John Doe (Part 9): A Medical Orgy

doctorsToday is a busy day. The cancer doctor is in. He informs me that if I am found to have prostate cancer with metastasis to lungs, he will use a chemotherapy regimen called CAT (Cisplutonium+ Atronucleum+Tarcilium). If I am found to have lung cancer with mets to prostate, he will use BRAT (Bullonium+Robushium+Assonium+Tarcilium). If they can’t figure out what is what, then he might use BRATCAT altogether. He pleasantly informs me that though this powerful combination of medications will cause nausea, poor appetite, infections, ulcers and nerve damage but my “survival” will improve to 27% from 23.75% over 5 years.

But off course he first needs Urologist to biopsy my prostate and the lung doctor to see me. He also needs heart doctor and kidney doctor to give clearance for chemotherapy. It looks like every doctor is waiting for 3 other doctors to do their part before they can do anything.

Suddenly angry surgeon is back with her full team. She wants to know why they are talking about chemotherapy when gall bladder is still sitting in there, waiting to explode like a rotten kiwi. And if he is going to go for a prostate biopsy, why can’t she and Urologist “double tag” me and do both these things at the same time. She orders her assistant types to call Urologist assistant types. The Oncologist tells his assistant types to call kidney doctor’s assistant types.

Nurse informs them that I have been declared suicidal again by Psychiatrist. Angry Surgeon is real angry now, “these shrinks are out of control.” She asks another assistant to call shrink. Oncologist asks his assistant to call heart doctor so they can find out if my heart is strong enough to undergo gall bladder surgery, prostate biopsy and chemotherapy with CAT or BRAT or BRATCAT.

Kidney doctor comes in with his team. Surgeon asks him, “are his kidneys gone”? He informs her that he can’t say anything till 24 hour urine is collected and all kind of tests are run. The cancer doc wants to know if patient can at least tolerate chemotherapy. He feels I definitely need chemotherapy even if they have to put me on dialysis. The heart doctor’s assistant calls back. His boss is at some charity golf tournament and can’t be disturbed. Angry surgeon had a husband who used to play charity golf. She kicked him out and now he is on charity himself.

The Shrink is back. He is clearly intimidated by angry surgeon. She tells him that he needs to fix me whatever “mumbo jumbo” he needs to do. Otherwise there is no one to give consent for the surgery. The urologist comes in with his team. He has some long tubes in his hands. “Does he still have the obstruction? I can pass a catheter.” I can only imagine where this thing is supposed to go.

They talk some more about me. They decide to page Radiologist to further discuss those thousand CT scans that they have done on me so far. He doesn’t call back. They call him this time. The Radiologist is not happy. He is not used to being disturbed after 4 pm. He is “out” already and cannot look at CAT scans. He tells them that this “32 hours work week” is taking a toll on his life. He might not be able to do it much longer if he has to work 32 hours a week, 40 weeks a year. He loves medicine and taking care of patients but he can’t kill himself for them. Angry surgeon tells him that he does not take care of any patients, he just read films. He tells them to call “Nighthawk”. This is apparently some Radiologist thousands of miles away in foreign lands.

Now I truly have become an international case. I have 5 specialists and an army of trainees right at bedside and yet they need another one from another country. Thankfully they have decided to postpone this discussion for next day.

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