Anger Management

Tomorrow I am going to kick the living shit out of the sandbag at Shane’s gym.

I. Am. Angry.

As mentioned before, I still have not gotten over the fact that Thai surgeons could be such pricks.

“Oh, I got all the cancer in her lung. She doesn’t need chemo.” and “I’m older and therefore I’m right. Don’t argue with me on this. She doesn’t need chemo.”

Fuck you.

Who in the fucking right mind wouldn’t follow up a cancer surgery with a chemo or radiation? And you call yourself top doctors in the goddamn kingdom?


It’s not YOUR mother you just operated on. It’s not your mother who a few months later found lesions in her brain and cancer in her liver.

And after all my mom had to go through afterward. The radiation. The chemo. And the stroke. The in-house, fresh-faced psychologist walked in and told everyone my mom is fine and she can be taken off the “de-stress” medication?

Guess who has now stopped eating, or swallowing despite a great bill of health? “Oh there’s nothing wrong with her throat muscles. She CAN swallow.” “There’s nothing wrong with her mentally so we’re going to take her off of the ‘de-stress’ medication now.”


Look, assholes. She is not eating. She has even stop swallowing her saliva. I mean she sits there, holding it in her mouth and spit it out. She has stopped being lively and talkative. Because you took whatever the hell medication she was on.

Mom went through a period of withdrawal, I assume. After they took her off whatever drug that was that makes her fall asleep at night and be quiet lively during the day, mom was back to insomnia for many days. When she finally starts falling asleep on her own, this was when she stops talking and swallowing.

Psychology, in Thailand, it seems to be only for the crazies. I mean, you don’t see a psychologist until you’re completely nuts–as in hallucinating, multiple personality, out of your mind mad. Mental illness doesn’t even mean a little depression or anxiety disorder. To Thais, “Mental Illness” means multiple personality, hallucination, total raving lunatic.

Thai culture, like most Asian cultures, is all about keeping things private. Saving face. Keeping everything to yourself. There is no such thing as airing out your laundry to anyone.

A few friends of mine have family issues like dad left mom a long time ago, dad was living with his mistress and you actually get to stay with them a few nights a week, or one friend that mom passed away when she was young. No one knows of their little secrets until they either told you or their best friends let it slip. Heck, my uncle has family issues and although we knew about it, we weren’t allowed to talk about it with our cousins. We went on pretending like nothing ever happened.

The shrink would ask, “So how are you?” Sure, you’d feel like jumping off the building or bashing his/her head in, but you’d say, “I’m fine.” “Tell me about your father?” “Oh, we have great relationships” would come out of your mouth even if you know he has mistresses all over town and that your mother cries herself to sleep every night. That kind of thing.

In a society where everything is kept under wrapped, I don’t think ANYONE would get a fair psychological assessment. Until you open up, I don’t think anyone in Thailand could get the right treatment for their mental health.

I’m sure my mom kept mummed on a lot of things when the psychologist came to talk to her at the hospital. I KNOW for sure she didn’t tell him/her everything.

And yes, I know we have secrets that we keep. Fuck, I won’t even air it out here. (But if I have to talk to a shrink, I’d gladly spill my guts. I am no typical Thai girl, as you all already learned. Heh.)

But the reason why I am angry is that I believe my mom is suffering depression or some kind of a disorder. After all the treatments she had gone through and the rehabilitating stroke, I was damn sure someone would have given her something for her mental health. Some kind of anti-depressant? An upper? Something.

From what I hear from everyone about mom’s deteriorating behaviors, it sounds like she’s depressed. Seriously. Fuck, with all the treatments and medications she is on, it wouldn’t be a surprise if it fucks with her brain chemicals.

But guess what they did? Whatever drugs they had been giving her to help her sleep seems to help her being lively during the day too. The moment they took that away, she’s deteriorated.

So yeah. I am angry with Thailand’s medical field. I am angry first of all at that asshole surgeon who was adamant that my mom didn’t need chemo and the younger oncologist had to listen to him, and out of respect, not give mom the chemo HE thought she needed.

I am angry at the inept psychologist–fuck, can you even call yourself THAT?–who waltzed in once a week to tell us she was fine and took her off her meds. Why? Because every time we had to get the meds refilled, we have to wait at least 3 hours to get his fucking signature because he was so fucking busy or something.

It’s not about mom’s feeling better, it’s about inconvenience he had to go through to prescribe the fucking meds.



Oh, and the cherry on top of this? The oncologist reported that the old cancer one remained contained. But there’s a new spot in town in another area of the liver.

The drug that mom is on right now, apparently is the newest thing we’ve got. The cancer gained tolerant from that one and we just don’t know what else we could throw at it. We won’t know what the prognosis or the next step would be until the doc gets back from an international conference somewhere next week.

Now you can see why I need to beat the shit out of something.

(Oh and those who were thinking, “Why don’t you bring your mom over to the U.S. and stop being so fucking angry?” I raised that question when we found out cancer has metastasized. Mom doesn’t want to leave her friends. And now, I don’t think she’s in any condition to travel. And still, she needs her friends more than ever.)


  1. Olaina   •  

    Oh. My. God. I’m so sorry you and your family have to go through all of this crap. When I got to the part about the Thai culture of saving face and keeping secrets, I totally got it. Just take out Thai and insert Indian. “Hi Mom, Hi Dad, Hi World, everything’s fine! *flashy fake smile*”

    What can I say? Cancer sucks. Strokes suck. Medicine sucks. The disparity of healthcare and everything else in the world sucks.

    So now I’m going to entertain you with the Oakley love-fest we had down here in San Diego today:

    Justin and I went to a Thai restaurant and the music was 70s and 80s love song remixes slowed down and in a higher overall pitch than the originals. We’re talking a slower version of the Carpenters. And then “Light My Fire” came on, and it took 3 verses before Justin asked me whether the song was in English or not–sure enough, it was just the “come on baby, light my fire,” part that was English. Justin was pretty sure that if we went to Thailand and ate in a touristy restaurant it would sound just like that–except that we’d see dancers lip-synching to it all.

    So that’s where we’re taking you to dinner next time you visit us.

    And then, we saw a bumper sticker that said, “Republicans for Voldemort.” After Justin explained it to me I laughed a lot, and then said, “Oakley would love that!”

    You’ve been on our mind.

    Hang in there, sister. Hugs from your San Diego fan club!

  2. Lillian   •  

    Oh I’m soo sorry! You are far away and even if you were here, the docs tend to not listen.. Thats a tough one. Hope your mum feels better soon

  3. Gregg   •  

    Olaina, “light my fire” was a song from the Doors. One of the greatest bands out of the 60’s. Jim Morrison rules!


    I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. I know what you are saying about mental health in Thai is true, or at least from what I have read. My girl works in academia as a nursing instructor and I have read many of her papers on schizophrenia. It seems like the only ones that get diagnosed are the ones that do something drastic.

    There is one thing I am not sure about, and don’t have that great of a grasp on because I am not in Thailand for any long period of time. There seems to be a great deal of difference from a public hospital and a private one. Is there any chance you can take your mom to a private one? (assuming you have not done this already)

    I think I would complain as loud as you can and make the older doctor regain face by practicing proper care.

    I really hope your mom gets better. If you would like for me to ask my fiance for a good recommendation for an excellent Thai psychologist, I will.

    best wishes always to you and your family

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