Sunday, October 14, 2012


Photo by John Carroll

Sorry, my dear, but we just didn’t care. You probably realize that by now.

You appeared with a tense, distended, and painful abdomen. For the previous four days you hadn’t been able to relieve yourself nor even sleep due to horrible visceral pain that distended lumens cause.

You winced as we poked and prodded your silent belly. And we used those big words as we concluded that you had a bowel obstruction.

Your eyes searched our eyes. You looked but we couldn’t. 

But what did we do with the gift of our knowledge about your condition? Our minds and hands could not be pushed into action for you.

My dear, you know why you got into this mess in the first place? It was us. We are corrupt. And we steal lives.

And people like you don’t count ESPECIALLY when you are sick. Your lives mean nothing to us. You knew that, right?

But you were generous and gave us one last chance at redemption.  Why did you think we would care now when you neared the end when we didn't care in the beginning?

Something for pain for you? Pain control for the poor? I don’t think so. No morphine, no dilaudid, no fentanyl patches for you. There aren't any here. You need to groan and roll slowly from side-to-side... waiting for sleep.

Well, your bed was empty this morning. Thank God. He took you. Your celestial discharge has happened and you got your wish for sleep. 

But make no mistakes...we don’t really care one way or the other.

You paid the big price for our corruption.

And we will too. 

(Photo by John Carroll)

John A. Carroll, MD


Susan Westwood said...

Sometimes the truth hurts;speaking it, hearing it, seeing it. Thank you.

John Carroll said...

Thank you, Susan.