My Lifelong War With the "Healthcare" System

Donald Jeffries

My rather unusual childhood clearly left its imprint on me. If I’d had younger, more active parents, and siblings closer to my age, perhaps I wouldn’t have been as drawn to daydreaming, and over analysis. I spent a lot of time in self-reflection, and in my own thoughts. Which was odd for a very social extrovert like me.

I saw our “healthcare” system up close and personal, from the time I was very small. My father never even went through six months of apparent health during my childhood. He spent almost as much time as a patient at Fairfax Hospital than he did at home. As a seven year old, I watched the Beatles’ first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in the Fairfax Hospital lobby, because that’s where my father was. Both of my parents would eventually die at Fairfax Hospital, ten years apart. And I would work there for over thirty years, before moving on to other facilities within the same corporation that became Inova Health System. I gave them 44 years- my entire adult working life- before they fired me in 2018 for helping a handicapped co-worker.

So my childhood was dominated by sickness and hospitalization. My mother was also in the hospital a handful of times when I was a child. My father had so many major surgeries that his chest and stomach were covered in hideous scars. Maybe that’s why I’m so repelled by the Frankenstein scars on the chests of underage “trans” girls. At least one of those operations was what they used to quaintly call “exploratory.” This was when they had no idea what was going on inside someone, so they cut them open to see. In the cases of a few family members, I remember hearing my parents talk about how they saw the cancer immediately, so they “sewed them right back up.” It was all very frightening to a child, and obviously added to my growing list of fears.

My father grew to hate the world, but he never turned his bitterness on the medical system that consistently failed him. He loved his ridiculous Dr. O’Brien, who used to drive my mother crazy by combing his hair when listening to their complaints. Like most doctors, he wound up not living to a ripe old age. I’ve heard the allegations that doctors have the shortest life expectancies of any profession, but haven’t been able to verify that. At any rate, every time my father was hospitalized, whether he added to his record number of operations or not, he came back the worse for the wear. A little less capable of doing something he was able to do before. More debilitated every time. In all those years, the medical profession never helped him. Never made him better.

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