Archive for the 'Charlatan' Category

Dr. Gytt Gives Me Financial Advice

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

After years of substandard physical therapy at the warehouse, I enrolled in an outpatient program at the downtown rehab hospital where I did time immediately after my stroke. I remembered them treating me like a retarded gerbil; but after spending years at the warehouse, I’d physically progressed to the extent that maybe they’d take me seriously (like they should have done from the get-go). I had to admit that the majority of therapists at the rehab hospital were intelligent, well-trained, and personable. Plus it was the only available game in town.

Twice a week, a cripplevan picked me up at the warehouse and lugged my ass to the rehab hospital. The charge nurse had reserved a ride for me every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon; for the most part, a different driver arrived each time. I looked forward not only to amassing long-term skills but also to the break in my daily routine. At the warehouse I dealt with a mostly disingenuous dirt-stupid staff. I’d be a lying cuss if I claimed that I didn’t welcome interaction with friendly and quick-witted young women. more »

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But He’s an Army Man!

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Simmy worked as a physical therapist at the warehouse. A few days before he started, while I lifted wall-mounted weights in the therapy room, I heard the department supervisor excitedly tell a coworker: “We’re finally getting a new guy. He’s an Army man!

The coworker asked, “Has he had any experience as a therapist?”

The supervisor frowned: “Well, Mr. Gold never said.” Quickly her smile returned: “But he’s an army man!

One morning I rolled into the therapy room and found the new guy sitting at one of six desks organized in the alcove. I slogged through my morning exercise ritual, anticipating my post-workout cigarette. (In retrospect, I realize the profound stupidity of smoking after exercising; my shitful luck had magnified a deep-rooted smoker’s rationalizaion.) When I finished working out, I wheeled to the ashtray positioned on a bookshelf next to the new guy’s desk.

He forced symmetry on a sloppy pile of papers by tapping a long edge on the blotter. Then he stood and walked the short distance to the supervisor’s desk, gently placed the tidy stack in front of her. more »

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Dental Interns Use Me As a Guinea Pig 6 – The Difference Between a Stooge and a Dickweed

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Read Part 5
…The naïve intern appeared and asked me to follow her down the hall. She stopped in front of her examination room, seemed embarrassed and stared at the carpet as she began: “I didn’t want to say anything in front of anybody.” She raised her head. “But you really upset my receptionist, to say the least. I won’t see you until you’ve calmed down. Go make an appointment with the other receptionist.” I didn’t say anything, turned and wheeled past the reception window, through the waiting room and out the door. I parked on the sidewalk outside of the building and used my cell phone to order a cab. While I waited, I vowed to write a letter to whomever bore responsibility for Special Needs Dentistry.¹

As soon I returned to my apartment, I wheeled over to my computer and searched the directory of the major hospital hosting the Special Needs Dentistry program. I found a contact’s name and mailing address, and copied it into my address book. I’ve discovered that letters of complaint submitted via snail mail generally command more attention than emails. more »

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Dental Interns Use Me As a Guinea Pig 5 – She Was Just Doing Her Job

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Read Part 4
By my next appointment twelve weeks later, I’d managed to skip the warehouse and move into my own apartment. I checked in with the receptionist, a young woman different than the movie-magazine toady. She asked if anyone had brought me. I glanced behind myself—of course there wasn’t anybody there—turned back and politely answered, “No. I came by myself.” Then she cooed that the dentist would see me shortly, I should take a seat in the waiting room. She pointed to the chairs in full view a few feet away. I’d just spent literally years enduring dumbed-down baby talk spewed at me by clueless emotional retards; at that time I was discovering that mostly clueless emotional retards populated the outside. I had given Special Needs Dentistry a more than fair chance, and the people involved had proven themselves chronic fuck-ups. Something had to give.

I wheeled the few feet into the waiting room and parked in front of a stationary chair. Though there were no other patients, the TV positioned on a wall mount blared. Less than a minute later the receptionist scurried in and stopped in front of me. more »

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Dental Interns Use Me As a Guinea Pig 4 – High Turnover

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Read Part 3
As I entered the small one-story building, I naively assumed that “Special Needs” referred to my gimpiness. A glance around the waiting room proved me wrong…I would’ve ordinarily thought fuck this fully and skipped subsequent visits… [But] I considered my dentist’s forecast of possible infection, the pain and inconvenience accompanying such infection, and the astounding stupidity and sluggishness of the public aid drones on whom I now depended…by then I’d resigned myself to wading through a cesspool of irrationality prior to receiving medical care.

Three months later on my second visit to Special Needs Dentistry, a new budding tooth mechanic awaited me: a young woman who, like the aspiring DDS I’d previously seen, spoke with an eastern European accent and demonstrated a impersonal attitude. I twice asked about my former intern’s whereabouts before she looked up from my paperwork and absently replied, “Oh, she’s finished here.” Next I asked about my X-rays; she claimed “they” hadn’t developed them yet. more »

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Dental Interns Use Me As a Guinea Pig 3 – Remedial Dentistry and Money Grubbing

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Read Part 2
The public aid stooge insisted on “helping” me maneuver my wheelchair out of his office and up the hall. Despite my repeated objections, he grabbed the handles on the back of my wheelchair and started to push. Asshole. The day of the appointment with my new dentist arrived. I rolled out of the cripplevan and toward a building; the plaque next to the doorway announced “Special Needs Dentistry.”

The cripplevan driver found the “Special Needs Dentistry” facility across the street from a major hospital. As I entered the small one-story building, I naively assumed that “Special Needs” referred to my gimpiness. A glance around the waiting room proved me wrong. more »

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I Ignore Unnecessary Surgery

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

Read A Medical Technician Uses Me As an Inanimate Teaching Aid

After roughly 45 minutes of studious poking and prodding, the EMG ended. There weren’t any bodily tissues or fluids that needed to be sent to a lab for analysis; a trained medical professional i.e. the labcoat lady should’ve been able interpret the available data. But when I asked for the verdict, she told me I’d have to talk to my doctor “in a few weeks.” Before I could open my mouth to debate her, she’d rushed out the door.

The day after the labcoat lady and her students administered the test, I phoned my alleged hand surgeon’s receptionist, Celia. She curtly sighed and told me that six weeks from then was the soonest she could schedule an appointment. Usually the head nurse working the day shift at the warehouse made a resident’s medical appointments. Since the potential surgery had been my idea, and given the nursing staff’s inability to concentrate on issues not closely monitored by the shrew of a head nurse, I decided to initiate the follow-through myself. more »

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A Medical Technician Uses Me As an Inanimate Teaching Aid

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Read A Thieving Doctor Tells Me My Business

My alleged hand surgeon ordered that I be tested for carpal-tunnel syndrome. His receptionist scheduled the test for three weeks from then. During those weeks I researched the condition; the basic facts made clear the patent unlikelihood of my suffering from it. But I guess the hand surgeon had kids in college.

A colleague of my alleged hand surgeon administered the test while three of her students took notes. This noble display of scholarship occurred only a few steps from my alleged hand surgeon’s complex i.e. office.

Nobody among the young females that had followed the labcoat-wearing woman into the room spoke much English. Their refusal to make eye contact with me, or acknowledge my existence as a sentient being and not an inanimate learning tool rendered any language barrier moot. more »

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A Thieving Doctor Tells Me My Business

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

Read Typical Reception

If you live in a warehouse, nobody respects your time because everybody assumes you lead a useless life. Many doctors—that is, their lickspittle secretaries—schedule a ridiculous number of needless appointments and unnecessary tests, clearly because the government is footing the bill, and they think warehouse residents have nothing better with which to occupy themselves anyway.

After Celia graced me with her keen insight, she high-tailed out of the office. She returned fifteen minutes later and ushered me into a hallway that led to a myriad of identical examination rooms. I followed her down the hall; she stopped and ordered me to wheel into one of them. more »

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First Leg of My Hand Odyssey

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

Years after the warehouse administration admitted me, I decided I needed surgery on my right hand. I figured there must exist a procedure that would relieve the tendons that forced my fingers to curl inward towards the palm. I especially hoped that surgery would render my thumb somewhere in the neighborhood of opposable—it would never regain the complete functionality I was used to. A hand surgeon practiced in a labyrinth of offices and lab facilities that sprawled throughout a cavernous brick building, located on a college campus in downtown Chicago. I’d grown accustomed to tardy cripplevans and lengthy interviews with secretaries and interns before the doctor graced me with a brief and invariably overdue appearance.

There are few people more irritating than receptionists and assistants that work in doctor’s offices. more »

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