Lower the Stick, Devil Dog

          cruelty of old
          tortures the flesh and spirit;
          fight, Lady Justice 

I almost hit a medical attendant while at the hospital… And I feel no guilt about the fact that now I’m wishing my first impulse had smacked his stupidity right in the teeth.

I was pacing at the ophthalmologist’s office. The doctor had just given me something to numb my eyeball, but the pain around my eye socket was still blinding. Walking back and forth, with my eyes closed, while massaging the area with a bit of pressure helped soothing the hurt.

The cry of a man—who seemed to be hurting way more than I was—made me open my eyes and glance through the glass doors separating the eye clinic from the hallway.

“It hurts. I can’t,” the man said. “It hurts.”

I closed my eyes again, and refocused on my eyeball; when you spent enough time in a hospital, you kind of start to get used to a scream of agony or two. But there was a third and a fourth cry of pain, so I walked out to the hallway.

I ran into a medical attendant who was telling an old man, “Just lift your fucking feet.”

“I can’t,” the old man said over and over, his lips stretched in an expression that showed he only had a couple of teeth left.

I noticed that one of the old man’s feet was caught on the front wheel of the chair. “His foot’s twisted under the chair,” I said to the attendant, assuming that he hadn’t seen it.

He gave me a frustrated look, and continued talking to the old guy. “Lift your feet. Didn’t you hear me? Lift your—”

“He can’t,” I said a bit louder. “And you’re hurting him.”

“This is my patient. I know—”

“I don’t care if he’s your servant,” I shouted. “You’re hurting him and you need to stop.”

The man ignored me. I asked him for his name and he refused to give it. I asked him again, and he yelled, “Who are you?” Then he turned towards a woman who was with him and told her to bring the car to the front.

“A concern citizen,” I said. (I’m just realizing how cliché that sounds… ) I told him that he didn’t have to give me his name, but he had to accompany me to the Patient Advocate Office.

He tried to wheel the old man away from me. The old man screamed in pain.

“I’m calling security,” I yelled at the attendant. His eyes opened wide, and I thought my threat had scared him. A hand squeezing my left shoulder made me pay more attention to my own body—I was holding my umbrella like a baseball bat… and aiming it at the attendants face.

“Lower the stick, Devil Dog,” said the man with his hand on my shoulder. “The VA Police is coming. They’ll handle this shitbird.”

I lowered the umbrella.

The VA Police asked the attendant to go with them to their office. The attendant started shouting at them and saying that he didn’t have to go anywhere. It took three VA Police Officers to walk him to the office.


After my doctor was finished with my eye, I went back to give my information for the formal report. I was shocked by some of the things I learned about the entire situation. First, the pile of feces pretending to be a human medical attendant said that the reason why I reported him was… wait for it… “because [he was] Black.”

I wish I had been there when he said that. Or maybe not… I might not have been able to keep my umbrella from poking his eyes open enough for him to figure out that I’m Black, too… and that the cruelty of his soul has nothing to do with the color of our skins. But that bit of ignorance wasn’t the worse of it; the woman (whom I thought was a friend of the attendant) was the old man’s daughter. I wished I had smacked her. I mean, what in the world is wrong with that woman!?!

Anyway, that was the last exciting episode in the life of my funky eyeball and me. The doctors still can’t figure out what’s wrong, but things are improving. One small miracle at a time, right? Thanks so much for the energy, the love and the laughs, my Wicked Luvs!

my umbrella remains in hiding
so I borrowed this one from Archer Adams’
*cough, cough, cough*

46 comments:

  1. Your such a good person Magaly, even through your pain you tried to help another. The world needs more people like you.

    Will continue sending healing energies, I hope that you eye is better soon :-)

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    1. I think we all would react the same way if put in the same situation and given enough time. I was just telling my Piano Man that I wonder if I would have reacted as quick or as outraged if the person being hurt had been younger... I can't stand people who abuse the elderly or children. Abuse is horrible. Period. But abused done to someone who has no way of defending himself or herself is pure evil.

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    2. I agree completely and hopefully Karma will catch up to the scumbag and the poor man daughter.

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  2. Gods, what an Ass!! Perhaps the daughter is so intimidated & exhausted from dealing with the VA that she had no fight left in her.

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    1. I'm not sure if I will say the following because the daughter's lack of action is still fresh in my heart. But I've seen tired, Jonquil. Heck, I've been tired and exhausted myself. I had clients who were so tired of their own circumstances that they would take out on family, friends, doctors... anyone. But this lady looked bored. She was carrying her father's wheelchair's footplates under her freaking armpits! The old man had to be a least 6', so his feet were dragging. Why didn't she make sure the poor old man--who was obviously agonizing from homeopathic pain--was comfortable before moving him? Especially after he began to cry... to cry! I think I will have that woman's face in my head for a long time. Yuck.

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  3. I had to read this twice. You see, as a medical professional, I assumed this was a story, and the attendant would turn out to be something evil and otherworldly.

    When I realized this actually happened I read it again, and my blood, Boiled.

    I'm so glad someone was looking out for the man, but I'm shocked it wasn't a staff member. Shocked and angry.

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    1. Reality can be so terrible...

      This happened in a hallway kind of far away from security and from open doors. It was around lunch time, too, so the desks were only being maned by one person and the phones were ringing off the hook. The VA needs more people. A lot more. The personnel they have works so very hard, but they can only do so much. That drives me insane... There are so many patients and so few doctors...

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    2. That makes me sad and angry, too. We ask our service men and women to put everything on the line for us. Their lives, families, homes, everything. And they do it. And we make certain promises of things we will provide in return. And we're not keeping our end of the bargain.

      What boggles the mind is that this is something on which my Conservative and Liberal friends agree 100%, and we still can't get anything done!

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    3. They are always raving about how Vets should get the best care and blah, blah, blah... then the time to open the checkbooks comes up and everybody starts acting like they don't know that their words and promises need to be funded. Don't get me started. I might begin to shriek.

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  4. This is such a sad but all too common story; the dehumanization of old or sick people that can't stand up for themselves.

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    1. "dehumanization" is the horrid word in this case. I haven't been able to stop wondering about the old man's years in the service, about how lucid he is, about the state of his dignity... It's not fair.

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    2. Oh, and I forgot to say: I'm sorry to hear about your continuing eye problem - do they still not know what is wrong?

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    3. They aren't sure yet. But the redness is clearing up, and it hurts less. The spot refuses to go away. We'll see...

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  5. Good thing you were there to help, Magaly! You were that old man's guardian angel for sure.

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    1. I want to think that, but I don't know... He looked so week, Debra. His shirt was unbuttoned and showing his stomach, his cheeks looked like he had been crying... it made me wonder if the next person his daughter will hire will be any better. I sure hope so...

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  6. BECAUSE SHE'S BATMAGALAY.

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  7. What was with the women with the old gentleman? Good for you for speaking up,, the attendant didn't realize who he crossed paths with now did he!
    Now BatGirl, get better okay! xoxoDebi

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    1. His daughter. She was just there looking bored. She looked so detached that I didn't even know she was with the old man until after the fact... That woman will have some explaining to do when she meets her maker.

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  8. O! You could not have made that up. We all have to risk doing what you did to fix the environments we traverse. Bless you for showing us how. Is your eye any worse for the incident? Your pain? Take care of yourself.

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    1. I think that must times we--I've done it, so I suspect others do the same--kind of wait expecting someone else will do something. Then we go home wondering if we would have made a difference. But you are right, we might fix certain things if we just do or say something...

      My pain is getting better. The redness is going away, very slowly, but it's happening. Thanks so much for your prayers!

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  9. So glad you did something! You are a brave and wonderful warrior!

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  10. Reading this mad my blood boil! Good for you for being a superhero and standing up against injustice, Magaly! ❤

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    1. It's that super-mama power, isn't it? That natural fierceness and outrage that boils in all souled creatures when someone who needs our help is being abused by an animal. Yes, super-mama power, indeed. I think I read you shake your fist. ;-)

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  11. You are an amazing person - fancy him accusing you of doing it because he's black, uh no, you did it because he's a shitty human being. I'm just surprised that his daughter allowed her father to be in pain - actually no, wait a minute I'm not. But I think the old man was ever so glad and thankful that the Magaly Angel stepped in and helped him and recognised him as a person instead of some one's burden.

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    1. That last word "burden" always broke my heart whenever I have to hear it coming out of the old, the sick or look at it in the eyes of a child. Such sadness...

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  12. Hospitals bring out the best but more often the worst in people...I am glad there are a few brave souls ready to speak up..unless we challenge it, It will stay the same..or worse...hope your eye is better

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    1. That is the truth in all is clarity. There is something unveiling about a place that forces us to think of mortality... Let's hope that one of these days we'll learn better as a people.

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  13. Good on you for saying something! I can only imagine the amusement of the person they complained to when he tried to use that "because I'm black" thing. Of course, maybe his lack of ability to notice your own caramel hue may explain his inability to notice a person was in pain - but he's probably just a garden variety ass.

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    1. Maybe I looked undercooked... or he was suffering of color-blindness-induced-stupidity... hey, it could happen.

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  14. How many times will I have to say I'm proud of you for being a better person than me? I wouldn't have spoken anywhere near as calmly as you, and this bitch from hell would most definitely have bitten him. Hope the old guy is getting better care now. And(being a believer that fate puts us where we are most needed) maybe this was why you have had such a nasty eye problem...anything less and you would not have been there to help him <3 XXX

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    1. I'm crossing my fingers and my toes and my legs (and will cross my arms when I finish typing) so that my eye issue was needed in order for me to be there. I seriously am!

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  15. good for you for standing up to the cruelty. that's one of the big problems in this country. no one confronts cruelty or bad behavior when they see it.

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    1. I was thinking about that, Ellen. About how many times we see a person verbally abusing another and turn our head away because it isn't polite to look. I wonder what we would see if we just watched a bit longer... what we have missed for not doing the human thing and just watch....

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  16. Guess this makes me the proud friend of a Devil Dog :)

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  17. I love your posts and this one made me happy that there are still people who care for those that can't defend themselves from the truly crappy beings that are running loose in the world.

    I hope they are able to figure out what is wrong with your eye. Not a happy situation for you.

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    1. "crappy beings...running loose in the world," indeed.

      I second your hope. This eye is getting ridiculous.

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  18. You reported him because he was black... I'm still confused by this logic, I read it 3 times each time going but she's black.

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    1. Stupidity is a plaque these days...

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  19. Oh you are so my kind of woman, fierce and fearlessly bad ass. What an absolute idiot that attendant was. Especially to day you were reporting him because he was black, without even realizing the absurdity of that accusation. Some people are just special eh?

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  20. I am so happy you were there Magaly! You were his guardian angel ;o)
    This story makes me so mad! I don't understand why people think, they can treat others, that are weaker then them, with no compassion?
    I was laughing about being "black"! Ding Dong!
    Hugs ;o)

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