How do you cope with becoming – from one day to the next – that mythical character in Swiss hospital folklore, FemalePatientOver60WithPacemaker?
Spoiler alert! – I am not that character, never have been, and have no intention of becoming it!
Prior to surgery for a defective aortic valve, I was:
- a person who has always read, studied, and investigated new ideas and new domains, particularly in the realms of technology, programming, linguistics and evolutionary biology
- a very physically fit person, interested in nutrition, exercise and anything else relating to the maintenance of a healthy body/mind system
- a software developer and integrator by profession
- someone who by inclination and training, looks at how people perform their tasks, supported (or not) by the system they work in, and who notes – automatically – everything that is not functioning according to best practices (or at all!), with reflections on how to improve the situation
- a person who speaks 3 languages fluently – and knows 2 others in a more minor way
- a person who had lived in several different countries – having travelled there alone, and learnt how to survive and thrive in these new environments
(Actually, I am not so sure about “thrive” – but I am still alive and still calling out people and institutions that are heavy on pomp and authoritarianism, but light on content.)
- a person who learnt to ski well when over 30, and learnt to surf (ocean surf) over 40.
The mythical FemalePatientOver60WithPacemaker, on the other hand, is an old fart, bordering on Alzheimer’s, with zero intellect, zero intelligence, a bunch of received ideas, and a docile and submissive attitude to all figures of authority (which to all intents and purposes means “all pompous males convinced of their own importance” in the medical firmament).
The FemalePatientOver60WithPacemaker‘s usefulness on Earth is linked directly to baby-sitting for the grandchildren, singing in choirs of religious music, cooking, cleaning houses, and nothing else. The fact that they have intellectual, artistic and sporting pursuits does not seem to have been considered possible by the geniuses who decide on how to “care” for them.
And when you don’t morph overnight into the FemalePatientOver60WithPacemaker character, see how pissed off the geniuses in charge of your care are! Even the female doctors! Because they have all been brainwashed by and for the same appalling system! The whole lot, male and female, have drunk the Kool-Aid. They are the rulers in this system, while you, the FemalePatientOver60WithPacemaker, are the pathetic simpering peasant, expected to bow down in the presence of the great masters (of both genders) who have not only decided your fate, but also what your attitude should be during and after your “treatment”.
Be warned! I went into the CHUV with total confidence that I would not only have my heart defect repaired, but that I would be treated like a human being. My confidence in their “excellence” was dashed to pieces again and again. Their disdain for me as a feeling, thinking, reasoning human being, was the biggest shock I’ve had in over 30 years.
Whatever is causing this kind of abomination, it needs to be stopped, and something humane put in its place.