When I moved to Colorado, I needed a new doctor to prescribe the two benzodiazepines I take for sleep. I had developed serious insomnia, was bounced around by a doctor who refused to prescribe anything that worked for me in the past, and after wasting a year with useless prescriptions, referred me to a pill shrink. This man was willing to prescribe benzos, but not at the dose I needed. I had to show up every month for a new prescription, he got paid for 3 minutes of work. He asked: what month is it today? Who is the president? Here is your new scrip. That went on for some time… and I still had insomnia. I had meanwhile found a psychologist to help with my PTSD, and he recommended a sleep clinic that had helped him. I went through the sleep study, happy I did not have sleep apnea, and eventually ended up with the two benzos I take at night.

When coming to another state, I contacted a clinic in the area who agreed to help as long as I do psychological therapy with them as well. However, “prescribers” do not have the kind of DEA license my doc had in Florida, so I have to report monthly and chase various people after the prescription. I went through about 5 hours of intake with various people, and now it turns out that I have to go through a “reevaluation” of our treatment plan every three months with my psychologist though completely unnecessary. And when I called for the refill of my benzos as instructed by the psychiatric “prescriber” I was told I must consult with him first. About what? I am about to taper off my dose with the new prescription, we had agreed on the protocol, and there is yet nothing to report. But I must see the nurse and then the psychiatrist next week anyway. Someone’s rule. Plus, to add insult to injury, this clinic will force me to piss into a cup to prove I am actually taking the benzos and not reselling them on the street! I am guilty until proven innocent by my urine. And several people get paid every month for something that took one visit every 6 months to a sleep clinic in Florida.

But when I was talking to the psychiatrist during my intake, something nice happened. He listened with care to my long-ago traumatic ordeal with eventually diagnosed pancreatitis, and how I was treated like a drug addict during that three-month misery and extreme pain. He wondered that I still had recourse to mainstream medicine after such experiences. I laughed. It took away that old sting. I told him I survived so far by judicious combination of mainstream medicine and alternatives. Now, that is no longer true.

On Sunday, being without a car that had overheated, I unpacked my old kick scooter, rode it on gravel and fell. I split my eyebrow; nothing alarming, but I bled like a stuck pig. So after I returned to our village, I consulted the neighbors at the café. One of them was an ex-medic, told me to put pressure on the wound, and said it would be good to wash it out and close. It was not a deep gash, but it needed a tad of help. I wondered if we had a medic nearby who could help me with dressing the wound. She called 911, our fire chief drove down the main street without traffic and without lights with the siren blazing, and when he got to me, informed me that he did not have the powers to dress even tiny wounds. Some bureaucrat somewhere decided that this small chore that I could do in a pinch myself, had to be attended to by an ER doctor half an hour away. I thought the whole thing was utterly stupid, and said so. The medic in the end convinced me to go to the hospital.

In the hospital, I was attended by a doctor whose mind was elsewhere. He ordered an unnecessary ct scan, then reopened the wound, washed it out, and despite profuse bleeding, offered either glue or steri-strips. I chose steri-strips, thinking I needed a couple of stitches, but feeling intimidated. So steri-strips were applied in a fashion that irritated my eyelid, and prevented me from applying pressure on the wound for fear of dislodging them. I bled for an hour. I have no idea if I will come out of this silly ordeal with a face gone askew. I do know, however, that my friendly coexistence of mainstream care with “kitchen medicine” as well as alternatives, is over. Mainstream demands that the doctor be in charge. No thanks. I will not again surrender my decision-making powers to a doctor, a nurse or a medic, as long as I am conscious. Rules first, money second, and patient a weak third. And common sense out the window. A dangerous combination.

But Moloch was fed.