Monday, December 28, 2015

A Bugg's Strife PT. 3 (Paar-ty People)

“They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it's not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.”- Terry Pratchett

Greetings, Blogiteers!

It has been a rough two months. I finally got a great gig going, evened out some of the medical issues I’ve been plagued with since my ex-doctor threw me under an entire fleet of buses, and then next thing I know, my position at work gets “dissolved”, and I’m being fired by text.

Granted, it was a very nice text, but still… yeeouch.

So after almost nine years of solid semi-dependable employment, I find myself with updated resumes in hand, looking for work, and finding zilch. On top of that bubbling cauldron of annoyance, my 1 ½ year old ASUS laptop is back in the shop suffering the same issue I just paid to have fixed, forcing me to once again, go back to my 14 year old IBM Thnkpad to help save the day.

I’m seriously thinking of buying her some bitching new stickers as a way to say thank you. As you can see from the photo, she’s a clunky retro piece of tech, but she still kicks ass.

All that aside, my last piece detailing the travails with my ex-doctor hit home pretty hard, much to my sheer delight. If there is one thing I just love doing, it’s ripping the mask off of the incompetent and the untrustworthy, and exposing them to the light.

Sadly, they don’t turn into powder or an ashen corpse ala the Blade movies, but it’s still fun nonetheless.

Because in reality, that’s all I can actually do, as evidenced by this recent photo of an Arizona doctor learning about a complaint being filed against them. Granted while this doesn’t depict my doctor, it does*cover her attitude rather succinctly. *[allegedly.]

More on this to come, but let us pick up where I last left off- the insipidly decorated offices at Paradise Family Medicine, where my ex-doctor, one Gypsy Faith Paar, inflicts her craft upon an unsuspecting and wholly trusting populace. As you may recall from my last narrative chronicling my being discharged from “Dr.” Paar’s care, I found myself at that time in utter mental disarray, due to her inexpressive and indifferent attitude.

The only way I could accurately describe her so-called bedside manner, would be to regrettably violate some tenet of Godwins Law, which is described as such:

“Godwin's law (or Godwin's rule of Nazi analogies) is an internet adage asserting that as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches- that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or Nazism.”

Now, in the spirit of all-inclusive fairness, I would say that comparing *Mrs. Paar [* As stated in my last screed, I’ll reserve the title “Doctor” for those who actually deserve the accolade from this point on] to Hitler are not only a stretch, but also greatly insulting overall. It’s a ridiculous assessment at best, and completely slanderous at worst.

However? I am pretty comfortable in assigning her an equality to that of some of his lesser subordinates, if truth be told. And no, I’m not referring to Dr. Josef  Mengele, I’m thinking more along the lines of his college roommate, Herschel. Nice enough guy, just not really qualified to practice medicine, so much as inflict it.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I have, let’s call it a “thing”, for the darkness of human nature. When I was younger, I seriously wanted to be a criminal profiler- you know, like William Petersen in the 1986 film Manhunter, written and directed by Michael (TV’s “Miami Vice”) Mann?

If one were to peruse my personal library at my home, they would see an expansive collection of the types of books expected in the lair of a professional artist and writer- tomes on the history of art and it’s creators, art techniques, artist biographies, and the like are all well represented.

But as with most things concerning the human experience, there is also a dark side, and it just fascinates the dickens out of me, leading to my fairly dense collection of case studies, journals, and narratives regarding the histories of the criminally disturbed mind.

Thank whatever deity you revere that one can't be judged solely by their nighttime reading selection or browser history, as my excuse of “I am a writer after all” would most likely fall upon deaf ears. And if I were to have my personal eccentricities factored in, my hide would surely be as tanned as that of George Hamilton on a Spanish beach.

So, where's this train of thought going, you ask, and what does any of it have to do with my former doctor? Trust me- it’ll make sense in the end, as my account will touch upon some of the same topics covered in my hobbyists library: arrogance, narcissism, and a complete lack of empathy.

All the classic defining hallmarks of the egotist, or in this specific case, an individual who while failing the criteria to merit a fishing license, was somehow granted the privilege of obtaining a medical one. As a Creative, I’ve always ascribed to the concept of whenever you are asked to do something outside your comfort zone, always say, “sure I can do it”, and then go do some research on how to actually get it done.

While this works great for creative endeavors, I wouldn’t recommend it for anything involving the mechanical or the medical, but that common sense approach hasn’t stopped my ex-doctor from charging ahead, Alien chest-burster style.

To quote the late Kurt Vonnegut:
If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.”

And where my former physician is concerned, her aptitude at half-assing her job is akin to Donald Trump’s ability at alienating every gender and race on planet Earth within five minutes of him speaking his mind. Sure, it’s an impressive skill-set, but it’s really not something one should brag about, in my humble opinion.

My ex-doctor on the other hand however, still maintains that same level of delusional hubris in my modest estimation, and her supercilious quirk literally, as well as figuratively, nearly crippled me in the short term.
But as usual, I’m putting the bleach way ahead of the bottled blonde, so let’s get right into it.

When we were last together, I had just been icily informed that I probably shouldn’t make plans to catch the upcoming Captain America movie, as my kidneys and liver were failing, and according to the peroxided authority that was then standing before me, I was, and I quote directly: “dying before her eyes”, which she as a physician, wasn’t going to have on her [ha, ha, wait for it…] conscience”.

How dare she. I didn’t sit through the dreck that was Iron Man 3 so that I could fall behind in regards to the Marvel Universe. So after being talked off the ledge by the practices’ receptionist, I then spent another 45 minutes sitting in my car in the parking lot getting my metaphorical s**t together, as one is wont to do.
After a few hours spent reestablishing my equilibrium of calm, my hysteria was slowly replaced by an emerging sense of pure white-hot anger- there’s a way to deliver horrendous news like that, and a merged giggling condescension is definitely not the way to do so, just in case anybody asks.

Trust me on this.

if I were to be brutally honest, the first thought I had as to how to handle said sense of fury was to drive back to her office, get her alone in a room, and start punching in the middle of that conceitedly smirking face until I could see the first rays of daylight radiating on the other side.

Now for the very public record, I would never engage in, or advocate for, any form of violence directed at a woman or women in general, as it’s a barbaric response to the situation, no matter how you try to justify it.

If I ever feel the need to “hurt” a woman, I’ll do it in the most direct and mature way possible-  I’ll make sure she sees me walking out of a shower wearing nothing save my official Motorhead (RIP Lemmy) shower cap and Britney Spears water wings.

My ex-fiancé is still going to therapy, and this all happened when I still had abs.

But considering that I’m also not allowed to launch people using a trebuchet, it did, at first, seem like the most practical and workable solution within my grasp. Fortunately, the fact that I was 30 miles away during the rush hour and way too pretty for prison, helped remove that gratifying option from my bag of go-to tricks. Instead, I decided to take the high road and do what I’ve been told reasonable and mature adults do- that is, complain to a higher up about what I felt was an unconscionable breach of ethical behavior.

I think you already know what the next joke I’m going to make is, as you’ve all seen it before- the one where I note that my sense of optimism isn’t pulling it’s weight? Yep, that’s the one, and it’s still true, now more than ever. My birthday is coming up soon, so if anyone wants to buy me a new one, feel free- I don’t even care what size or color it is, as long as it actually works.

As some of my more loyal readers may know, a doctor’s office isn’t like your typical business- the options that exist for you to complain about your local Fillabertos, really doesn’t carry over as to where the medical profession is concerned. You really only have two options when it gets right down to brass tacks, and those are these: the office manager for the practice, and BOMEX*.
*[Board Of Medical Examiners]

I’ve noted dealing with both entities in blogs regarding my previous doctor, [See the Archive] and not-too-surprisingly, zip has changed in regards to the current situation- both place the protection of the doctor long before the safeguarding of the patient, and both actively whitewash the issue for the benefit of the practice to the detriment of the public that filed the complaint in the first place.

And both in the long run, present as morally bankrupt.

Whether you believe it or not, I do know what you’re thinking: “Bob Ross called, and he wants his broad brush back”- and normally, I would agree with you. On the surface, it would seem that I am issuing a rather sweeping edict in regards to a particular profession, but I assure you that as someone who’s become very intimately involved with the bloated narcissism that masquerades as healing in this country, I’m being almost chillingly diplomatic.

Look at it from this POV- if you graduate last in your high school class, they’ll most likely call you an Assistant Manager at Arby’s, but if you manage to graduate last in your medical school, they’ll still call you “doctor”- puts it all in perspective, doesn’t it?

Now, I’m not suggesting even for a moment that Mrs. Paar was in the lowest percentile when her degree was optimistically handed to her,  but given my experience in regards to her personal ethic, I would hazard a guess that she also didn’t win any prize ribbons in the bedside manner segment of her med school contest.

On the upside, I am pretty confident that if her school had ever offered an overbilling for services actually rendered curriculum, she would totally ace that, and as we all know- that’s really the main concern for most doctors in this country- getting paid first, caring about your actions later, if at all.

And when you know your misconduct is going to be sheltered from the prying eyes of the public via your employer and fellow colleagues, it’s easy to see why most physicians are so utterly arrogant.

If I knew for certain that my actions wouldn’t be held accountable, I’d probably be drag racing through Scottsdale Fashion Square on a daily basis. Wearing nothing but glittery combat boots and a smug sense of invulnerability. It’s no stretch of the imagination to extend that worldview to my ex-doctor. Minus the boots that is- she’s always struck me as more of a practical wedge kind of gal.

Back to the action.

So as I mentioned, I decided to call the practice and issue a complaint, via Teresa O’Brian, the office manager, which in turn, led to a 45 minute phone call wherein I rehashed what I felt was a severe, if not obvious, lapse in ethical behavior. Pitching square down the middle, she neither confirms or denies absolution on behalf of Mrs. Paar, but she does seemingly agree to my terms that I want resolution within the week.  
Cue that defective sense of optimism again, it’s working overtime. While drunk. And speed-balling meth through it’s eyes. Noting that Mrs. Paar recused herself as my doctor without providing me a referral to another one, she states that she’ll “take care of it”, an assertion that I note isn’t actually her duty to handle, since it was under Mrs. Paar’s purview, but it was appreciated nonetheless.

The promised email with the referrals arrives the next day, and is directly responsible for the choice of my current doctor, who so far, kicks ass in ways Mrs. Paar couldn’t  begin to touch with her glacial indifference- but I’ll highlight this disparity further down the narrative. 

As I await the official response from Theresa regarding Mrs. Paar’s behavior, I draft the following email as a follow-up and send it two days after filing my complaint:
“Mrs. O' Brien-

Thank you for giving me the info that should have been the responsibility of my former doctor- I do appreciate it.

Regardless of your professional actions, I am still infuriated at the callous disregard displayed by Mrs. Parr in reference to her dismissal of me as a patient. I say "Mrs. Parr", because the title of "Doctor" should not be bestowed upon one who's bedside manner is as warming and comforting as an ice floe populated by rabidly carnivorous grizzlies.

Everyone I have spoken to regarding her actions have been universally appalled, (the phrase "WTF?" being used more than once) and if this person is considered a viable asset to your practice, I feel sorry for your soon to be diminished client base.

Per our conversation, three options remain open to you in regards to how you wish to rectify this situation. Please feel free to choose accordingly as to what you feel is in your best interest.

No matter what route you wish to eventually pursue, please be advised that I WILL be filling a formal complaint with BOMEX nonetheless- not that they'll actually do anything, and not that this complaint will ever be made public, since it's doctors covering for other doctors, but at least I'll have the satisfaction of not knowing what (if any) actions they'll take, since I as a patient, aren't allowed to know the outcome of the complaint I file under their guidelines.

I wish my industry worked like that. It must be nice to have made sure the rules protect only your interests while still getting to treat people like the insignificant cash cows your industry now likens us to.

So you can relax. In the end, no one save outside my vast circle will ever know that your office has employed a heartless, gutless, and I might add, highly condescending practitioner of medicine.

Hopefully, her "practicing" medicine will eventually lead to that glorious day where she's actually competent at it.

In closing, I thank you again for all your help. As I said- it is truly appreciated.

Wayne Michael Reich

PS: Extra kudos go out to your tall brunette receptionist who unlike your doctor and her just as thick nurse, seemed genuinely concerned about my mental state after Mrs. Parr's indifferent delivery of potentially devastating news.

If I had attempted to leave in such a highly agitated state, I'd probably have wrapped my car around an SUV- so please let her know I really do appreciate her taking the time to "talk me down" and not charging me for the six minute "consultation" that Mrs. Parr felt she earned.

Your receptionist is a rock.

Mrs. Parr should crawl back under hers.”

See? Direct. Appreciative. Giving credit where it’s due. And ultimately, chock-full of warm fuzzies. I’m telling you, when my days of blogging and writing a magazine gig are done, I’m so writing a kids book. Maybe something with a dragon. Or Zombies. Or zombie dragons. I smell a Newberry Medal!

Un-surprisingly, It’s also kind of well known that I’m really not good at biding my time in regards to waiting on the resolution of simple issues that I feel should be rectified quickly, and this situation was no exception. One thing that had been bugging me in retrospect was how smoothly Mrs. Paar had kicked me to the curb with nary a trace of emotional upset on her part, and with both time on my hands and hi-speed internet access at my disposal, I decided to take my gut instincts out for a drive, and see what the ol’ Google had to say about my most recent of the exes.

Did I ever mention that sometimes my gut succeeds where my optimism fails?

In short, I did find more than a few things. Not the mother lode by far, but enough nuggets to let me know Mrs. Paar isn’t exactly walking around with a spotless reputation.

Naturally, I felt the need to share these tidbits with Theresa, since as we all know by now, resolving problems is kind of my niche, and since I was [according to Mrs. Paar] “dying before her eyes”, I was under the impression my time walking this ball of mud was growing short, and I really didn’t want to die with an unfinished “to-do” list.

Or an un-deleted browser history. All kidding aside, don’t forget to clear it. Your family will thank you. So, a mere two days after I sent off my first electronic missive, I cast forth this:
“Mrs. O'Brien-

Just thought you'd find this interesting.

These are public reviews of Mrs. Parr's professional demeanor. As I noted to you during our phone conversation, she seemed rather "smooth" in how rude she was regarding her recusing herself as my doctor. Seems I'm not the only one that feels that way.

Unprofessional behavior, misdiagnosis, and a frosty haughtiness do not a doctor make.

Here's the first one:

Uncaring by Patient who will not return on Jun 5th, 2015

So if you're looking for a practitioner who brings you back a half hour after your appointment and keeps you waiting another 15 mins while she discusses her own baby crying at night with the other staff,who wants to get in and out as quick as possible, who thinks it a burden to prescribe your meds,whose staff will NOT return calls, and who personally won't return a call either, then you've come to your dream physician. For me it was a nightmare and I am a health professional. My dog gets better care at the vet.

Yee-ouch. Here's another one:

Feb 13th, 2015

Not at all a fan of Dr. Paar. 100% agree with other reviews that she did not listen to my issues I came in for, nor did she even pretend to care. Moreso made me feel bad about my issues. Instead she "diagnosed" me with several other illnesses that are not related to what my visit was for whatsoever and truly made me feel emberassed and discouraged for coming to see her in the first place. I will never put time or money into her care again. Word of advice, if you are needing a family doctor specialist, very easy to go see someone else or if need of a specialist, find it yourself instead of wasting your time here.

Dang. That was cold. But this? Wow:

worst DR I've seen in my life by upset pre-med student on Nov 26th, 2013

Nice lady, but this is not her field. She absolutely does NOT deserve to have her license, a disgrace to the medical community I'm sorry. I went in for physical and she diagnosed me with a heart murmur at the age of 20, I went to a cardiologist to spend hundreds of dollars on tests for them to tell me my paperwork was "boring" and nothing was wrong. Again I made the mistake to see her, she tested me for STD's which was irrelevant for my reason going to her. She told me I tested positive for IgG herpes 2 and had me leave the office in a panic, telling me I have herpes. I immediately made an appt with my gynecologist and showed her my results, she told me "we haven't tested for this in years, 96% of the population tests positive for these antibodies. Can only test for herpes if theres lesions". Ive NEVER had a lesion in my life , and Dr. Paar "forgot" to mention that to me. Thank God I'm attending medical school next to replace these noctors . I will not be seeing her again, anyone else is more than welcome to see her and pay a 25 dollar co pay to get scared and misdiagnosed.

That felt oddly familiar for some reason.

Here's two oldies but goodies:

Dec 3rd, 2012

I'm surprised that Dr. T with his great reputation in our community has decided to bring on a person like Dr. Parr. She is short with me every time I go in to see her and will never try and fix an issue or illness herself. She always refers me out. She will make you wait 45 min. Then give you only 5 min. Of her time! She is rude and a waste of time and money!

Oct 22nd, 2012

Im a healthcare professional myself and was horrified at the way I was treated, I overheard her snapping at the staff and waited over an hour past my appt 45 min of that wearing see thru paper, that was fine as I assumed that she had a patient she needed to spend extra time with - but when she got to me she was not nice and told me right away that she didnt have time to discuss my severe depression at a well women check, the exam should cover all areas of concern and I had to really work myself up to ask about medication for depression and she made me feel horrible and was very demeaning in the way she spoke to me, She made me late for my patients but even with being severly depressed and running late I was able to make my patients feel as tho i cared about their issues and not only to I assess all body systems as well as depression at each visit I am kind and compassionate even when Im running behind schedule

By the way, this took me all of five seconds to unearth this information.

Why wasn't this a concern for your hiring manager?

I'm thinking BOMEX will definitely take an interest in my complaint now, as there seems to be a rather clear pattern of behavior here. But more interestingly, what else is out there to be found once I really start digging? This is just ONE website- there are literally scores of others I'm going to start scanning as soon as my schedule permits.

I'd suggest you do the same, and give serious thought to terminating her employment before her callousness and incompetence lead to a patient either dying or pursuing the wrong course of treatment due to a misdiagnosis.

Speaking of which, there is also one curious thing I was thinking of last night while testing my blood sugar, which oddly, is well within normal parameters for the last three weeks despite Mrs. Parr's insistence that I was "dying before her eyes", and that is this:

If I'm so sick, [REMEMBER: I'm "dying", according to your practicing med student] then why oh why did she not offer any follow-up advice, like oh, I don't know... something along the lines of:

"GET YOUR DYING A** TO A HOSPITAL!!!" or even, "Get a new doctor ASAP!" You know, like a DOCTOR OF MEDICINE is supposed to do?

Does she think the Hippocratic Oath is a Disney character?

I'm thinking the answer here is "yes", but let’s not quibble over her inability to follow through on the several years of specialized training that obviously didn't take. Even if this type of behavior occurs randomly, one outburst is still one too many, and mark my words- she will eventually harm her patients, whether it is by her indifference to their problems, or by her misdiagnosis causing them to seek out treatment that may eventually do more harm than good.

But hey- I'm an ex-patient, so my opinion probably doesn't matter for much in the long run- after all, I am "dying", so maybe it's the fear of the unknown that's talking.

Who knows?

In closing, I look forward to your decision in rectifying this matter come Monday, and I wish you a relaxing weekend.

Wayne Michael Reich”


Once again direct, but this time around, I added a scoop of helpfulness, and who wouldn’t appreciate that? Mrs. Paar maybe, but you’d think her office manager might take an interest.

As I’ve noted numerous times before, it seems that in every office there’s always a lackey whose man job is to mop up messes as a means to keep said issue/s out of the public’s eye. While this human Sham-Wow is not always an indicator of unethical corruption, it’s definitely one of the things to look out for, and Theresa is hardly the exception to this rule.

True character (in my opinion) has always meant that you tackle problems head on and in full view- a naïve approach, to be sure, but in the long run, honesty is always the best policy, a concept that allegedly strikes both Mrs. Paar and Theresa as completely alien.

Despite the worrisome issues I discovered using the simplest search parameters, neither Theresa or the two doctors who own Paradise Family Medicine ever addressed them directly. In fact, they completely ignored them altogether. While I do understand the legalities of why they’d remain mute in regards to the topic, I would at least think that enough red flags had been raised to at least warrant an investigation past the obligatory lip service phase.

[See: “sense of optimism” See…. Oh you get the joke, already.]

Whoa, is it really 2 AM?. Looking at the old word count thus far, I see I’ve hit exactly 4,534 at this point, so I think it’s time for a break. And when we come back…

I fire my sense of optimism and replace it with sarcasm, deal with a short bus Renfield, realize that two wrongs not only make a right, they also validate a hunch, discover exactly how much pain it takes to drop an Artbitch, and put the final nails in my ex-doctors metaphorical coffin.

“The more ignorant, reckless and thoughtless a doctor is, the higher his reputation soars even amongst powerful princes.”- Desiderius Erasmus

Monday, November 23, 2015

A Buggs Strife Pt.2 (Paar for the Worse)

“I guessed that he was one of those ambitious young physicians who more and more fill the profession, opportunists with a fashionable hoodlum image, openly hostile to their patients. My
brief stay at the hospital had already convinced me that the medical profession was an open door to anyone nursing a grudge against the human race.”
– J.G Ballard, from “Crash

Hello Blogiteers!

Truer words in my humble opinion, have never been spoken.

As someone who’s become overly familiar with what passes for modern medicine in this country, I can totally relate to the sentiment expressed above. Humanity as a whole, is regarded as nothing more than a superfluous cash cow by an increasingly desensitized and vastly unethical cabal that takes advantage by exploiting the inherent helplessness of its chosen victims.

Granted, that’s a rather harsh assessment in regards to certain members of the hypocritical Hippocratic Oath association, but my long-held conviction that the Rod of Aesculapius* and its corresponding pledge are as relevant to the medical profession today as Vanilla Ice is to Hip-Hop, has finally been verified.

*[In Greek mythology, the Rod of Asclepius, also known as the Staff of Asclepius (sometimes also spelled Asklepios or Aesculapius) and as the asklepian, is a serpent-entwined rod wielded by the Greek god Asclepius, a deity associated with healing and medicine. The symbol has continued to be used in modern times, where it is associated with medicine and health care.]

Greed and blatant narcissism are the true impetus empowering most doctors these days, and we as a society seem to be utterly helpless in halting this slithering abuse of our trust.

The more I deal with certain aspects of our remedial health care system, I begin to understand why the symbol of doctors is a serpent wrapped around a staff- if the venom doesn’t kill you, they can always use the wooden pole to beat you into submission as they attempt to steal your wallet.

The upside, if there is one to be found, is that the majority of these callous clinicians are generally so slimy, one could cause grievous harm armed with nothing more innocuous then a shaker of salt. 

As one of the rare few who has successfully separated one of these snake-handlers from their ill-gotten gains, I can attest that it wasn’t easy- the medical malingerers tend to guard their tainted bullion with a ferocity that makes Smaug look like Tickle Me Elmo by way of comparison.

Sadly, doing the right thing unbidden by the simple act of accepting personal responsibility for professional mistakes, is as alien a concept to the modern doctor as delivering a coherent speech is to Sarah Palin. Look, I get it- we live in a decidedly litigious society, where nobly admitting guilt will get you sued more often than not, but as a rule, most people are just as good with a sincere show of remorse as they would be with a settlement check.

If not more so, as it’s just seemingly that rare.

Shockingly, despite my reputation for applying a scorched earth policy in regards to the balancing of my personal scales, I do occasionally endure honest attempts at rehabilitating shattered trust. Note that I stated “occasionally”- I don’t have many rules, but the two biggest are these: don’t lie to me, and don’t ever betray my confidence. While that may sound like one rule cleft in twain, it and they aren’t- they’re distinctive and non-negotiable.

Unless the situation is my fault entire, I rarely forgive, and I never forget. I don’t hold grudges so much as I raise them as if they were my own sons, and by no means have I ever let the truly culpable skirt fated reprisal when it was truly applicable. Think of me as the snarky embodiment of Karma, but with a far less tolerant outlook.

Credible apologies, as I’ve noted previously, are presented as such: I’m. Sorry. Period.

No qualifiers, no “in my defense” rationalizations, nothing other than the two words above and that adorably quaint and right-to-the point punctuation mark. A cynic might feel the need to opine that I’m making a Himalayan range out of a molehill due to my inherent (and well-earned) distrust of all things medical, but in this particular case, I’m being uncharacteristically diplomatic.

Yes yes… I used a word you would never associate with me. But at the moment, it’s actually apt. As if being afflicted with diabetes wasn’t challenging enough, I find myself locked in a battle royale with an opponent who for all intents and purposes, may not even be aware that we’re actually fighting.

Granted, their sphere of ignorance will fail to serve as shelter from the oncoming storm that swiftly advances towards them, but as usual- I’m getting ahead of the narrative, which is a habit I think I really need to work on, if the fan email serves as an accurate barometer.

For clarity and legalities, I need to stress that this sequence of events is from my perspective- that being said, it’s also a sad indictment of what a lone and allegedly vindictive individual can do when given power over a person they perceive to be defenseless.

Roll out that sphere of ignorance again kids, because it’s about to have its warranty severely tested.

As I stated in my last tale, wherein I served up a tasty, yet economical, hors d'oeuvre of shredded Bugg ala’ mode, I find myself facing yet another adversary, that being an [allegedly] unethical practitioner of medicine who inflicts her chosen profession upon an unsuspecting world.

Their name? Dr. Gypsy Faith Paar. Yes, I said Gypsy Faith. Now, I know what you’re thinking: the big  bad Artbitch is going to heartlessly lob a few humor grenades through her office window in regards to her name, and all I can possibly say in my limited defense is this… ouch. How could you possibly assume that?

That’s just downright cold. After all these years of friendship, it’s like you still don’t know me at all. Sure, I might have taken a shot at her in my last screed, by acidly noting:

“she’s named “Gypsy” and yet looks as if she should come with a best friend named Skipper, a pink Corvette, and a Dream-house play-set.”, but I swear on the purity of an eventual Ding-Dong three-way with Debbie Harry and Milla Jovovich that I wasn’t taking a cheap shot at her name, far from it.

My first name is Wayne, after all, and when one has that odious moniker hanging around their neck like a depleted uranium millstone, it leaves minimal room to mock.

Don’t believe me?
Well then, let’s do a little “play along at home” experiment, shall we?

Just take a minute, and think of everything my name rhymes with, and you’ll see why I generally try not to poke fun at those highly disadvantaged people who were apparently named while their yurt-living, hemp-wearing, rainbow-riding, micro-bus driving parents were still working their way down from an ill-advised experiment of taking the whole tab at once.

In fact, I have a great deal of empathy for the period in which she was attempting to get into medical school, I really do. It couldn’t have been easy applying for student loans when your birth certificate is scribbled on the back of a Grateful Dead show flyer, and your witnessing doctor was known as Autumn Sky Unicorn*.
[*AKA: The former Ms. Rhonda Stella Schwartzman of Paramus, New Jersey.]

With all kidding aside, I’ll be taking the high road, despite my crafting some awesome zingers about her singing backup for Phish, when she isn’t spinning fire at the Ren Fair, that is. And you still believe that I have no compassion? Seriously, I have no idea where you tend to get these crazy assumptions.

Moving on…

I first discovered Dr. Paar via her current employer [Paradise Family Medicine], where a friend’s healthcare was being tended to by one of the co-owners of the practice. At that time however, the well-regarded physician they had recommended to me was booked solidly for the next two months, much to my chagrin.

Having been tossed under the bus by my previous doctor in regards to my pain protocol, I was placed in a rather untenable position- either I waited for the doctor my friend raved about, all the while in extreme pain, or go with the desk staffs’ suggestion of visiting Dr. Paar, which, while not the ideal choice, was still a wise decision nonetheless, or so I erroneously believed at the time.

That’s the unexpected side-effect of extreme pain- it really doesn’t leave you much time to slow down and smell the poseurs, if you know what I mean. It does, however, dull your intellectual abilities to the point where one’s metaphorical machete is blunted into a play-set butter-knife.

When I first employed the services of Mrs. Paar* [*I’ll reserve the title “Doctor” for those who actually deserve the accolade from this point on] it seemed like it was going to be smooth sailing, no rocks ahead.

She turned me on to a med-lab that I could easily afford [] re-established the pain protocols that my two previous doctors either ignored or discounted, and seemed genuinely interested in helping me get my health back on track. 

Whoopie. Whoo-hoo. Yay team. Raise the roof. However?

I’ve constantly reiterated that my sense of optimism hasn’t been pulling it’s weight recently, and that as of late, my gut instincts seem to be on an eternal four day weekend, despite my sending out a tersely worded email that they were needed back in the office several weeks ago.

But I’d guess this is what happens after you outsource those jobs to a Lithuanian day-care center, if truth be told. Sigh... and my profit margin was looking to be huge this quarter,

My first two visits were routine and relatively uneventful, despite a strong push to visit specialists that she had been informed were out of financial reach, due to my lack of health insurance. On a related note for any future doctors, your response to such information should NOT be the blithely stated: “well, it has to happen”, unless you’re also about to give your patient a winning lotto ticket in lieu of a bill. Just saying.

The average time between visits was about three months or so, during which period I was struggling to maintain a strict testing and dosing protocol, due to my now former employer’s inconsistent interference in allowing me to do so.

Not an excuse mind you, just some vital back-story for what is to follow. By my third visit however, things had taken a solemn turn towards the grave- both metaphorically and literally, as evidenced by Mrs. Paar’s opening gambit of attempting to recues herself as my doctor.

Woof- honestly, I did not see that one coming.

She goes on to opine that she feels her care is ineffective, confessing a deep-set fear that she may “wind up killing” me. Nevertheless, the best (or worst) was yet to come, as she explained why that was, stating that my last blood numbers were really “bad” and indicated the strong possibility of ongoing liver disease as well as my kidneys ultimately shutting down.

Double woof, times woofinitity.

Nonetheless, this news, despite its serious tonality, still presented as a no surprise/surprise kind of package deal. My liver has always been wonky- one of my former gastroenterologists used to refer to me as “The Martian”, referencing an actual alien from Mars, not the Matt Damon character needing rescue.

On a related note, I think this country has spent more than enough of its money trying to “save” Matt Damon.
Next time, I suggest we let Ben Affleck do the rescuing- after all, he needs him way more than we do.

Getting back on track, the kidney diagnosis was a shock, but overall, I wasn’t too worried- that’s what tests are for, to catch stuff before it gets worse…idyllically. We also discussed my then-current job, and how it’s stresses were slowly grinding me down, which led to the unspoken, yet obvious, need for me to do something drastic in regards to how I was managing the earning of my living.

However, the foremost thing I needed to do at that time, was to get Mrs. Paar off her allegorical ledge and back inside the building where happy teddy-bears and piping hot cocoa awaited. This I managed to do… or so I thought- damn useless gut instinct.

I’m telling you, if I manage to live through this, it better start sending out resumes, and that right quick, because its ass is fired when I get back to the office. Regardless, and despite her willingness to throw in the towel when things seemingly got rough, that unsettling encounter did kick-off a minor series of positive events, I am happy to admit.

First on the to-do list was launching the much-needed dental work, [noted in the last blog] followed by the aforementioned tightening of my Diabetic protocol belt, and lastly, the elephant leech in the room: my job. As much as I wanted to leave, it’s hard to do so when you’ve invested eight and ½ years of your life into something, even it’s for the best- which this most arguably was.

That’s the thing about taking a risk- it’s just so darn risky. Nevertheless, I did find a better job within my industry (art framing) leading to a significant increase in my take-home pay, zero superfluous drama, and unlike my last place of work- access to some really awesomely sexy tech.

Milla Jovovich-level sexy tech is what I’m talking about here, via the form of an Italian manufactured computerized mat cutter. I’d unwrap a Ding Dong at the sheer thought of it, but I’m cutting back, you know. Given all these constructive changes in such a short time period, it was with an upbeat frame of mind as I entered my appointment, lab paperwork firmly in hand.

In retrospect, I should have walked in clutching a NERF bat and my lawyer’s arm, for the rationale of possession was towards a singular purpose- that is, to metaphorically and literally dope-smack Mrs. Paar upside her unprofessionally smug head.

Keep this in mind as we go down the rabbit hole- I wasn’t expecting my numbers to be vastly different- after all, it had only been a short period since my last blood test, and changes within the diabetic landscape do take some time to manifest. Months, in some cases. What I was hoping to see was a slight uptick as confirmation that all the hard work of the last three months was paying off.

[See: “Sense of Optimism”. See: “Lithuanian Day-Care Center outsourcing”. See: “Idiot”.]

The treatment I received in regards to Mrs. Paar’s implied bedside manner makes being the guest of honor at a wedding hosted by Lord Walder Frey* seem almost warm and fuzzy by contrast. Sure, that may have ended on a bad note too, but at least there was cake. Heck, I’d listen to Ken Ham talking about Jesus riding a Brontosaur for hours if there was just the possibility of cake, so what happened, exactly? *[]

Let me start by reminding you of that age-old threat of exasperated mothers everywhere: “If you don’t behave, I’ll sell you to the Gypsies”. As with most things from our collective past, an evolution of sorts is required for it to work in today’s society, and all it would need is this simple tweak: “If you don’t behave, I’ll make Gypsy your primary care physician.”

If there is true justice in this world, many years from now, Stephen King will use that as the basis of a book, Tim Burton for a movie, and TLC for its newest reality show. Disney of course, would set it to music, and put it on ice. I can just imagine the toys. They’d be epic. The doctor character could be both heartless and spineless, akin to a glittery Stretch Armstrong, but with much better hair.

[Hands sculpted from butter sold separately. Back to the narrative!]

So there I was, sitting in a tiny beige room, waiting to impart, and hopefully hear, some cheery news. I did mention my outsourced sense of optimism, right? Good. Because I’m about to show why it’s imperative to buy American-made whenever you can.

As Mrs. Paar walks in, I attempt to tell her of all the beneficial changes I’ve made, this right after I inform her of the need to refill my essential Lyrica and Oxycontin prescriptions, but am abruptly cut off via a condescendingly frozen smile backed by an almost mirthful giggle:

“I’m giving you notice that I’m recusing myself as your doctor. Looking at your numbers, [this said while she scans the lab report] which are all bad, I can see that your liver and kidney disease is advancing- all I can think of is that this guy is dying right before my eyes, and I will NOT have that on my conscience. Here are your labs [as she folds them up and hands them to me] your next doctor will need them.”

Stunned, I stammer that I can’t afford specialists, and query as to what the hell I should do, and she responds casually: “I don’t know… medical insurance really isn’t my forte- but don’t worry, I’ll give you a thirty-day supply of your meds, and today’s visit will be discounted.”

She then walks out… and never comes back.
Nor does anyone else, for almost fifteen minutes.

To articulate that I completely fell apart would be analogous to declaring that the Twin Towers suffered some minor structural damage after a small airplane-related mishap. I lost total cohesion and became utterly unglued to the point of hysteria. I called Ashley, awash in sheer terror, and while I don’t recall much (if any) of that particular conversation, I do know it lasted until Mrs. Paar’s nurse strode in and handed me an envelope.

Inside was a form letter outlining Mrs. Paar’s recusal as my primary care doctor, my two essential prescriptions, and that was it- no physician referral, no protocol, and no opinion as to what my next move should be. Questioning her noticeably apathetic nurse led to no further clarification, and was bookmarked by an indifferent shoulder shrug, and a mumbled “I don’t know what to tell you”, while staring at the floor.

No context. No counsel. No concern. No f**ks given.

But if I were forced to play devils advocate and look at the overall situation optimistically, I still did have that discount to look forward to, so cry huzzah, and let slip the twerking Unicorns of Joy. And to this day, some people still wonder why I have so many trust issues where medical “professionals” are concerned?

It’s not just the story of my parents swearing that they were going to the mall to buy me a puppy made out of ice cream 42 years ago, some of it is based on actual experience. And they’ll be back just like they promised. Soon. Any day now. It’s a really big mall, they probably got lost.

Especially when you remember it was torn down 25 years ago.  
Moving on…

So, still emotionally overwrought, I’m shepherded towards the receptionist desk so that I can compensate Mrs. Paar for that exhausting six minutes she just worked, and that’s where I balk- I tell the receptionist that there will be no way in Hell that I will be paying for what I just went through, and sensing my distress, she becomes the only one in that entire office to show any professionalism that day.

Actually, come to think of it- the only one since that day as well, but guess which one gets the biggest check for doing the least amount of work, using the slightest amount of Humanity they can skate by with? If you said the backup singer for Phish, you’d be dead wrong, because I already said I wasn’t going to use that joke.

Seriously. Grow up.

However, if you instead said: “Dr. Paar”, you’d be half right, because actual doctors are supposed to help people, not metaphorically sacrifice them to Asclepius’s inbred uncle Incompetentcius just because the sky got dark outside.

She then spends the next 20 minutes or so talking me back to center, and goes so far as to contact the office manager in regards to my situation- end result: I didn’t pay a dime, and I managed to get home without wrapping my car around a family of four. Granted, that was after I spent 45 minutes sitting/chilling/coping in the parking lot, but her kind intervention was appreciated, nonetheless.

Whoa- just looked at my Twilight Limited Edition wristwatch and noticed that the glittery Vampire is half past the wickedly buff Lycanthrope, and we all know what that means- and it isn’t that I need a new timepiece... go Team Jacob.

No, what it means is that it’s late, I’m tired, and now is as good a time as any to take a short break.

And when we come back….

The sub-Paar basement adds a floor with extra pain, a metaphorical Renfield mires an office in the social media marsh, my medical file is shorted a few Post-it notes, and I defend my opinion that if correct diagnoses were quarters, a certain doctor allegedly couldn’t gather enough to do a load of laundry.

“Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained adequately by incompetence.”
- Anonymous


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Bugg's Strife Pt. 1 (Paar for the Coarse)

“Nothing's more disgusting than a guy who steals another person's ideas and tries to claim them as his own.” – Joe Rogan

Hello Blogiteers!

Things have gone seriously awry as of late, let me tell you. The great John Lennon once famously stated that “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans”, and boy- did he ever hit that nail on the proverbial head.

With Thor’s hammer, no less.

Originally, the subject of this blog was going to be my favorite go-to punching bag, a local artist whose catalogue raisonné makes the work of Jeff Koon and Damien Hirst come off as deep by way of comparison. A person that at best, is the closest Phoenix will ever get to having it’s very own artsy Kilgore Trout*.  

[*It’s a Vonnegut reference- Google it. And then go read all of his books- I highly recommend “Bluebeard”, as it’s chock-full of really artsy stuff, and the main character has the best name ever: “Rebo Karabekian”- a moniker which by the way, I have been informed by my GF Ashley, is not allowed into the baby name lottery if we ever decide to have kids... which we’re not, so don’t start picking out those play-dates anytime soon.]

For those of you who are regular readers of my humble little screeds, you probably already know who that person is, for much like the rules set forth in Highlander, there can be only one, thank Odin for small favors. I am of course, talking about an individual who on more than one occasion, has “paid homage” to somebody elses idea and claimed it his own, while simultaneously adding nothing of substance* whatsoever [*allegedly.]

No matter how you slice it, the term “homage” is artist code for “I have no original ideas of my own, but hey… that already established one over there looks nice.”

So Blogiteers, please give a warm welcome and show your love to the Master of Mimicry, the Ambassador of Appropriation, the Chancellor of Copying, the Hamburglar of Homage, SMOCA’S very own in-house Artsy Shoplifter- you know him, I loathe him, the one, the only,…

{sound of crickets… a lone tumbleweed rolls forlornly by…}

Um, loyal Blogiteers? It’s customary to clap right about now. Sigh… never mind, I’ll just dub it in.





Ooops. Sorry, I accidentally grabbed my 8-track copy of LIBERACE PLAYS LIVE. My apologies. However, this swanky album still rocks… sure, it cant touch Thompson’s Twins “A Product of (Participation)”, or even come close to the sonic awesomeness that was Sigue Sigue Sputnik, but what can, really?

Question for another time, I guess.

As I said just a moment ago, the original subject of this blog was going to be my favorite go-to punching bag, the aforementioned Mr. Bugg, due mainly to his recent career move, covered here by my favorite bestest buddy, the Phoenix New Times.


For those of you unwilling to read the slopfest that continues to constitute the “journalism” in our local Pennysaver with Porn these days, I’ll give you the high notes: basically, Peter has been hired by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art [AKA: “SMoCA”] to serve as their new curator of programming, a full-time position that will allow him ample room (if tradition holds) to refine other people’s ideas, while simultaneously dropping the ball.

Sure, I’ve bagged on both before, but when I read the following statement, I found that for a brief moment, I was almost overcome with a happily familiar and unadulterated feeling of pure rampant snarkiness, akin only to my discovering a cache of refrigerated Ding Dongs safely tucked away inside my sock drawer- not that such a thing has ever happened, mind you, I’m just speaking metaphorically.

And optimistically. Oh, sooo optimistically.
From the NT article:

“We are very pleased to begin working with Peter," Sara Cochran, SMoCA interim director and curator, says in the announcement. "His knowledge of contemporary art, experience in museums and with docents as well as his concepts for new and innovative programming really set him apart in the interview process.

He presented an impressive number of original and exciting ideas for connecting with SMoCA’s loyal audience and reaching out to build new audiences who may not yet know that they need contemporary art in their lives.

We are anxious and thrilled to expand our efforts in this area under Peter’s direction.”

If I were to be brutally honest, over-inflated statements like this, bursting with a preponderance of sycophantic narcissism, typically inspires me to spend an entire day writing, chuckling to myself as I craft yet another literary Lemarchand's box*

[*Lemarchand's box is a fictional puzzle box or lock puzzle appearing in stories by author Clive Barker, or in works based on his original stories. The best known of these boxes is the Lament Configuration, which features prominently throughout the Hellraiser movie series. You’re welcome.]

As per usual, I took to my ASUS laptop to get my initial thoughts down on the pixilated page, and almost as soon as I did, my screen flashed, turned three different shades of enhanced grey, and went black. If I were a superstitious man, I’d almost believe that the Writing Gods were trying to tell me something- a celestial sign, as it were.  

(And just in case anyone’s curious, there are only three Gods of Writing: Kurt Vonnegut, Hunter S. Thompson, and that bad ass motherf***er who wrote “Good-night Moon”.)

After a few days of almost near-frenzied panic, it turned out that my motherboard was defective, which when all is said and done, will not have cost much more than a few days and some stinging (but not horrendous) pocket change when I eventually get it back from the repair facility.

Fortunately, I had saved my draft to a thumb drive, and in an even better stroke of luck, I still had my 13 year-old IBM Thinkpad mothballed away in storage, on which this blog is at present is being produced. Running XP, no less.

Seriously. This thing is a tank, I kid you not. It’s Wolverine with a hard drive. However, after I started editing my draft, there was unquestionably something tangible missing, and despite my best efforts, I couldn’t perceive what it was.

Let’s see…. snark? Check. Colorful language? Check. An “Arcade Fire” reference? Check. Insults involving skinny jeans and the intellectually skinnier ass that wears them? Check. A quote from Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment that reads:

“He was one of the numerous and varied legion of dullards, of half-animated abortions, conceited, half-educated coxcombs, who attach themselves to the idea most in fashion only to vulgarize it and who caricature every cause they serve, however sincerely.”

Most definitely check. Oh wait- he’s a Russian author, so that should actually say “проверить”. Most definitely проверить.

An actual point? Surprisingly, check.
Continued interest in finishing it? ……….. not so much.

As you might imagine, I spent some time wondering why this was, and the conclusion I eventually arrived at was this: I think I’m just sick and tired of constantly rehashing the acts of certain lauded idiots as they quicken their pace toward an inevitable destiny with insignificance.

In the end, what would truly be accomplished by my notations?

Despite Bugg’s troubling history of well-known and obvious plagiarism, he’s still considered to be a valuable asset- granted, it’s at an institution that also considers pyramids of stacked fruit to be art, so take it as you may, but he’s still held in high regard, nonetheless.

And its not just pathetic- it’s farcically pathetic.

So much so that writing about it would just seemingly add further inanity to an already preposterous situation. SMoCA has already shown it’s lack of ethics, which I’ve noted in previous scrawlings, now it’s lack of common sense in their hiring practices has come home to roost as well, and I for one, applaud their commitment to complete absurdity.

After all, it’s not everyday you get to watch an already troubled institution gleefully commit suicide, via an ironically dada-esque approach, and it’s even rarer that I would merrily sit back and watch without commentary, but in regards to my lack of remarks, it does make sense, nevertheless.

To quote the NT article: “In May 2015, museum director Tim Rodgers resigned following rumors that the Scottsdale Cultural Council, a nonprofit organization that oversees SMoCA, Scottsdale Public Art, and Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, was looking to eliminate the directorship positions at each of the institutions.

These rumors of course, have been denied by Cultural Council CEO Neale Pearl.

Cochran, who had been working as the museum's associate director since February 2014, stepped in as interim director, and no plans to hire a permanent replacement for Rodgers have been announced as of yet.”

Given the (at this time) cautious direction set against a turbulent sea of administrative changes, how would my pointedly harsh comments affect the outcome one way or the other? In a nutshell, that answer would be a resolute “not in the least”, so for once-  I’m sitting this one out.

That’s right- the claws are going back into their zebra-print lined carrying case, and this here Artbitch is gonna kick back and watch the inevitable clusterf**k / Phantom Menace / train wreck from a safe and comfortable distance. There’s nothing that makes a professional snark happier than their vision proven correct, and I think my odds for being so are pretty high, considering how all the factors are lining up.

But given the crueler aspect of Fate, my odds for being miserably wrong could be astronomically high as well, so there’s that. And I couldn’t be more excited, in fact. See, I actually really enjoy it when I’m dead wrong, because it means that things aren’t as bad as I thought they were.

That’s the inherent beauty of being a cynic- you’re either always being proven right, or being happily surprised.

Putting it bluntly, I think I’m going to be proven right in the long run, but I’m a gambling man, so let the dice roll, and we’ll see who lands on black.  But I will ask SMoCA one metaphorical question as I leave the situation to unfurl itself as it will, and it is this:

What exactly does a guy with a penchant for alleged intellectual theft and lazy-ass presentation bring to the table exactly? The ability to cement SMoCa’s rep as a prime example of what art isn’t?

I for one, cannot wait to see what will be foisted upon the unsuspecting public by the guy who brought us sugar-encased magazine covers, culturally vapid day of the dead prayer banners using other artists unaccredited photos, along with a series of “borrowed” internet pictures of celebrity vaginas glued to paper plates.

If I were still a child, this contemplation would rank right up there with Christmas.

Oh, who am I kidding? It still does.

But I do want to be helpful, so here’s some wholly original, completely fresh, artistic ideas that Peter can pay “homage” to:

Dogs playing cards. Soup can paintings. Multi-colored silk-screen portraits. Drip paintings. Portraits of big-eyed children. A picture of a cat dangling from a branch with the phrase “Hang in there Baby”. Clown paintings {everybody loves clowns! After all, SMoCA hired one* *allegedly} Black Velvet paintings of Matadors. Smiley faces. The Mona Lisa as a Punk. Barbarian Warrior Queens holding Swords. Anything with a Disney logo…

I'm begging you, Peter- take out Walt’s Kingdom of Treacle before they make the “Frozen” TV Series. That abomination needs a lit tiki torch shoved right through its blue icy heart, Van-Helsing style, and with your gift of sucking the creativity out of anything you touch, our collective nightmare could end once and for all.

And relax… you don’t have to thank me. Even if you used my ideas, we all know that you’d just claim them as yours anyway, so let’s just cut out the middleman and move on, shall we?

2000 words exactly to let you all know that I wasn’t going to say anything- that kids, is how you pad an essay, the thesaurus be damned. Heck, I use 300 words just to say “hello”, so you can just imagine how refreshing this is to let my fingers run amuck after some well-deserved time off.

Amuck, amuck, amuck.

But despite that brief foray regarding an entertaining, if not outright absurd cultural benchmark, the real reason why I’m writing after a several month hiatus is due to an unforeseen, yet oddly familiar, problem presenting it’s obscenely grasping palm yet again. For the third time in less than a year, I find myself in the mire of the medical backwoods looking for a competent doctor once more.

Sigh… compared to this unending aggravation, going to Peter Bugg’s house to view photos of his most recent vacation would be a joy- due mainly to the fact that they probably would’ve been shot by somebody el…  NO!!! I AM NOT DOING THIS.

As delightful as it would be to take one last swipe at the Regent of Replication, I’m gonna stick to my guns. Besides… by the time he inevitably death-spirals into the giant fruit pyramid, I’ll have had plenty of time to write up a whole new slew of jokes and compliments that come with knuckles.

And if he doesn’t, there’s still always his “art” to make fun of. Ahh… long-term planning can be fun.

Moving on...

To be honest, I really thought that after my last two blogs [see the archive] regarding an unfortunate series of experiences with two less-than-useless doctors, I truly felt that I had at last achieved traction in the battle against my Type 1 Diabetes, bolstered by the following:

I’ve had a massive amount of dental work done over the last four months, removing several areas of necrotic tissue that were definitely compromising my ability to stay healthy, This is a huge problem for most Diabetics, something I was ashamedly unaware of. Three root canals, four cavities, and two post and caps, all leading up to an embarrassment of even more procedures in the near future.

[PS: My Dentist, Dr, Randy Smith, (602-996-3993 for your information) absolutely ROCKS. Call him for your dental needs and feel perfectly free to drop my name. Plus, he has the best magazine selection I’ve ever seen- it’s almost orgasmic, and that’s not a word I put out there often, if at all.]

I’ve also severely tightened up my blood testing and insulin protocols, have pretty much (finally) managed to cut soda out of my diet, and have even exorcised certain trigger foods to the seventh ring of the foodie Gulag, and yes… that does mean that Ding Dongs are now the Holy Grail of Snacks, versus their previous status as the communion wafer of snacks. Sigh….

But even all that pales into comparison in regards to the biggest lifestyle change I’ve made, and that is this: after 8 ½ years, I walked into work one day and quit my job. My awesome, creative, slowly-strangling-the-life-out-of me-by-degrees, boss-created unnecessarily high-stress job.

And while it was terrifying to do so, mainly since I had no future employment lined up at that time, I still would consider it one of the smartest things I’ve ever done, next to my dating Ashley and buying that really bitching Jack Skellington mug two weeks ago.

See, right after I finished serving up my last piece of snark ala mode, I, (on a trusted friends recommendation) started seeing a new doctor, one named (wait for it) Gypsy Faith Paar- who’s affiliated with Paradise Family Medicine, a place I’d strongly recommend that one avoid like the clam special at Long John Silver’s on a Monday.

I can’t speak for the other doctors at this particular practice, but in the case of “Dr”. Paar, I can only state my opinion that she’s a Doctor much in the same way that Dr. Pepper is- exceedingly bad for your long term health, completely overpriced, and chock-full of sugary acid.

Naturally, I’m kidding- Dr, Pepper by way of a side-by-side comparison, actually fares much better, and unlike my now former doctor, it at least doesn’t present itself to the public as something it isn’t.

In my experience, that would be competent, professional, and concerned. My first clue that she wasn’t truly genuine should have been the fact that she’s named “Gypsy” and yet looks as if she should come with a best friend named Skipper, a pink Corvette, and a Dream-house play-set.

(Sexually ambiguous “boyfriend” sold separately. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Regretfully, I need to take that analogy back, as it was very rude (if not inaccurate) of me. Barbie by all accounts, is an amazing doctor, whereas my newest ex…. well, lets just say that her middle name implies what you’ll need plenty of to believe she’ll get the job done.

Some context as usual, is necessary I see, so I’ll try to provide it per my customary gentle and kindhearted approach. But I think before we engage in any further ruminations, that a recess of sorts is required- not just to give your eyes a break, but to make sure you’re rested enough to climb the mother of all medical molehills turned Himalaya.

And trust me… it’s gonna be epic. Not grand spectacle epic, but pretty darn close.

When we return, I add yet another twit to my personal “smite” list, allegorically wrestle with the sub-Paar, meet a bureaucratic stone-walling Renfield immune to both logic and rugged charm, and discuss why being sold to a Gypsy is still preferable to being treated by a doctor named one.

“In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity..” - Hunter S. Thompson