Hello Angel, thank you for reading my poetry. This poem “MEDICAL MADNESS,” is what I leave behind me as I rebuild my life.  This explains my thirty-three-year journey fighting for my life, medical care and respect from a very corrupt Workers Compensation board (injured worker’s insurance system) while trying to find someone to acknowledge a severely broken rib in my upper back from an 1985, a “broken rib,” that was misdiagnosed as “Rhomboid muscle strain.” that led me down a road I called “MY WALKTHROUGH MEDICAL MADNESS.”  I recently put up a video that explains my poem….
Old memories plague me in the darkness
And as they rear their ugly head
They only remind me of all that I’ve lost
My life, my freedom, and my children are dead
Dear God, please forgive my anger
For these many transgressions that I see
But all the madness that I have lived through
Almost got the better of me
I have no need for food or sleep
What I crave most is the sun and air
But, when I look out the window of my sanctuary
I see no signs of the truth out there
Dear God, it’s you I’ve turned to the most
For answers, for courage and faith
And as I read these medical reports of cruelty
Anger washes over me, replacing the hate
My Lord, I have, but five days to go
Can I hold onto the hope this doctor will come to my aid?
I can’t close my eyes; I can’t find any rest
From the pain these surgeons continually create
I see clearly such torture in one operation
And I shake with the echo of hearing my pleas
During this procedure, I felt what they were doing
And when I slipped into unconsciousness, fear followed me
When I woke up in recovery, I felt only doom
Because all I’ve done for so long was cry and beg
Now I felt something different when I turned on my machine
The current was not reaching my back but was running down both my legs
The first surgeon that implanted this medical device
Offered me a choice between paralysis and pain
And as I read these words again in my medical file
It leaves me reeling in sorrow, reeling in shame
Once again, I was sent back to my prison of silence
I lost the job that I loved and my friends for nine years
I kept searching for help, but no one would touch me
And each night I lay down, on my pillow of tears
It took three long years to find another surgeon
He said he would operate and put the wires in place
He smiled as he spoke and promised to help
I smiled back through my fear, as I looked up at his face
I believed what he promised, but I felt like a fool
As I waited daily in my bed for his call
Depression took over, as days turned into months
He couldn’t be reached; I was climbing the walls
My doctor’s husband took over and went to his office
Not leaving until he got my surgery date
Workers Compensation harassed me, wouldn’t leave me in peace
They wanted me back to work, and they wouldn’t wait
The day finally came; I had my fifth operation
Another stranger opened me up, creating a mess
When I woke up much later, I felt such foreboding
I turned on my machine, and I screamed from the stress
Something was wrong; the current was closer
But, it still gave me no comfort as it had done years before
I looked up at my doctor, and as I was being sedated
I wondered how I would get over being sliced open once more
Two weeks later, I was back for my next operation
I tried to prepare my mind for what was to come
This sixth operation was finally completed
I went home feeling gratitude for what he had done
Alone with my sorrow, my body felt mangled
I recovered slowly a few more years gone
I asked God for assistance in clearing my heart
I tried to forgive the ones who had done me wrong
Five years passed lost in depression and pills
Now, I needed Workers Compensation to help me update my skills
The office software had changed from five years ago
And when I asked my caseworker for help I received a flat “No.”
I was still in grave shock as I hung up the phone
I had no one beside me; I felt completely alone
I needed some hope I then called her manager
The kindness in his voice helped soothe some of my anger
I paid into this system from the time I was ten
They cared nothing about me or the hell I’d been in
I asked them for help; their stoic response caused me shame
It seemed every report they wrote, said I had low back pain
I questioned my pension wondering what that was based on
When I told them the truth, they treated me like a con
I asked them why would I lie, or pretend to have pain?
They paid me such meagre wages; I had nothing to gain
These machines, they paid thousands of dollars for electrocuted me twice
I know if it happened again, death would be rolling the dice
The adjudicator asked me nothing, and they cared even less
And my depression got worse, my mind and body were a mess
When I cried on the phone, they had no empathy
They said those were the rules; they had to follow policy
I had to hustle my body, even though I was a wreck
Other resources wouldn’t help me, and I would receive no cheque
It has been twenty-nine years and all that I know
Are the mangled scars on my back, things that won’t show
I still fight in a system that refuses to care
And each day I ask God, what’s the reason I’m here
© Brenda Keough
March 13, 2014
A broken rib in 1985, caused the biggest challenge I would ever experience in my life, sending me on a fight for my life and medical attention to find someone to acknowledge I had a broken rib and not “muscle problems.”
Misdiagnosis happens more than we think, or hear about. To think that a simple broken rib would cause such heartache, losses, and destruction in this day and age with is a crime.
This picture is the result of six unnecessary operations I suffered after the broken rib was removed in 1986, almost a year later. The result of that was that I was left with nerve damage that caused further problems and pain.
The picture next to it is called a Medtronic Neurotransmitter, (spinal column stimulator.) This was inserted into my body in 1991, to stop nerve pain. This device would send electricity through my nervous system, stopping the pain. I wore this device 24/7 and was able to return to the workforce at least for seven years….and for seven years I was forgotten by everyone that was supposed to monitor this machine… became a part of me like breathing…..
Unfortunately,  I was left to suffer the consequences of this device malfunctioning and electrocuting me on two occasions while at work.  Had it not been for my co-workers unplugging the cord from the transmitter, or had I been anywhere else that day, it would have killed me.
These problems and further injuries have been swept under the carpet for thirty-three years by the Adjudicator’s on my case at the Workers Compensation Board.  And I fought each time for medical care that came much too late.
Because of ignorance, I lost two children the first year and the losses continued accumulating, but for every loss God made up with beautiful words of poetry that kept me sane, helping me find a better perspective on looking at the situations I was up against.
I can only pray that my experiences, won’t become the experience of someone else.  I was twenty-two when this happened, frightened, in pain and up against some pretty big doctors….and I fought these battles, for the most part, requesting my medical case be investigated, but like my words, they were lost on many.
We need to make changes to the way we are treated by doctors and changes to this corrupt Workers Compensation Board that discards injured workers, causing more depression, injuries and sometimes death.  We don’t have a system that protects us, but a system that buries their dead under outdated policies.

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