My Healthcare Team - Cocktail Shrimp
They Get ALL the Cocktail Shrimp and the rest of us get a dose of Garbage Farts
Today in Garbage Farts & Cocktail Shrimps
My entire MS team gets every last cocktail shrimps.
All of them.
I am very worried about my amazing doctors and nurses at the Judith Jaffe Multiple Sclerosis Clinic. I wasn't expecting this. It came as a shock to me to actually see first hand how our health care workers are suffering mightily.
They are tired. They are sad and incredulous at this nation who will not wear masks, socially distance, shut down, pay rent, stop evictions. For their patients -- not themselves.
Not just because they are tired but because they know their patients are tired. The MS center is across the street and affiliated with New York Presbyterian which was basically a war hospital for the first months of the pandemic.
I know PTSD when I see it. My devoted team - and so many other of my fellow MS'ers team - are suffering. I can feel it.
My neurologist who has become a friend over they years said to me yesterday as I sat with my little IV stand dumping various this and that into my arm said: 'we have had to wait to long for your treatment. This fucking pandemic didn't have to be this way - you should have been able to get in here earlier - those chronic head aches, the ear ringing you are feeling are exacerbations of your MS - your brain is swelling, basically - and it is the stress. Why do people just not care?'
It wasn't a rhetorical question. She was asking me. And I had to tell her because they just don't. Because they just simply don't. And that is a hard pill to swallow. But - it is acceptance that some of our fellows just simply don't understand the ripple effect of their inaction, believing lies, their prizing facial liberty over the tyranny of masks. It is hard. And it hurts to see them suffer. And it makes me angry in a way I didn't realize possible.
This team who has literally moved mountains to get me the care I have needed over the last decade are running out of hope. There weren't smiles of greetings. It wasn't the place I know and love. I could cry in the hallway over a rejected insurance claim while the bad ass office women tore a strip off BC/BS (which thank god for Obamacare I have an insurance to tear a strip off of) and got my shit done. No one was talking - and no smiles behind masks detected. I love those people and they are hurting so badly it hurts my heart.
They are wrecked.
MS and similar diseases are exacerbated by stress. I forget how much sometimes. I am going in for a new MRI soon. We may have to get more aggressive w/some more steroids, more chemo, etc. My immune system is officially destroyed for the next two months. I will be getting the vaccine when it becomes available to me.
God, I don't worry for me - I worry for them.
What you do - what I do here has an impact across the country and globe. What my friend Patti does in San Francisco (masking up, staying home, being responsible) or my daughter does in her salon in MSP (masking up, one person in the salon at a time, constant cleaning and relentless adherence to safety protocols) makes a difference to what happens to my family in Iowa, my dear friend who is a medical assistant in NOLA, my friends across the country.
It matters. What YOU do matters. Even if you don't believe the reality of COVID19 why not humor the rest of us for a few months - why not humor our medical community for a few months? why not act as if this is real. Suspend your cognitive dissonance. Turn off the noise and try a new approach: mask mandates, social distancing, no gatherings. You may not prevent someone from getting COVID but you might save a healthcare worker's life. I am stunned we haven't seen more healthcare worker suicides. But I can tell you this: the PTSD first responders still feel after 9/11 is an ongoing crisis of mental health. The PTSD over COVID is worse because at least after 9/11 The USA was behind them.
We have left them, abandoned them. And they are suffering to make sure our brains don't swell, our cancers don't grow, our bones get reset and that my dear friend hospitalized with COVID in Chicago right now may have a fighting chance.