Stages of Grief: anger

I am thinking of the songs that comfort me in grief.

And thinking about the stages of grief. Five, right? Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Grief and Acceptance. My sister said, “They left out Revenge and Acting Out. ” She died of cancer in 2012 at age 49. Six days after her birthday and the day after mine.

Anger songs for grief. But denial is first, right? Not necessarily. These are not stages you move through in a certain order. This is more like a spiral, where you go from one to the next and back to the start, from day to day or even hour to hour.

I’ve already written about My Name is Samuel Hall. That is an angry song, unrepentant, that my sister wanted the last time that I visited her. I knew that she was furious about dying and leaving her husband and daughter. And me and her friends.

My mother sang:

“Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I think I’ll go eat worms. Big fat slimy ones, little tiny wiggly ones, see them wiggle and squirm. Bite their heads off, suck their guts out, throw the skins away. I don’t see how anyone can live on three meals of worms a day… without dessert….”

She also taught us this:

“I don’t want to play in your back yard
I don’t like you any more
You’ll be sorry when you see me
Sliding down my cellar door”

My parents had songs for every mood I can imagine. There were moods they would not speak about but they sang them.

My favorite angry groups are The Devil Makes Three, Hank Williams III, The Offspring, and Sweet Honey in the Rock.

Sweet Honey in the Rock? Yes. They sing about death a lot. This song is not about death: it’s about a “bad” woman, wanted dead or alive. But listen to the song: they are singing about a real event and a woman who fought back against a rape. On the thirty year album of Sweet Honey in the Rock, the group says that their first “hit” was this song, played by news stations. “It was a hint that we were not going to be top 40.” The song is Joanne Little.

So here are three songs by the others:

The Offspring: Why don’t you get a job?

The Devil Makes Three: All Hail

Hank Williams III: My Drinking Problem

And how do families show anger? They fight. They fight with each other. They fight about how someone should die, what should be done about mom, whether dad can live alone any more, about the right way to grieve. They fight about small things or big things and they even sue each other. Before you wade into the fray, step back. Remember, families grieving are always a little bit insane, very stressed and it’s all grief.

Hank Williams III: Country heroes

Blessings on the people I know in hospice right now and on their families and loved ones. Third one today. Sending love.

 

 

 

Mundane Monday #166: parent and child

My theme for Munday Monday #165 is parent and child.

I have this small statue in my clinic. I have a small collection of parent/child and mother/child art that I have collected for years. I was separated from my mother at birth, from my father and his family at 4 months and back to my mother and father at 9 months. I was sure that adults loved me but I did not trust them: they kept abandoning me.

As an adult I understand that it was because my mother had active tuberculosis and that the first separation saved my life. But…. I can love people, but trust must be earned.

A patient said last week that I had a political statement in my waiting room. “I do?” I said. He was talking about this statue.

If this is a political statement, I stand by it.

Attach your parent child picture, political statement or not. And much love and hope for every parent and child and love.

One entry from last week, Mundane Monday #165: sand:

KL Allendorfer: Sand.

 

 

Playing Poker with Putin

People keep saying, “I don’t TRUST Hilary Clinton.”

And they say, “Her smile is not sincere.”

I am confused and dumbfounded. Uh, I thought that is the POINT of politics. NAME A POLITICIAN YOU TRUST.

I DON’T TRUST ANY POLITICIAN.

So here is a game: Playing Poker with Putin.

This requires three people, of any sex.

Player 1 is Hilary Clinton.
Player 2 is Donald Trump.
Player 3 is the moderator who in this case happens to be Mr. Putin.

NOW. The moderator begins to ask questions. Every time the moderator asks Hilary a question, Donald interrupts. Donald, you can be as foul and rude as you want, though you should not swear, because you are on national television. You can talk about “lady parts” and the size of your hands. And all the rest of it.

Putin: go for the jugular on everyone.

Hilary: you have to smile. The entire time. You cannot object to being interrupted, because that is bitchy if you are a girl and manly if you are a man. You cannot show anger. You cannot show any emotion at all except a totally sincere smile no matter what the two men say and no matter how many times you are interrupted.

If the person playing Hilary loses her temper she (or he if a guy is playing the part) loses. Then Donald and Putin have to stage a mock battle throwing pillows at each other and insulting each other’s wives. At the top of their lungs. Be as mean as possible. Then Donald will turn the country into a dictatorship because “I have to be equal to Putin.”

So….my definition of politician is someone who can keep their head no matter how nasty the conversation gets. No matter how many lies are told. No matter how many insults are given. And you do the best you can in office to represent the entire country and for the good of the world.

Play on, Hilary. You win Best Politician Ever in my book.

W is for wrath

W is for wrath, the seventh sin.

From Webster 1913:

Wrath

1. Violent anger; vehement exasperation; indignation; rage; fury; ire.
Wrath is a fire, and jealousy a weed. Spenser.
When the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased. Esther ii. 1.
Now smoking and frothing Its tumult and wrath in. Southey.

2. The effects of anger or indignation; the just punishment of an offense or a crime.
“A revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” Rom. xiii. 4.
Syn. — Anger; fury; rage; ire; vengeance; indignation; resentment; passion. See Anger.

 

Wrath is a sin, yet is it ever justified?

I am wrathful about this: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/03/23/471595323/drug-company-jacks-up-cost-of-aid-in-dying-medication

In my state a terminally ill patient may choose Death with Dignity: http://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/DeathwithDignityAct

The person must be terminally ill, must not be suicidal and must go through a process. But one of the tablets prescribed, which only the person may administer to themselves, has had a price increase from $200.00 to over $3000.00.

I heard this from another physician, who has a patient who is going through the process.

I feel wrath and anger and hurt and rage that a corporation is choosing to make an enormous profit from terminally ill patients.

And so wrath may be a sin, but it is also an appropriate feeling at times.

In a sermon about forgiveness, hate is also discussed:

“Let me also say a word here about hatred, since I am speaking of forgiveness as being the release of hatred. Many  of us,  I suppose, like myself, have been taught not to hate.  We have been taught that hatred is always a bad thing and there is no place for it.  Thus, we feel uncomfortable in the face of this intense emotion and attitude.  Many times I have stumbled on the line from the biblical book of Ecclesiastes which reads, “There’s a time to love and a time to hate.”

Can there be  a time to hate?  Ironically, when  reflecting on the subject of forgiveness, I see that there is a place for hatred.
 
First,  your  hatred  lets  you  know  that  you  are  feeling  diminished  and  perhaps  being stepped on and treated as no human being ought to be treated.

Secondly,  your  hatred  lets  you  know  that  you’re  fighting  back  and  that  you  have something  to  fight  back  with.    It  lets  you  know  that  the  situation  is  intolerable  and  you will not put up with it.

And  so  hatred  can  be  a  natural  and  even  necessary  response  to  situations  that  threaten human dignity.  Says one author, “Not to feel resentment when resentment is called for is a sign of servility,… a lack of self-respect.”  (Forgiveness, Haber)”

From: November 15, 2009, here: http://www.quuf.org/index.php?page=2009—2010-sermons

p7
http://www.quuf.org/uploads/Sermons/Is%20Forgiveness%20Always%20Called%20For%20Part%20II%20Nov%2015%2009%20print.pdf

I took the picture in 2007. No wrath here, but three different expressions, and all complex….

Dear Mr. Donald Trump

Two weeks ago I sent this letter to Mr. Trump and all of the presidential candidates. To date I have gotten a form letter from Mrs. Hilary Clinton.

Dear Mr. Donald Trump and all Presidential candidates:

Mr. Trump, I am a rural family practice physician, a woman, who owns and runs my own medical clinic. I take care of patients from age zero to 104. Currently my oldest is 98. I take medicare and most insurances, but not medicaid.

I am running into legal immorality across the board from health insurance corporations that are maximizing profits at the expense of my health care dollar, our taxes and my patients. I would like your advice.

For example, the Veterans Hospital contacted me in May of 2015 and asked me to accept Veterans Choice patients, veterans who live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA Hospital. I accepted. I have 6 veteran patients, who are very complicated. To date I have not been paid for one visit. Now, before you say this is the fault of our government, it isn’t. It is the private for profit government contractor Triwest who is not paying me. They have my notes and we have followed their instructions on how to submit bills. Would you advise me to drop these patients?

For example, my father died in 2014. I called the oxygen company to pick up 6 tanks of oxygen. Then I found 8 more. I gently inquired why he had 14 tanks. The company said that his medical orders said that he should wear it continuously, so they delivered it. “Medicare paid for it.” they said. Ah. Well, I kept the other 8 tanks, because it is my and my father’s oxygen in those tanks: the company can have the tanks back when they are empty.

For example, the head of the sleep apnea supply company came to see me. He said, “You are getting in the way of your patients getting needed equipment.” I said, “Really? How?” “You only allowed a refill of one of the 8 necessary pieces of CPAP tubing instead of signing off on the whole group so we can fill as needed.” “Ah.” I said, “Actually my patients are tired of you mailing them 8 pieces of plastic that are filling up their closets and they don’t want extra plastic crap.” He mails it at the interval allowed by medicare, never mind whether the patient wants or needs it.

For example, I called a patient’s insurance to get a prior authorization last week for a limited sinus CT. They no longer do prior authorizations. They will decide whether to cover the CT scan once they read my notes. I asked if there was ANY way to see if it would be approved. They offered to let me send a letter to a PO Box in Wisconsin. My patient was sick, Mr. Trump. What do you suggest the patient and I do?

This is all legal. But it is not moral. So, Mr. Trump, where do you stand? Is our country’s highest value free enterprise and profit at any cost, no matter how many of our seniors are legally ripped off? Or do we have morals that health care and our elderly are important and need to be protected from legal but predatory businesses.

Please let me know, Mr. Trump. I would rather stick with my small clinic in the United States. At this point I would be financially and emotionally better off working as a temporary doctor internationally. I am sure that there is immorality internationally, but I will be less ashamed when it is not MY country.

Thank you.