blood vessel around one eye. I’m going to have to fight to get the one kind of surgery that will actually repair the problems I’m having, and that surgery includes taking the risk that I will survive the procedure. I am willing to take the risk – the life I have now is pretty much crap. I can’t go places, can’t walk more than half a block without having to stop, can’t do the things I’m used to doing.

I’ve never been afraid of death. And, given that this stupid heart defect should have killed me in my late teens or early 20s, I have to say that, at 61, I’ve had a pretty good run of things. But I am not willing to live this stupid half a life. The thing is, if I am going to have to fight to have the actual surgery that I need instead of crap that won’t fix any of the problems, I need to be able to focus on the fight, not on all the petty crap my one family member seems determined to drag me through.

It’s easy to say that this person disowned me, so I should now have peace. However, it’s not so simple. My father worked hard at screwing the whole family up, and this person acts exactly like he did. I have spent most of my life ignoring the crap this person spews, on the grounds that I have too few blood relatives left to look for fights with any of them. However, I am not willing to turn my life over to the control of this person, and that, apparently, is the only way I am acceptable to the person. This person feels that it knows better than any of my doctors what they should be doing with and for me, and that’s just not so. I have very good doctors: my primary care guy saved my life twice, saved my roommate’s life, and save my ex’s life. Until he started backing away from doing the surgery, I would have trusted my cardiologist completely. He was honest with me about what was needed, and about how big a deal it really  is, so that I am fully cognizant of the risks involved. That the surgeon wouldn’t even meet with me before rejecting me as a candidate is unacceptable to me, and I need to find out why my cardiologist is suddenly changing his tune before I decide whether to go on with him or not.

I have a lot on my plate to deal with, and to have even a minor part of my support system ripped away is a shock to that system. I am lucky – I have my oldest friend (we met in 1972) and my ex to put on my MPOA, and I have another friend who will step up if one of them has to bow out. And I have my best friend from high school I could probably ask if that third person has to bow out for some reason. These are people I can trust to know what quality of life is for me. In fact, the third person proved that on the phone today by noting that accepting the pacemaker and the drugs would, in me, be a sign that I am giving up.

I am feeling a little better for having written this out. I am still sad, however, because I know the person causing me problems will never understand why I feel I had to remove it from the MPOA (and, in fact, it was not on the MPOA – it filled in a new MPOA “for me” while I was in hospital and got me to sign it when I had a 102.8 fever – clearly not acting toward my behalf, since It knows I did not want it on the MPOA to begin with). I don’t want to devolve into repeating myself, so I will end this here, and hope that things are better when I wake up in the morning, since I have some work that needs to be done before the New Year.

I wish all my readers a happy, healthy, prosperous 2014 that is filled with lots of love and joy.


6 Responses to "Stupid Way to End a Year"

It sounds like you’re taking the right approach: figuring out what you actually need and want, and trying not to let the frustration push you away from that. It’s very tough, and I wish you the best.

Thanks. Mostly, I’m trying not to get crushed under the weight of everything. I listen to “Julian of Norwich” a lot. Knowing every voice in that room is a heck of a lot of comfort.

You are doing the right things. I wish you success. Thanks again for the advice you gave me regarding a new career path. I just need the courage to take it. You’re an inspiration.

Thanks! I don’t know about being an inspiration; I just try to help out where I can.

Go for it, you sound like you thought this through.
Sorry about family making things even more difficult. But it is your life.

Get another surgeon. Look for a smaller hospital, they care less about numbers…and more about people. You matter.


I will be talking with my primary care guy on Friday to see what we do next. I am appalled that the surgeon would make such a decision without even meeting me. It’s my darned body, and I should have some say over what gets done to it.

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