Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Ever Since 45 Came On The Scene, Sophie Has Been Terrible*
So, yesterday we had a little emergency, and Sophie and I were transported to a local hospital via ambulance. I feel strangely lethargic and unwilling to go into it, but Sophie was admitted under the suspicion of aspiration pneumonia. The hospital is a small one, around the corner and down the road from my house in the big shitty, and getting there was a story all unto itself, but, again, I don't feel like telling it. I will tell you that the whole time I was traveling in the ambulance and answering the questions of the paramedic, I was paralyzed with anxiety about the cost (even though we have private insurance and secondary MediCal) and that's because of the shit that's going on in our so-called "government" and the recent passing of what I call the Ass Hole Care Act (you're an asshole if you concocted it, you're an asshole if you voted for the people who concocted it and you're an asshole if you go along with it and we're all assholes for living in a country and accepting the whole cockamamie shebang that is considered "healthcare" in this wealthy nation). I feel positively unhinged of late, as I know many of you do, so riding in an ambulance seemed par for the course for the times and all that jazz. Cliche.
There's Sophie looking straight at you. She is actually stable now and does NOT have aspiration pneumonia as far as we know. Her x-rays are clear, and blood work is normal. We still have to wait on the blood culture to come back, but I am not convinced that she is sick and have therefore declined antibiotics other than the couple of doses she got intravenously when we first suspected the aspiration pneumonia. Lots of readers here have medical backgrounds, and frankly, so do I.
I suspect that the problem is neurological and related to the benzo Onfi that I've been weaning very, very slowly. The problem is that Onfi causes "increased secretions" as a common side effect, and despite Sophie being on it for nine years (yes, nine years), when we wean a bit from her body, it's as if the side effects increase as we lower the level. Does that make sense? Also, there's this metabolism thing that's going on with Onfi and CBD that I'll go into in a tiny little mother mind™ way later.
Are you still with me?
We had to go to this small hospital in my neighborhood, as I said, because of a fire department/too crowded "good" hospital/Los Angeles traffic reason, and despite the lovely nursing there, the doctoring was -- well -- abysmal, and I just don't feel like complaining anymore. I'm done. I know that I have symptoms of PTSD, and that while this isn't my "fault" so much, it's inevitable that the course my brain takes when I get near hospital settings and, particularly, hospital doctors, is fight and flight. It takes all of my formidable strength to stay calm, to acknowledge the bonfires spreading in my tiny little mother mind™ and then think of ways to calm them in a kind of reverse kindling way. The thought crosses through that I am just plain crazy and that every one knows it, that somehow my reputation as a crazy, non-compliant mother who has no trust in The Powers That Be has made its way from the dark days of the last century at New York Hospital to Columbia Presbyterian to UCLA in the new millennium to Glendale Memorial to that doctor's private practice, to USC Keck and now to Olympic (or is it Olympia?) Medical Center and up the little elevator and into the plaid pocket of the Doctor Without a Lab Coat Who Entered The Room of My Daughter, Didn't Introduce Himself and Proceeded to Examine Her Superficially and Speak Pompously About a Subject That He Has No Idea About, And That Is My Daughter.
Here I am, swinging from the odd little chandelier that hung from the ceiling in our hospital room. My friend Kari can attest to the truth of the above doctor, as she was in the room with me. She also took the picture.
Which do you think is odder? Me or the placement of the chandelier or -- hell -- the chandelier itself in a hospital room?
Please discuss chandeliers and hospital decor, particularly COLORS.
So, Sophie is stable. I'm going to ask to be discharged tomorrow. I had a conversation on the telephone with The Neurologist (who's from a different hospital that doesn't have chandeliers in the room) that was shocking and disappointing. I was hoping that she would have a conversation with Dr. Goldstein, the doctor who helps me with all things CBD-related. She had some interesting words about metabolism and the interaction of Onfi and CBD. Dr. Goldstein spoke to me via phone last night at 11:00 because she is a doctor with extraordinary devotion to her patients. She is, quite literally, the only doctor who helps me in any way beyond throwing drugs at my daughter and flippant remarks to the atmosphere that surrounds me. I said to The Neurologist, I'd really love for you and Dr. Goldstein to talk about this CBD/Onfi stuff because I trust you both and think we can help Sophie if we're on the same page. Would that be okay?
Do you know what The Neurologist said?
This is what she said, No, I can't talk to her. I'm sorry, but I have strict orders from MY BOSS not to discuss anything about cannabis with my patients.
I'm going to let you stew over that remark for a bit.
Remember that The Neurologist is an excellent one that has treated Sophie for over four years. Remember that she works for a very, very good neurology department at one of the best hospitals in California, if not the country. Remember that she is perfectly aware of Sophie's CBD regimen and has duly taken notes when I've paid my quarterly visits to her. Remember that we have no other options for Sophie for seizure control other than the lame medical device called a Vagal Nerve Stimulator, that I will absolutely not try. Remember that she generally asks no questions about the cannabis other than to note the dosage or any changes that we make. Remember that she told me several years ago that "the party line is we need more research." Remember that GW Pharmaceuticals is working mighty hard to get a cannabis product called Epidiolex through the FDA. Remember that the neurology community is strangely taciturn, if not downright obstructionist and two-faced with their patients using cannabis. Remember that the Attorney General of the Disunited States of Amerikkka is adamantly opposed to even medical marijuana and has said that good people don't use it. Remember that Dr. Price, the Health and Human Services Secretary is adamantly against medical marijuana and as effusively positive about the Ass Hole Care Act. He even lied about the Medicaid block grant stuff. Remember my harrowing trip in the ambulance with my PTSD. Remember these things as you muse on a physician telling one of her patients' mother that she has been ordered by her boss not to talk about cannabis.
These people do not give a flying foo foo about us.
I think you need another picture.
I'm asking for discharge tomorrow, and we're getting the hell out of Dodge.
*My friend Cara noticed that Sophie did great for the last four years of Obama's second term and that these troubles began exactly when 45 became the nominee. In fact, Sophie was in the hospital for the first time in years during one of those dreadful debates -- I think the one where he lurked behind Clinton like a predatory rapist. Remember? Between the Ass Hole Care Act shenanigans and now this bizarro development with the FBI director getting fired and everything that's flying around about constitutional crises and coups and still people defending the Asshole in Chief -- well -- I'm adding Sophie's troubles to the list. It's what 45 has wrought. If I can be so bold as to draw a parallel, to make the personal political, I think we have to be strong. Sophie is strong. I am strong. We are all strong people. We have to resist.