Mechanics and Dentists: Navigating the Systems of the World

First off, I really like my mechanics and my dentists.

That hasn’t always been true. I got really taken in Austin, TX with an old Mazda that had, I believe, an electrical short. That’s one of my regrettable but necessary lessons. A new mechanic, a new dentist could tell me anything they want. Tell me assertively enough, and I might believe them long enough to part with some of my money.

Even sadder, throughout the lives of several family members over forty years, we’ve had some very bad medical care. Possibly an unnecessary double mastectomy, leg amputation, back surgery, and we’re certain now unnecessary removal of all of someone’s teeth when only one needed removal. It’s so sad to look back and see how confusion and vulnerability were taken advantage of, which isn’t hard to do in an area with chronically bad health care. But I left that area and found much better care. In California, I’ve met intelligent and humble doctors who take their time explaining options.

I’ve had very mixed feelings about doctors. There was a time, if I found myself not trusting doctors, I reminded myself that I’ve never really needed one. Now that I need them for a loved one, I am constantly navigating in the face of high anxiety. And for the record, if I can find any reason to connect with people and give them the benefit of the doubt, no matter what strange system we’re subjected to, it has almost always been the system that I have a problem with and not the person.

Submitting to a service provider held in high esteem, especially the way doctors can be revered, puts me in a position within the power struggle that I’ve begun to loathe. Being at the mercy of a flawed system, seeking cure and special knowledge — interpreting a baffling lingo which I have to learn to manipulate navigate — makes the gypsy in me want nothing but to flee to the hills.

I probably shouldn’t take comfort in this, but — sometimes you take it where you can! Below is a quote from Middlemarch, written by George Eliot and published in 1871. It’s not just a criticism of the system but a criticism of doctors and of patients and of greed. My beef is definitely with this broken world. The need for remedy while at the mercy of doctors who are at the mercy of the system’s restrictions means I lie awake spinning wheels that don’t find any remedy for my loved one. I’d like to see how old this gripe really is. I’d like to see the first record of complaint of the system, the doctors, etc. I take comfort in the collective gripe 🙂 Below that is a photo of the hills that call me.

“…the high standard held up to the public mind by the College of which which gave its peculiar sanction to the expensive and highly rarefied medical instruction obtained by graduates of Oxford and Cambridge, did not hinder quackery from having an excellent time of it; for since professional practice chiefly consisted in giving a great many drugs, the public inferred that it might be better off with more drugs still, if they could only be got cheaply, and hence swallowed large cubic measures of physic prescribed by unscrupulous ignorance”

Excerpt From Middlemarch, George Eliot;





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