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"What makes you think you have an ulcer?" asked
In the future Jeercurz would deny Aaron when Aaron asked for his own records. The police would refuse to do anything about it. The state medical board would do something after about a year. And in the meantime Jeercurze would have time to rewrite the record to eliminate evidence.
After Aaron stopped taking the Zantac, within a couple of days things returned to happening at a normal pace for him. He liked this new doctor. And he liked the Prilosec. Switching to him did not feel like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire, even though it was worse than that. This was jumping into a blaze hot enough to melt the frying pan.
Included on his agenda of things to do in their new house was install recessed lighting in the ceilings of several rooms. Neither of them liked table lamps with shades. They wanted the lighting out of site. He tackled the television room first. On a Saturday morning, he walked around in that room planning where the recessed lights would be. After half an hour, he brought Karen in the room and pointed to where he planned to cut holes in the ceiling for them. She liked his plan and left. Half an hour later he brought her to the room again and showed her where he had drawn circles on the ceiling to mark where the lights would go. She liked the adjusted plan and left. Half an hour later he brought her to the room again to see more slight adjustments to the locations of the circles. Every half hour all day it was the same thing. She began to feel dismayed about what life would be like if it was this hard for him to form a plan this simple.
He still wasn't confident about the locations of the lights in that room, so he set to work on recessed lights in the living room. Those already had been planned. All he had to do was cut the circles and drag the wires. He cut the first hole in the ceiling. He reached up inside it to feel where the out-of-sight joists were above the drywall.
Then he reached inside that hole to hold his drill where it would be out of his site,
He lifted his electric drill up inside the hole to where it could drill holes through the joists above the drywall. So the drill was out of site up inside the hole, but he could get one hand up in there with it to position it and push on it as he drilled. Holes needed to be drilled though the joists to pull wires through, but he had trouble drilling the hole. He tried for a while and then pulled the drill back out of the hole to look at it. The bit was sharp. It wasn't slipping. He tried drilling again. Still it made no progress. He brought it back down out of the hole again and shined a flashlight into the hole to see if he was stuck on a knot in the wood, but saw no knot, only the spot where the drill was making a hole. He put the drill back up inside the hole again and drilled and drilled and drilled. He tried pushing harder. He tried twisting it to hit the wood from different directions. He changed the spade bit to another size. After 30 minutes of struggling at drilling that hole, he figured out the drill was in reverse.
While he still was trying to figure out how he could be so stupid, Karen asked him to pick up a few things from the grocery. It was a three item list. He put the list in his pocket, got his keys and wallet, got in the car, and could not remember why he was in the car. He went back in the house. While taking his wallet out of his pocket, he discovered the list, remembered what he was doing and got back in the car. But he could not start it because he did not have his keys. He went back in the house to get his keys, but when he got in the house he could not remember what he had come back to get. He got back in the car, realized he did not have his keys again. When he returned with them, he did not have the list. Going to the grocery to get three items was beyond him. When he returned from the store he said, "Something is wrong."
She said, "Maybe it's the Prilosec."
The Prilosec made him to stupid to figure out what was making him stupid. He never would have figured that out. He stopped taking it. His mind came back, but his ulcer took a nose dive. He resumed taking Zantac. When he was getting a new prescription filled for Zantac, he mentioned to the pharmacist his problem with Priolsec. The pharmacist said, "Yeah, sometimes prescriptions will cross that blood brain barrier."
Soon Aaron was back at the medical library researching blood brain barriers. The blood brain barrier was discovered years ago when someone found if they injected die into people's blood streams, it colored all the cells in their bodies except the cells in their brains. There was a filter that filtered the blood going to the brain to keep extraneous substances from effecting it. It turned out that Aaron did not have a blood brain barrier. Everything effected his brain. He reported this to Jeercurz who listened quietly as Aaron told him about how simple cold medicines gave him so much trouble that he would rather be sick than take them. He told about how prescriptions given him by Ober had disoriented him. He told about how new car smell made him sick when he was a child and about how he always had been highly sensitive to fumes of any kind.
He continued to do research on it and began to suspect a connection between his Charcot Marie Tooth and his lack of a blood brain barrier. He knew that low cholesterol is symptomatic of Charcot Marie Tooth. Now he learned that cholesterol is part of a group of nonpolar sterols that contribute to the strength and impermeability of membranes that enclose nerves. Without enough of it, permeability is a problem. Permeability is the problem with his blood brain barrier. Whether or not that there was a connection between these two things, he reported to Jeercurz that he had learned that without a blood brain barrier, drugs that are innocuous for others can be toxic for him. Even substances as ubiquitous and normal as Nitrous Oxide. Jeercurz appeared to make a note of this. He nodded and wrote. But that's what doctors do. They try to appear attentive and concerned.
Doing this research was slow and difficult. Aaron wanted his mind back. When driving or learning new things or solving problems, he now was aware of the difference between his thinking with Zantac and without Zantac. And he was learning new things about computers. The Internet had come into existence. All you could do on it was chat, but he had become part of a group of friends that met every evening on line. If you needed information about how to make your computer do something, you asked one of your Internet friends who would ask among his or her friends and within a short time someone somewhere would put you in touch with a software engineer in Norway who happened to be on line at the moment. It was the truest example of the six degrees of separation he ever had experienced.
Of friends on line he asked if anyone knew anything about ulcer drugs. People in other countries and other cities were connected to him. No one had email yet. There was no World Wide Web. There were no browsers. There only was a chat program. You could reach people only if they were on line at that moment and get information only from having them tell it to you. He was a regular in a channel called Seaside where a dozen of them met every night and laughed and laughed so hard. Karen got used to listening to him laugh in the next room while she watched television. It was this social group that was his connection to all the other help and information residing in the Internet community. There he learned about other drugs to try and Jeercurz wrote prescriptions for him to try them.
Every time he was on some new drug for a few months, his spirit of inquiry pushed him to find out what would happen if he stopped taking them. He always hoped that a few months of eating correctly and taking care of his health and staying on the prescription might result in some healing. But each time he stopped taking the drug, he crashed and had to go back on it immediately. But during those days when he was off of it, his mind would come back. Losing that cloud was so productive. With his mind clear he figured out how to make his relationship better with his wife, whether she was feeling ignored by his spending so much time on line, how much time was appropriate, how to kill the weeds in the lawn, how to manage his assets better, and that he had a hernia.
All of these things were too important not to understand. He believed he would have to spend the rest of his life arranging to go off the drugs and crash physically from time to time in order to have periods of lucidity to run his life. How bad would that hernia have gotten if he had not gone off the prescription for a few days. He could have ended up being rushed to an emergency room on a full stomach.
Paul once had told him about having had an inguinal hernia when he was twelve. They had wondered what life would have been like a hundred years earlier for a twelve year old with a hernia. Would his life have been over at that point? If it had not strangulated and gotten infected and killed him, would he have had this increasingly large protuberance that, if it didn't incapacitate him, surely would make him so unattractive that marriage and children never would have happened for him. But since he was born in this century, a simple, relatively risk-free and routine procedure fixed it quickly. It was Paul's descriptions in this story that gave Aaron the awareness he needed to understand what the problem was when he noticed a protuberance on himself.
Jeercurz made an appointment for him at St. Virgin with Dr. Robert Sales, the surgeon who would chose to injure him in several ways that ultimately would leave him wishing he had died on that operating table. Dr. Sales originally had studied engineering. He was good with numbers. He was a sports enthusiast. In high school he had wanted to be a football player. He was strong enough, but too small. He was aggressive enough. He managed to punish people on the other team, hitting them in ways that, if it didn't injure them, at least left them in enough pain to hamper their play. He was not someone who ever would read Plato. He watched taller, handsomer, more athletic classmates get the prettiest girls and wanted that and thought about how to get that, not about restraint and virtue and peace. He tried getting them. He got rejected. He wasn't interested in girls on his own level. One day in college, while walking out of a class in the engineering department where the students were 95% male, he and two others were bemoaning their prospects for scoring that weekend when he said, "We could walk over to the music theater building and pick up some guys." It was a homophobic slur with which the other two sneered in agreement.
He had wanted to play football in college, but knew there was no hope for that. He didn't even get to play that often in high school. He spent more than half of his time on the bench. His skills were good for playing on the line, and he was not big enough for that. He was enthusiastic about putting his shoulder down to lunge into the sled to drive it. It was preparation for taking opponents out of commission. He knew how to block. He wasn't any good as a tackle, but he could make you sorry you had been hit by him with a block. But he just wasn't big enough. So he became an engineering student. It was a practical choice - something he thought he could do that people would pay him to do.
After graduation, his first job sent him to a hospital on a project that put him in proximity with doctors and nurses and other healthcare workers. He saw the football team of medicine in which nurses were the cheerleaders. And he saw who got them. He saw others drinking that victory poison cocktail. He wanted to hold that glass. He called his parents. He wanted to become a surgeon. He wanted to quit his job and go to medical school.
His parents did not know if medicine was a good fit for him. When he was little and they had purchased their first television set, they watched an installment of The Arthur Murray Party. When it was over, young Bob asked, "Who won?" They tried to explain to him that not everything is about winning and losing. This was a variety show. There were singers and dancers and sketches, but no competition. No one was trying to win, but he didn't understand. They knew he never did. They believed medicine to be a field in which people are supposed to be nurturing, supportive and chartable, not easily threatened and combative. So they were not sure he would be happy there, but their son had tasted the cocktail and there was no talking him out of it.
In medicine, one does not merely learn to believe the litany. If one has reasonably good social skills, one learns to appear to embody it. Part of bedside manner is instilling confidence and trust. Nurses and orderlies see façades that they respect and admire. They would trust these people with their own well-being. But it's like in any bureaucracy. You work with people for twenty years without learning about them what would be learned in one week on a sailboat crossing the Atlantic. Nurses who worked for twenty years with Dr. James Burt, the "Love Doctor," after finding out what he had been doing to patients right in front of them all that time, said that they trusted him so much they just didn't see. Dr. Sales, if nothing else, cultivated the relationships with "his" nurses.
* * *
On the Internet people in medicine told Aaron to get the surgery done laparoscopicly. It was mostly nurses who told him that because doctors were few and far between on line. They felt both surgeries would be successful, but that there were advantages to laparoscopic surgery. Dr. Sales told him that he could do laparoscopic surgery, but that the insurance company would not want to pay for a more expensive operation when there was a cheaper one that would work just as well.
Aaron went back on line. He tried to learn what he could about Dr. Sales and about the hospital. No one knew anything, but everyone thought that would change soon. There were several ways that the Internet could develop. Something called the World Wide Web was showing some promise. Recently it had become possible to register addresses at which people could find information you posted on the Internet. Twenty-four hours a day, even when you were not on line, people would be able to access things you posted there.
Aaron had found a software engineer on line he had spoken to before and asked how to register such an address. It was called a Uniform Resource Locator, or URL, and the engineer said there was no advantage in having one address over another. People were going to click on them without looking at them and there was no point in worrying about what the actual address was. Aaron tried and tried, but the engineer said it was a waste to bother with.
It took a few days, but he finally found someone who told him how to do it. He called his brother and said that he could register www.ted.com if he wanted. Or www.roark.com. Or www.architect.com. He told all his friends that he could register their first names for them. They asked why they would want that. None of them did it. Aaron registered his own first name. And he registered www.movie.com. And www.tools.com in case he ever did anything with his designs for hammers and saws and screwdrivers. It was very expensive in those days. It cost so much that it was prohibitive. So he stopped there. The people managing the domains were trying to discourage speculation. People harangued him for tying up www.aaron.com and www.movie.com without doing anything with them. He just had not figured out how or what to do with them yet. He finally gave in and released www.movie.com to someone who kept pestering him about it. A few years later that man sold it for a fortune. Aaron also gave in and let go of www.tools.com.
When Aaron was searching for information about this surgeon and this hospital, it felt as though it was too bad he needed this operation at this time. It seemed that in the near future, the World Wide Web would enable him to understand his healthcare better. He did not know that medicine is set up to prevent that kind of information from being known by anyone. No one keeps track of misdiagnosis rates. No one keeps track of success rates. No one keeps track of the crime rate. No one keeps track of how often hospitals threaten to sue their patients to shut them up. The coming World Wide Web would not help patients when the information they needed was not collected in the first place, let alone made available.
Aaron blindly had to accept the recommendations of his family doctor and hope for the best. A normal patient is not aware that family doctors have no better information than patients about the surgeons they recommend. The surgery was being scheduled when Aaron got a call from Discovery Enterprises, a firm that investigates securities brokers. Was he available immediately? Of course he was. They had lost an employee and gained a contract and needed him to get on a plane as soon as he could. He was employed again. The operation was postponed. He would be allowed to be a whole man for a while longer.
There were risks to postponing the operation, but he got what information he could about what to watch for in order to monitor his own condition to make sure he did not end up being rushed to an emergency room if he started to get worse. The next day he flew to Texas. He was doing his work again, with a new and entirely different boss, and a different attitude about how the work should be done, he did everything he could to have no problems and be a person they would want to call again and again for these jobs.
Overtime he gathered that his friends at Empire Bank had been approached by Discovery Enterprises who were trying to get their business. Empire leaned on Discovery to hire Aaron. Aaron would never know if Empire Bank had hired the firm in return, but before completing his first contract, they offered him another. He was off and running. It took him out of town again, but Karen was dealing with the health of her parents and her own new career. Their phone bills were sky-high as usual as he spent so much time calling her from out of town, but they were getting this reprieve during which they got to be a normal couple with normal goals and normal expectations.
When Discovery began talking to him about his next contract, they comfortably arranged a few weeks for him to get his operation and spend time with his wife before going on the road again. From out of town, Aaron scheduled the surgery back in Cincinnati with Dr. Sales. There was no way Aaron could know if Sales had done nasty, horrible things to previous patients just as there was no way that future patient would be able to learn what Sales was about to do to Aaron. The behavior of the medical community with regard to collecting and disseminating such information is based on the premise that its reputation and the reputations of the people within it are more important than the wellbeing of patients. Their conscious and acknowledged beliefs are the opposite of that, but they are hypocrites. What they do and what they say do not coincide. They protect each other at the expense of patients at almost every turn, but believe that they don't and deny that they do. And that protects and enables miscreants, like Dr. Sales.
* * *
It was outpatient surgery. They made Aaron unconscious for a bit, but the operation was to be done under a local anesthetic with him being conscious. If he had been unconscious, he probably still would be a whole man because he would not have said or done anything. When he woke up in the operating room, HJ was standing at his right hip. She smiled at him. Later she would deny that in court.
In the board game of medicine, there are temptations and there are dangers and there are the squares that, essentially, mean "lose a turn." Any specific patient can be a danger to healthcare professional, a temptation to another, and a matter of complete indifference to a third. An older, loud nurse, who came to put a blanket over him as he waited to be taken to surgery, threw the folded blanket down on him so hard, before unfolding it across him, that it startled him. She said, "Gotta do something to get through the day, don't I?" Startling patients was one of her ways.
To Dr. Sales, he was not a danger or a temptation. He was not a lawyer or a person who appeared to have any connections or power or money. Aaron was a matter of indifference to him, another routine bit of income. But to HJ, he was a tall male with a washboard stomach that was apparent through the sheets. And, she quickly discovered, with a male feature of a size consistent with being tall and having large hands - for her the chief perk of her profession, the reason she got into it in the first place. In court they said that after he complained publicly about what she did to him she wasn't the same at work anymore, ever since seeing what he wrote about her on his website. Well, of course not. She no longer could grope every male that came within reach. Twenty-five years of sexual predation came to an end. Of course she wasn't the same. But Aaron's lawyers would not point that out.
But it would not have come to an end, and he never would have told anyone, just like most of the rest of her victims never told anyone, if she had stopped with that. The private parts of men was not her only passion. It was only one of the ways that she got rises out of men. Her whole life, even before she could talk, she had been a "button pusher" and manipulated people in other ways. That is not uncommon to children, just like running is not uncommon to children. But not all children grow up to be Olympic sprinters. And not all children fail to grow out of the childish drives to manipulate others at every turn to get what they want.
How and when to cry. How and when to look hurt. How and when to need a champion to defend her. How and when to make someone jealous. She loved getting these rises out of men. She was not satisfied merely to have manipulated Aaron into having an erection under and in her hands during the operation. She wanted to get a rise out of Sales too. When she was a little girl on the playground, she would elicit the attention of a boy and then make him jealous of another boy and watch them fight. Of course many women have done that, but not all of them do it in operating rooms.
Later, when hiring a private investigator, one who was a retired police officer and whose wife had been a nurse for decades, Aaron asked if there was any truth in the rumors about what goes on between doctors and nurses. The private investigator said he thought they allllll slept with each other. No matter how true that may or may not be, the sexual politics in that environment would be hard to exaggerate. For Sales the nurses on his operating room team were his cheerleaders. He was the quarterback on this field. He expected to be their center of attention. The patient was not in the game and did not belong on the field. When Aaron made a quip that caused the nurses to laugh, it was though he had run out of the stands naked to streak across the playing field in violation of all the rules. In Sales mind football players are within their if they use their skills and their size to teach such people a lesson.
When Aaron was renovating his house, he bought all manner of power tools. A circular saw, a Sawzall, a bench saw, a miter saw - tools that could take a finger, or even a hand off, with the slightest slip. No one ever made a remark about how dangerous those tools can be. Once when his father dropped over to see how it was coming, he noticed a tool on the floor that he did not recognize and asked what it was. It was a powder actuated hammer. When you hit it, a gun powder charge exploded driving a fastener into the cement. It was a pistol that shot nails. The charge was .22 caliber. With a single hit from a hammer, it drove the nail into the concrete. His father chuckled at the cleverness of it. He didn't say anything about how dangerous such a tool could be.
Then one time his father was sitting next to Aaron's desk when Aaron pulled a pair of scissors out of a drawer. They were ten and a half inches long, narrow and pointed. His father expressed concerned about the dangerousness of them. His father wasn't the only one who remarked about how dangerous they looked. Most of the people who saw them made some comment. Karen had made that comment. In his kitchen he had knives longer and sharper than those scissors. In his garage he had a chain saw. She had watched him carry it while climbing a tree to a perch where he cut a dead limb and then climb back down without her remarking on the dangerousness of the saw, only of the possibility of falling.
But when children in America are growing up, no one makes a special point of engraining in them an awareness of the dangers of powder actuated nail drivers. They do, however, give them warnings about scissors, and even instruct them in how to carry them safely while walking. All Americans know the drill. From two extended scissors through the scissor holes, let the scissors dangle so that if you fall or bump into someone, they will flop around safely without hurting anyone.
It is the same thing in medicine. Dr. Sales and HJ both were adamant Right To Lifers. Abortion was a horrible evil in their world. People who believed it should be a choice deserved to rot in Hell. Abortion was wrong. It was bad. It was to be fought against. But groping a patient or abusing a child or even intentionally injuring a patient, not so much. The main focus on them was to sweep them under the carpet to protect reputations. And so the perpetrators of such sins were protected and enabled. All the energy behind these sins was in preventing them from hurting the good name of their hospital and their church. Intentionally injuring patients did not get one tenth of one percent as much attention as abortion. Scissors would be what these people warned their children about. Not powder actuated nail drivers. Sales and HJ never would have participated in an abortion, but they would indulge passions that ruined the lives of people already born. No one put any energy into preventing them from doing that, or even into making them feel how much of a sin that was. Medicine is full of sin and sinners. There are few places as safe for predators. They really can do anything they want to patients there, even in front of witnesses, as Aaron was about to find out.
Of course he had heard about Donald Harvey and how many patients he had murdered. But all the authorities characterized that as a "one off," something so rare that it was not worth thinking about, even though colleagues of his knew for years about what he was doing and never did anything to stop him. Only an unlikely series of circumstances finally brought it out. What really was the "one off" was getting caught.
Aaron, like many others, also had heard about Michael Swango, a physician who was one of the most prolific serial killers in history, whose colleagues even had dubbed him "double oh Swango" after James Bond because so many people died when Swango was there. It wasn't until Swango poisoned his own colleagues that they finally said something about it. Killing patients did not result in reporting, but making healthcare professionals sick did.
And he had heard about the Love Doctor, James Burt, who had ruined so many lives without any of the nurses turning him in. It was not until a nurse retired that a private investigator finally was able to persuade her that now that it no longer could effect her career, she should say something. So it was not as though he never had heard any information about how people in medicine protect their colleagues and their careers, instead of patients, even while repeating the standard, but incorrect, litany they memorize that insists that their chief concern is the well-being of patients.
Everyone knows those examples and has heard those stories, but somehow the notion persists that there is someone in medicine watching out for patients. No one believes that sex abuse and violence can be perpetrated against patients in front of witnesses in medicine without anyone reporting it or trying to stop it or doing anything but trying to thwart the patient from responding. Patients just don't know how medicine works.
And so, Aaron himself could not fully accept what had been done to him when he left that hospital. In the care on the way home, he said to his wife, "Something very strange happened in there." She looked at his expression and from the look on his face thought he looked too traumatized to make him relive it by asking him about it just then. He quietly stared out the window as she drove.
In court when HJ was suing him for telling on her, Wiley told the jury that on a website Aaron had said that she had lifted the sheets off of his private parts, exposing them for all to see, and then took his shaft in her hand pointing it at the ceiling and rubbed it up and down while everyone watched. As Wiley said that he made an grotesque jerking motion with his hand as though he were rubbing something the size of an elephants trunk. It disgusted even Aaron.
Of course that is not how it happened and not how he described it. All anyone would have to do is look at what he wrote to see that. What he said was in print right there in evidence. A normal person expects his or her lawyers will correct such outlandish exaggerations for the jury. A normal person expects that the jury will look at the printout of the website to see if that really is how the defendant described the sex abuse. A normal person does not know how juries work. Aaron told his lawyers to correct this lie. When they didn't, he complained to them. Later he asked another attorney if lawyers can ignore the truth and do anything they want running rough shod over what the client asks, and even demands, for them to do. That lawyer gave some evasive answers about what lawyers will do to achieve and end - yet another lawyer refusing to enable normal person to understand when lawyers are misbehaving. Normal people do not know that lawyers must correct lies in court or their licenses can be suspended. Normal people do not know that the licenses of lawyers will be suspended only if the client figures out that the lawyers have misbehaved and manages to document it, file a grievance that persuasively argues it and connect the sins to specific points listed as violations in the bar associations notes on such things. No one is watching out for normal people in this area either. Lawyers usually can get away with violating the interests of clients when they want, as Aaron's lawyers had been doing with him for a couple of years.
When someone builds a house, inspectors are supposed to stop by to make sure that it is built correctly. There is no such inspector in medicine or law. No one reviews cases to see if doctors or lawyers did what they were supposed to do. An rich person might be able to afford to find and hire people who could do that job, but no one else can. So there was no reasonable way for Aaron to understand when his lawyers manipulated him into important defeats.
Like the a pretrial settlement negotiation during which the nurse lowered her demands to an amount of money small enough that Aaron could have written a check for it, but Aaron's lawyers refused it. Aaron had told his lawyers he had wanted to settle. That was in writing. There was no denying it. He had gotten money ready to pay what she wanted to get her to go away. But his lawyers had barred him from the negotiations. He did not understand why he was barred, but they advised him to stay sequestered in another room and said they would keep him apprised of progress. Blacky came to where he was only a few times, and each time to ask if he would pay certain amounts. Each time Aaron said that yes, of course he would pay. The last time Blacky came to him it was to say that the insurance company would not pay enough of the final settlement offer and so he had refused it. The final amount would have been an amount that would have purchased a good new car. It was not a small amount, but it was an amount for which he could have written a check. He had expected to pay more than that. He was furious with Blacky for refusing that offer. He asked why he had not been asked if he wanted to accept it. Blacky said that the insurance company did not tell him to. Aaron shouted that Blacky worked for him not the insurance company. "I pay your bills. I wanted to accept that. What right do you have to refuse that without even letting me hear the offer?"
While Aaron was shouting at Blacky for that, the offer still was on the table. The nurse had given them a few days to see if the insurance company would come up with the money, but Blacky did not explain that to Aaron either, further preventing him from escaping the continuing ravages being visited upon him by HJ. A normal person does not know that a lawyer has an obligation to give the client the opportunity to accept a settlement offer. A lawyer can have his or her license suspended for failing to do that. Aaron did not know that. No one explains that to clients. If the clients do not figure it out themselves and document it and file grievances, lawyers get away with that. In other words, if you are dyslexic or have attention deficit disorder or are otherwise not as good as a lawyer at dealing with piles of documents (like most juries), then there is no protection or justice for you.
Aaron's lawyers had a conflict of interest so they got him sued and got him defeated. He watched himself being ruined in slow motion over a period of a few years, complaining and protesting every inch of the way. Honest attorneys could have protected him. It felt like being pushed off a skyscraper by a nurse and a surgeon and then watching himself drop for years while shouting and protesting and asking for help the whole way down while people below holding the net moved out of the way so that he would hit the pavement.
He had wanted to find other victims. What she did to him on
the operating table seemed to him clearly to be something she did all the time.
Without mentioning her name, he wanted to publicize the abuse to see if other
victims came forward. He had researched sex abuse in medicine and the only way anything ever was
done about it was if multiple victims banded together. Blacky told
him not to do it.
Aaron could not know that the problem for Blacky was that to defend Aaron would be to indict yet another Catholic bureaucracy of covering up sex abuse. Rather than do that Blacky violated every possible concept of what is right and good and true and just. Anyone who thinks that Priests who are pedophiles can get away with as much of that as they do without the support of significant portions of the community at large just isn't paying attention. Aaron's lawyers were Catholics, although they did not tell him that. Moment by moment, they prevented him from protecting himself and arranged not to do what they were obligated to do to protect him. Even in court, even when the truth was a matter of documentary evidence available for anyone to see, they did not let anyone see it. They did not correct the lies of HJ and Wiley and Sales.
Eventually, Aaron would find himself thinking, "So that's what they teach in parochial schools." Loyalty. In his Protestant school, when it was discovered that a male high school teacher had made amorous overtures to a boy student, that man was removed from education within minutes. It was arranged so that he never, ever again would be able to work around children anywhere. The teacher had to sign agreements to that or face criminal prosecution. They did not move him to another school or try to gloss it over. They protected their children. Aaron eventually came to believe that the reason that one does not hear about clergy in other religions abusing children like Catholic Priests is not because in other religions they don't get caught. It is because in other religions when they do get caught they are caught by people who obey laws and commandments and protect children. The community that doesn't was the one that was on his case.
Aaron also had spent a considerable amount of time and money finding expert witnesses. Then, at the last minute, in violation of his interests and directives, his lawyers made a deal to bring no expert witnesses. The nurse had experts, but Aaron did not. Her experts lied. He had none to correct them. Dr. Sales was supposed to be one of those experts. Wiley asked him how soon after the operation he filed the post op report and Sales said "Immediately." Right on the copy of the post op report that Aaron got from the hospital was a time stamp saying that they did not receive it from him until a month after the operation. All Aaron's attorneys would have to do is point that out. Aaron had put that document on his website. The website had been entered in evidence. It was right there in the court documents. He argued with them to do it, but they wouldn't. A normal person does not distrust his or her lawyers enough to fire them in the middle of a trial.
Wiley asked Sales if there was anything unusual noted in the post operative report. Sales said, "Nothing." Well, of course nothing unusual was in it. He is the one who wrote it. Did someone imagine that a man who committed a violent crime during an operation would note that in his own report? Aaron argued with his attorneys to point that out, but they did not do it.
Wiley asked Sales if Aaron had any traumatic injuries. He said that both he and Jeercurz examined Aaron and found that there was nothing physically wrong and any problems he had must be in his head. Sales and Jeercurz were the two who sent him to specialists, but telephoned those specialists ahead of time to tell them to be sure not to find any injuries or their diagnoses could be used to indict their colleague. Aaron had witnesses who would testify to this - hostile witnesses, but still people who worked in the offices of one of the physicians he had called who would testify that Jeercurz telephoned their office telling them not to treat Aaron. They were not experts and so could testify in spite of the self-defeating deal Aaron's counsel had made that forbade his bringing expert witnesses. But his lawyers did not challenge the lies told by Sales in court. The lies were let to stand as though there were no argument to challenge them.
Aaron had had to leave town finally without a referral to get an honest diagnosis. Right there on the website in evidence were the diagnoses of the traumatic injuries caused by Sales. Sales had assaulted Aaron while he was tied down and helpless on that operating table. Aaron passed notes to Blacky asking why they were not pointing this out to correct this for the jury. Blacky nodded as though it would be taken care of. Aaron kept waiting for it to happen. Nothing ever was done to educate the jury about it. As far as that jury ever knew, Aaron had no real injuries. They were life-ruining, marriage shattering injuries that only a sicko would inflict, but the jury would never learn that. Sales would continue to have free, unsupervised access to other helpless patients as though he never had transgressed against any of them. And Aaron would get slammed by the jury as though the whole thing must be in his head.
The most likely person to commit a crime is one who already has. Aaron had told his lawyers that no one has the right to assume that Sales never had done such a thing before and never would do such a thing again. He said that no one has the right to jeopardize the well-being of unsuspecting patients like that and that he and they had a duty to protect future patients with what he had learned and experienced.
Aaron also had argued that cases like this should not be allowed to be brought in the first place and that if they had to fight it to a higher court they should. He had researched libel law. From the Sedition Act of 1798 through New York Times Co. v. Sullivan in 1964, the principle has continually been affirmed that citizens must be able to criticize public officials. Zoning board members can be criticized because they are public officials. Who is more important to your well-being? A member of the zoning board or the surgeon who cuts you open? If patients are not allowed to criticize their caregivers, then the reputations of caregivers is held to be more important than the lives of patients.
A salient fact about how hapless and helpless the community is, in the face of the power of medical professionals is the fact that the least likely of all people to report a crime committed in medicine is anyone working in medicine. Only 1.5% of adverse events are reported. Almost the only people who report these problems are patients and they get sued for talking about it. Medicine is responsible for more accidental death and injury than all other sources combined and patients and the press cannot talk about it without being sued. Like Aaron got sued for what he learned about Dr. Aknos. And got sued for reporting what the nurse did. And was threatened with further suits from others who were part of the debacle. Scallywags can run amuck in such a world.
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Rough draft notes:
In 2002 the National Zoo in Washington denied Freedom of Information Act request for the medical records of Ryma the giraffe because, it said, the release would violate the animal’s privacy rights. Even that made more sense than Jeercurz's argument, but people in medicine see the world from such a narrow and self-serving vantage, and are so confident of that they don't, that there really is no arguing with them about such points.
Rough draft notes:
The conversation went on and on until Aaron finally relented. Then Jeercurz set up an appointment to see Aaron again in four months. At that next appointment they went through the same thing again. Eventually the headaches never went away. Aaron always had a headache and refused to take Viagra ever again.
What no one explained to Aaron, but that he later discovered through is own research and wrote about it on his website, is that Viagra works by inhibiting the breakdown of nitrous oxide in the body. His lack of a blood brain barrier meant that this extra nitrous oxide was reaching his brain cells. Nitrous oxide is toxic to brain cells. Every time he took Viagra he was injuring his brain.
For a couple of years headaches were a confining part of his daily life. They were given to him by his primary care physician in order to delay him in his quest to get diagnosed. Jeercurz was protecting the violent criminal who ruined his life at his patient's expense. It's what is normally done in medicine. They just pretend to themselves that they don't.
Persons, places, events, and situations in this story are purely
Rough Draft / Under Construction
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