Makomed's Weblog

King Midas

Posted on: August 17, 2009

I feel like King Midas, after he had destroyed his daughter. I’m alive but there are times when I feel mostly dead. I still remember when I stole a box of bandages from the office supply closet to take to my desk. If ever I got so much as a scrape or any visible collection of blood near my open or unopened skin I would take a bandage and wrap it good. But not too good. I don’t want to make it obvious.

I work at a cancer clinic filled with terminally ill patients. I don’t look it, but I could be headed that direction soon. We had this patient who was a 35-year old lawyer and he was young, successful, with a loving wife and a 12 year old daughter. He was at the peak of his life and in good physical shape, which is why he thought something amiss as he walked up a small hill and felt completely winded. PET/CT scans showed that lung cancer that had metastasized.

The lawyer quickly took action and strove to employ the best in the medical field. Except he made the grave mistake of trying to commandeer his own medical care. The old adage, “a lawyer who represents himself in court has a fool for a client” rung true even in his situation. He quickly made enemies of the very doctors that attempted to care for him due to his unwavering lack of flexibility. This man devoured each research protocol he could find and threw back his ill-gotten medical knowledge at each doctor whom he may have thought was skirting their duty. He couldn’t comprehend that all the other cancer patients felt the same way and insisted that his situation was unique. He frantically moved from doctor to doctor and his illness began to ravage his health. He eventually succumbed to his illness due to the advent of each new massive lesion that exploded in his lungs.

I didn’t want to make enemies like he did.

So I became like King Midas and watched fervently for any and all breaks in my exposed skin. I couldn’t risk putting attention to myself lest I lose my job or worse, infect someone. For I knew that everything I touched turned into gold. Horrible, horrible gold.

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