Friday, October 23, 2009

You can't make this stuff up

I work in the ghetto of Washington DC. And, I also work with a Redneck constituent in Maryland. Drug seekers versus drug dealers, crack versus methadone and crystal meth, trannies versus well, you get it, you just can't make any of this shit up.

In the ghetto, the storyline for a gunshot wound to the head is something like this, "Well, see, I was mindin' my own business, taking grandmamma to church, and then somebody reached in the car and shot me" (that's if they are able to talk after the assault, you'd be surprised, many are).

In redneck land the story for running out of pain medicine is something like this, "Well see, I'm out of work, and my pain Doctor refused to see me, and I don't want to get addicted to no pain medicines, but this tooth ache has been hurtin an awful lot". The retort depending on my mood is, "Have you gone to a Dentist?" Then they say, "Well, I don't have no money for that". Meanwhile they have a Blackberry phone and pack of cigarettes in their pocket. They usually get testy when you confront them about their money to buy cigarettes. I remember confronting an old man with Asthma and Obstructive Pulmonary Disease how he had enough money for cigarettes and cable TV but no money for his inhalers (he came in asking for a free inhaler). The response was something like, "I didn't come in here to be judged...wheeze...cough...I could just leave and go else...cough...wheeze...where. I gave him a free inhaler, hell, I'm a sucker for schmucks I guess.

And I'm told that God loves everyone. I suppose so, I'm just puzzled that the scum of the earth can survive multiple gunshots to the head while the single hard working mothers of three get diagnosed with terminal brain cancer at age 40. The good dying young has me question my faith in God the most, but it's more like a "I'll ask God when I get to meet Him question" than actually turning into an agnostic.

This morning I was at the Dermatology office for my quarterly skin check. My P.A. scraped a mole and said, "This could be neoplastic, let's just make sure it's not". And I said, "Yeah, Melanoma to the Brain sucks, terrible death, we've had a few of them.". And she said, "That's the part I like about my job, we find things generally when they aren't bad, aren't advanced, we don't have to give the ole "Sorry Johnny, your mom is dead speech".

Interesting, we do. A friend recounted his "Sorry your mom is dead speech" one day in the call room. As a background, this Doctor is a very soft spoken conservative person, and extremely stoic. When he finished telling a family their loved one had no clinical sign of brain function, a concerned and distraught family member said, "You are a Neurosurgeon right? Is your service like that Neurosurgery service on "Gray's Anatomy"? Is everyone sleeping with each other?"

If I never learn anything else, I will never be surprised at the great art form of the human race. God gave us life through Adam and Eve, and He tries to find ways to guide us to become better people...but dang, the disrespect people have for themselves and each other is universal from ghettos to trailor parks.

The universal theme is disrespect and lack of accountability. It's always someone elses fault, job, responsibility, etc. Will it ever get better? Is it worse now, or has it just stayed the same?

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