Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Lilliputian Nightmare

I dreamed about her again. The little girl. A pretty happy pleasant little girl dressed in a white cotton frock. She was with her mommy. She's never been tied down to a train track in my dreams but that's how I recognise her. She has the look of someone who has.  Big big eyes.  Trusting.  She's with her mommy in this dream.  Her mommy is afraid for her.  We're in a hospital building and there are line ups everywhere.  Everywhere there are sick people and wheelchairs, stretchers and crutches.   The sick are waiting.  The party is happening as always, the back rooms.   Patients lined up but  behind the counters out of sight the  dancing and whiskey and champagne flowing.  It used to be a surgery I dreamed of and the girl was dying lying on the table.  The party was going on around the table and the anesthetist nurse and I couldn't get to the table to do the surgery. There wasn't any room.  Now she's walking through a hospital  with her mommy holding her hand.
I'm walking beside her and   see she's lilliluputian,  that the girl is only the size of my hand . Talk about failure to thrive. I think she must be one of the girls I aborted.
"Whose her pediatrician?"  I ask her mother.  She tells me his name.  I just know he's young.  He won't rock the boat.  He doesn't dare.  Hold the party line.  Here I am at my age and I still don't know. I wish I was dead at these times.  Taking on causes.  Rising out of my despondency.  I hate the idealism. I hate  belief. I wish I could have just done as I was told.   I'd like a ferrari and a mansion home too.  The administrators have lear jets and dachaus.  Make so much more than nurses and doctors. CEO's . Why shouldn't they?  If it wasn't a government job and he has no risk, just priviledge.
"He's had me doing all these tests and none of them are helping."  The little girls legs are less than my fingers.  Her pediatrician is one of those I'm thinking. Countless tests.  By doing tests he feels he's doing something.  Taking pictures. Making notes. Sampling.   In the days of old the generals lost the wars waiting for more and more reconnaissance while the enemy invaded their camps.  No one can make decisions today.  Decisions are where the rubber meets the road.  Waffle.  Look intelligent and waffle.  Delay.  Death by waitlist is better than a person dying because of a failure of treatment.  Better they die by test.
I know I shouldn't get involved. My health is gone getting involved.  There are so many forces of death.  The power of devolution is so great these days.  We'll all die anyway. Remain philosophical.  She's not your concern.  Just another stranger.  So many strangers.  You've helped so many strangers. And been paid for it.  With misery, disease and contempt.  The silver too.  Don't forget the silver.  You like your Ford.
"Why won't anyone do anything.  Why doesn't anyone care.?" The mother is saying.  I've heard that thousands of times. Miracles are what shows people care and no one wants miracles. Kill people who do miracles.
I am about to explain the success of doctors and how men and women who didn't want to be doctors decided they could have it all by owning doctors.  Doctors became their commodities.  Doctors did as they were told. Doctors used what they were given.  Some had sports teams. Some had armies. Some had doctors.
The little girl the size of my hand was nobody.  She was playing with a piece of fluff as I was thinking.  I've explained this so many times but it does no good.
They couldn't afford to pay for the service. Their doctor knew they were nobody.  Everyone was influence pedalling these days. The whole idea was how to get to the top of the waitlists.  It was like a football game with hawkers selling seats.  I know someone who knows someone who knows someone.  Such a great place for graft and corruption.  I was standing there not knowing what to do.  I had my own lines all around me but someone had told them to see me.  And she'd come in my sleep looking very much like the girl I imagined I aborted all those years ago.
In my mind I'm hearing another tell me I 'm not fit for work, that I care, that I have to separate my feelings from my job, that it's just a job, that they're not people they're numbers, and she's smiling that hollow smile and I'm afraid like she is.  We're all afraid.
"They just got another doctor for swearing.  Everyone knew he was the best but he said 'shit' and they had him.  He's being removed. They'll reeducate him I suppose.  Can't say 'shit' anymore.  Not like the days."
I laugh at the popularity of "House MD".  A dinosaur and anachronism.  Wouldn't last a day in a Canadian hospital Administration would be all over him like flies on rotting flesh.
"I couldn't get any of the tests he ordered done because they said the requisitions had changed."  I'm looking down at the little waiff and hearing the mother.  They don't realize they've been doing that for all the decades I've worked. Changing forms. Denying invoices.  It's escallated. A day doesn't go by I don't get a dozen's of  phone calls saying I've not filled some form in right.  The tone is 'why can't you do your job."  I've a thousand forms changing weekly and this person has only their one.
It's all compartmentalized.  "The protocols are there for a reason," the administrator is shouting at me.  "If the protocol says she's supposed to die, she's supposed to die and you're not supposed to interfere."  Her voice is nails on glass.  Of course  I know the protocols and the reason.  I'm not getting kick backs for the research. That day I'd  taken the person out of the trial and I'm being treated like I'm unpatriotic like I don't care if there's a cure for cancer. Always it comes back to "don't you care."  The administrator is looking at me down her aquline nose when she says, "You don't care, you sanctimonious self aggrandising shit."  Administrators can say shit.
I'm wasting the girls time. I have my own lines that run around the block and then some..  These days there's an endless stream outside my door.  Now I'm taking time I don't have to fill out the form for the tiny nobody girl and her nobody mother who aren't supposed to be here. I was just trying to get through to my door when I saw them.  So tiny and insignificant. I can't get over her being only the size of my hand and no one else is taking any notice.
I'm showing the mother how to fill out the form.  I'm writing a consult for her to see a pediatrician who still cares hoping they still do and the administration hasn't got to them too.  My heart sank when my friend wrote, please don't send me anymore referrals. You know we can't help them or we're not supposed to help them. I'm just trying to do what I can till I retire. I don't want to fight any more battles with administration. I'm sorry I can't help you anymore."
It's so obvious the girl has love the way she holds onto her mommy's little finger.     It's everything else that's missing.  Even as I sign my name, a name so used up and tired, I see the tiny little girl crying as the mother thanks me.  I know I'm going to get shit for helping but  I can't believe medicine isn't interested in a crying lilliputian.

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