Down the hall she came making sounds of distress and physical effort. When she got to my door, it didn’t get any easier. She had to push her way through the narrow doorway, one of those doors designed for thinner people of years past.
I saw a wildly obese 23 year old, with suicidal ideation, who told me her life was worthless. Doctors had found a rare uterine cancer and done a total hysterectomy. She was told that she could have no hormone replacement. So she was dealing with some symptomatic treatments of hot flashes that weren’t doing very much.
I was pretty much impressed by the doctors who had made a rare save. She seemed to be cancer-free now, although she was not “crazy” about the abdominal wall hernia repair that had been necessary to hold her stomach together. Also, she was not enthusiastic about the bimonthly pap smears. But she was alive, and granted, she could not have hormone replacement. She sat in front of me telling me all about how the doctors had taken care of her.
She was crying and depressed. It was not hard to figure out why.
“I will never have children. I will never be a mommy.” Read more on What Can You Do With Your Life?…
She was 32 years old and a child of the streets. I wondered if she were a Down syndrome — what we medical types call the mosaic (partial) trisomy 21 — the chromosomal abnormality some still call Mongolism. This was purely an intellectual exercise, as the county health service would surely not pay for the expensive study, so I would probably never know.
Previous doctors had prescribed anti-psychotic medication, but she did not tolerate any of the various brands available through the county clinic. I had her try a little Abilify (arapiperazole) and it did seem to help when she remembered to take it. Or when she slept somewhere it would not be stolen.