Friday, September 05, 2014

What Was It?

I've calmed down a great deal over the ruckus over my eldest daughter's chosen lifestyle. I still haven't spoken to her about it, but I will eventually. It's her life. But she cannot flaunt it like that and not expect me to say something about it.

But I have to admit I've been willingly distracted by the decline and death of Joan Rivers this week.

First, a confession. I'm not a huge Joan Rivers fan. She has said some funny and wise things occasionally, but her humor wasn't my cup of tea. With Robin Williams there seemed to be genuine love and sweetness behind most of his humor. With Joan Rivers, not so much, her humor was more grounded in putting others down. I cringed every single time I heard her use her husband Edgar as the butt of her jokes. Recent statements about Michelle Obama and her lack of any compassion for Palestinian women and children combined with her status as a Republican didn't help my opinion of her.

That's not to say I didn't sometimes enjoy her. I liked her on "Celebrity Apprentice" and she appeared very nice and low key on an episode of "Celebrity Ghost Stories". Her autobiography "Enter Talking" was a fascinating book.

Mostly I felt sorry for her, even when she was saying horrid things about others. No one that has chopped up and surgically changed their face that much could possibly have been a happy person satisfied with their life. Other comics would joke about her plastic surgery, saying things like if she had a face lift one more time she'd have a beard.

I don't know why we as women tend to be our own harshest critics, never accepting ourselves as 'good enough', suffering through dieting, hair torturing, over exercise, a constant hunt for the 'right' clothes, slathering ourselves with makeup and sometimes plastic surgery. I wish, oh how I wish, Joan would have been able to accept the her in the mirror. When you look at early photos of her you see that sharp long face with angular planes, eyes that looked so different, a bigger nose, a different lipline. I thought she was beautiful with her natural face before all the surgery. By the time she died there wasn't much left of that original perfectly fine face.

How could one love oneself and inflict such severe surgery on yourself? Is it possible?

Today I read that the state of New York is investigating the clinic, Yorkville Endoscopy, because of what happened to Joan Rivers. Good. Very good. Why?

When the news came out that she'd stopped breathing during minor surgery and had to be rushed to a hospital I sighed and thought she'd had another cosmetic procedure. I'd always figured her frequent cosmetic surgeries would be her undoing and ultimately lead to her death.

But once it came out that she was having vocal cord surgery at a clinic that does mostly endoscopies it suddenly started to make sense. Here's what I'm thinking will eventually come out in the media based upon the years I worked at a big clinic and the fact that I see a vocal cord doctor on a very regular basis.

She had a surgery that should have been performed by an ENT who specializes in vocal cords at a legitimate hospital where there would have been a crash cart right in the OR. So why didn't she? I suspect she did go to an ENT/Vocal Cord specialist who likely told her because of her age and the fact that the procedure was elective, not necessary, that he would not do it. Too many risks.

There are some great ENT/Vocal Cord doctors here on the East Coast, she could have taken her pick. I feel fairly certain she was rejected because of the risks involved.

What do you do when you're famous and wealthy and doctors A, B, and C say that they won't do it? You find someone who will, someone only interested in your pocketbook who has no qualms about doing something other doctors will not.

An endoscopy is a very different thing than vocal cord surgery. You know what they use to put you under for an endoscopy? Propofol, the same drug Michael Jackson paid another doctor willing to do what you should not do to administer to him, that lead to his death by respiratory and cardiac arrest. The same two things that killed Joan Rivers.

The autopsy was inconclusive as to cause of death, so... I'm thinking that once this investigation is done we're going to find that Joan Rivers died at the hands of doctors/clinic that wasn't really the right place to have that type of surgery, that she'd been advised against it by other doctors and that the improper usage of Propofol played a part in her initial medical crisis.

I hope I'm wrong, as I know this would just add to her daughter's pain. Only time and investigation will tell.

At some point doctors are going to have to start saying 'no' to their famous patients when they are asked to do something not medically ethical. I'd like to see those physicians and facilities that enable celebrities to do things that they shouldn't pay the price for what they've done. Not just financial. They should be barred from the practice of medicine or just not allowed to profit wildly from it. This isn't medicine, it's greed and madness.

Rest in peace, Joan. May you find happiness you lacked here on the other side.

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