Day 25 | Clean as Blood of Babes | 10 Pounds Down; 56 to Go
Today is my dad’s seventy-ninth birthday.
He was given 6 months to live a year-and-a-half ago. About 2 1/2 months into those 6 months, my nurse practitioner (female), who I see instead of our semi-retired family doctor (male), walks into the exam room where I’m perched on an exam table with a paper johnny. An abundant breast pokes out through the opening.
She doesn’t smile hello or quip her usual I never know if I’m going to walk in here and find you thin or heavy and says, “I’m sorry your father is so terribly sick.”
Forget about the HIPAA thing.
My dad didn’t tell me about the cancer that our semi-retired family doctor missed diagnosing—despite my father’s complaints of pain for three years—until two months after learning his body had been ravaged by it.
That means if Dad hadn’t yet told me, Nurse Practitioner here would have spilled the beans and instead of my gasping and hiccup-sobbing and hysterically crying out it’s not fair at work, where he called me with the news amid a densely-populated cube farm, I could have caved/imploded/carried on in front of her.
Now, the HIPAA thing.
I told Dad I wanted to sue Mr. Semi-Retired Family Doctor; I called malpractice attorneys, found out what’s involved. Mom was into pursuing litigation, but as the notion sunk in, my father decided we didn’t have any chance of winning any compensation.
“It’ll cost too much to pay the lawyers upfront and hardly anyone ever wins these type of cases,” he said. “It’s too tough to prove negligence.”
The type of malpractice attorneys I was talking to proved negligence and won these type of cases.
For big money.
Around the same time, Dad advised me not to pursue a small claims case against our former landlord (who happens to be a recovering alcoholic and shacked up and dependent on her second live-in recovering alcoholic boyfriend) because chances were, we’d collect nothing.
[Underlying facts that lend character to the matter at hand: Our landlord’s first live-in recovering alcoholic boyfriend who was not in fact recovering, produced fruit with our landlord—a temper-tantrum-throwing horned melon, adding to three other “offspring.” The horned melon appeared by name in my documentation attesting to Breach of Quiet Enjoyment.]
We kicked my former landlord’s ass in Small Claims [her futile “defense” to each of the five breaches being a shaky-voiced and overwrought exclamation to the magistrate, I love and live for my children!] and pursuing a malpractice against Mr. Semi-Retired Family Doctor made my salivary glands go wild.
I couldn’t, however, pursue malpractice litigation—not being unemployed—and without, of course, Mom and Dad’s buy-in.
But, here’s the thing.
Dad has been compensated. With time.
And in relative terms, lots of it.
If the choice, you see, is between a few Mil or Dad’s presence with a decent quality of life, I’ll take the latter.
It seems, then, we’ve won.