When we last spoke, I had gone to the hospital on Wednesday, as ordered, and tried to check in. That all failed, and they sent me home.

In the past two days I have been making arrangements with work and with Hazelden to go there for a month. Was actually calling them on one line, when my doctor’s office called me on my cell. I answered, and it was the nurse I had spoken too the other day who had told me to go to Wheeling Hospital. She spent about ten minutes apologizing, telling me that she had misunderstood the doctor, and he had meant for me to go to another hospital. So that’s where that screw-up happened.

Then she tells me that my doctor is furious the emergency room released me after my blood work and ct scan, because he said that I have a bad case of pancreatitis and should never have been allowed to leave. This is Friday. I was in the hospital on Wednesday. So I’ve basically been stumbling around for two days when I should be hospitalized.

Soooo, long story short, tomorrow I will pack my suitcase up again, head off for the fourth time for someone in the medical community to give a shit, and I am hoping I will not be driving home again tomorrow night with my unopened luggage.

This is so infuriating I really can not put it in words. My parents are worried sick, I’m a shitty frame of mind, and if they fuck with me tomorrow I am seriously going to choke out a physician or two. Someone in Congress really needs to set up some clear rules for how these sorts of things are handled by hospitals, and no facility receiving medicare or medicaid money should receive any until they have a coherent and clear plan for when someone comes in asking for health. It should be a federal requirement to receive federal funding that they have an action plan in place for how to deal with this type of issue.

Just unreal. The only real upside of this, as I have stated, is that the more bullshit I go through the more determined I get to make the system fix me. By tomorrow this time, I will either be under excellent medical care or in the county jail charged with several counts of assault and battery and causing grievous bodily harm.

206 replies
  1. 1
    Trollhattan says:

    a bad case of pancreatitis

    Damn, dude, the hits (rained down upon your carcass) just keep coming. Maybe, just maybe you’ll catch a break. Using logic, persistance and The Force doesn’t seem to be working.

    Be well. Soon.

  2. 2
    goblue72 says:

    You mean you are saying that the American healthcare system is not the best in the world and is instead a completely inefficient, costly mess with poor health outcomes compared to the rest of the developed world? That’s just Socialist type talk yo. Or maybe Muslim talk. Or post-colonialist talk. I’m not sure.

  3. 3
    recurvata says:

    You are truly being fucked with. I feel for you. I can see a relatively short wait to get into rehab, but this is ridiculous. I could give you platitudes about how it will all work out eventually, but that’s crap right now.

    I recently had major surgery, but went to a top rate hospital, UM in Ann Arbor. More expensive, but they know what they’re doing and take care of you. Deductible ends up the same anyway. Hazelden is well known, supposed to be very good. Stick with that. Pancreatitis might mean more hospital work first, but sounds like you need to get out of your local area, because they aren’t doing shit. Good luck John.

  4. 4
    Amir Khalid says:

    You’ve got an inflamed pancreas as well as your other stuff to deal with? Oh man, that does suck. You have my deepest sympathies.

    On the other hand, it seems like your troubles do exemplify some of the many things that urgently need fixing on the admin side of American health care, in some subsequent phase of reform.

  5. 5
    Genine says:

    I’m so sorry, John. I have no other words. This is horrible situation.

  6. 6
    rikyrah says:

    Sorry Cole. Keep your cool…don’t choke anyone or even curse them out. Keeping you in my prayers.

  7. 7
    Hungry Joe says:

    You will get in. You will get well. And you will come back.

  8. 8
    Diana says:

    This time you’ll get treated: you have a diagnosis, pancreatitis. Doctors are much more comfortable with an actual diagnosis.

    Funny irrelevant fact: when my cat was diagnosed with pancreatitis, I looked it up on my iPhone. Human pancreatitis came up, of course, and there I read the three leading risk factors for pancreatitis were alcoholism, drug abuse, and unforeseen drug interactions. I looked down at my kitty, who innocently looked up at me, and I asked her what she was doing in my the apartment in my absence.

  9. 9
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Oh. Just. FUCK.

    Once again, I knew as soon as I saw the thread title that it was a JGCOLE post.

    I am so bloody sorry you are having to deal with this. If you think there’s anything, ANYTHING, that your Juicer community can do on your behalf — make phone calls, send emails, annoy the fuck out of members of Congress while they’re home for a month — just say the word. You know you have hundreds of people here who have your back and want you to get the help you yourself want.

    I wish I could think of something even remotely encouraging to say right now. This is just insane.

    And I feel compelled to note that you, John, are a bright, motivated, and educated person (also white and male). What in the world must it be like for POC, poor folks, any marginalized people who don’t even know their way around the system? Just heartbreaking.

    I have an endless supply of hugs, so here are some more to see you through the next few days:


    (Steve and the piglets must be so confused by now.)

  10. 10
    dexwood says:

    You’ve a right to be pissed off. You also have the ingredients for a contemporary Catch 22 novel going on. Keep documenting, if only privately. You give an aspect of current health care issues a voice. Be strong. Don’t choke anyone.

  11. 11
    MochaDem says:

    I am so sorry you are going through this. I need to ask the dumb question. You said you have gold plated insurance – why can’t your insurer tell you which facility to go to? I went to my providers site, entered my plan type and have over 275 choices of in-patient detox centers. Granted there are not a lot in WV – are you willing to go out of state?

  12. 12
    Roger Moore says:

    he said that I have a bad case of pancreatitis and should never have been allowed to leave.

    So basically you can be on a glide path to death through substance abuse and they can’t do anything, but when you have a more obvious physical ailment it’s easy to get you in. It’s the regular bias about physical vs. mental and behavioral problems.

  13. 13
    Roger Moore says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    You’ve got an inflamed pancreas as well as your other stuff to deal with?

    I wouldn’t necessarily assume that the pancreatitis is unrelated to the booze.

    ETA: Looks like @Diana is making something of the same point.

  14. 14
    Violet says:

    OMG, John. That is totally fucked up. It sounds like everyone’s messing up and you’re getting the shit end of the whole thing. I hope it only gets better from here.

  15. 15
    Lizzy L says:

    John, you haven’t said anything like “my friend X, who was with me at the hospital, said” which leads me to think that you are doing this all alone. Is it possible for a friend — preferably someone with inhuman calm, a serious Don’t Fuck With My Buddy demeanor, and a fully-charged cell phone — to travel with you, and stay with you while you deal with the hospital, at least until you are admitted?

    It’s incredibly difficult to deal with hospital bullshit when one is sick and alone. Friend, family member: can someone go with you?

    Keeping you in my heart.

  16. 16
    satby says:

    Hang tough John. I’m hoping tomorrow is the day they finally get their shit together and take care of you.
    Also, what Siubhan Duinne says x2

  17. 17
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    Holy crap. This is what happens to someone who’s eager for treatment and seeking it out? I had no idea the system was so bad. Apparently if we can’t throw someone in jail, we don’t know what to do.

  18. 18
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    Wow, they sent you home with pancreatitis?!? That’s some nasty stuff. If they send you home with pancreatitis that’s a hospital you don’t want to be in anyway.

    On the bright side, as you say (and I paraphrase), you’re a stubborn ole cuss who will be damned if you will let them get away with preventing you from getting well. The more they try to thwart you the more you will dig in your heels and GET WELL!!

    Best wishes.

  19. 19
    Elizabelle says:

    John: fingers crossed for you.

    You’re performing a public service, because who would think how hard it is for someone committed to making a change to get the needed rehab services. Chronicle it.

    We may see you and a pet or two on Sixty Minutes yet.

    If Lara Logan shows up for the interview, though, stand your ground!

  20. 20
    Ilia says:

    @Diana: Actually in humans the leading causes are gallstones and alcohol abuse. If someone’s a teetotaler, it’s almost always gallstones, although infrequently it can be drug interactions, hyperlipidemia, steroids, and very rarely, scorpion bites.
    Source: am physician

  21. 21
    Violet says:

    @Lizzy L: In a previous post he said his friend Shawn had gone with him to the doctor or hospital or something. But you’re right–it’s essential to bring someone with you to that kind of appointment.

  22. 22
    Emma says:

    You are NOT going to get your arse thrown in jail, you hear me? We need people like you in the world, doing good for pets, and brothers, and this motley crew you give a digital home to. Keep calm and don’t blink. They’ll break first.

  23. 23
    SectionH says:

    John, Mr S and I again wish you the best. Crikey, if you survive getting in some blasted hospital, you can manage anything.

    Also too, if you need an alibi after choking some deserving morans, I know a dozen ppl who’ll all swear you’ve been with them all week.

  24. 24
    Xjmueller says:

    Thank goodness you live in the country with the greatest health care system in the world.

    I’ve heard third times the charm. This is number three, or did I lose count?

    Seriously, hope this works out this time.

  25. 25
    WaterGirl says:

    Un-fucking-believeable, John. Not again. It’s like a comedy of errors, only without the comedy.

    So are you still trying to hook up with Hazelden, or is all that delayed because of the pancreatitis?

    I caught a softball the wrong way in gym class in high school and they sent me for an x-ray. Finger not broken. Keep it cold and wet soaking in icy water and make sure to exercise my finger so it doesn’t stiffen up.

    I get a phone call 24-hours later. Finger is broken. Keep it warm (oops) dry (oops) and immobile (oops).

    Decades later, that story is funny. Your story is 100k times worse, and it will never, ever be funny. But hopefully you can use your anger and use your words and write a story that could get some attention so maybe the process won’t be so crazy for the next bastard who wants some fucking help.

    I have faith in you, Cole. You will not let the bastards win.

  26. 26
    CaseyL says:

    Seconding the offer of help, if you can think of anything we can do.

    I have to say I’m confused as to what treatments you’re getting, and in which order.

    Are you still going to have the hernia surgery? or did that already take place; or does it need to be delayed until the pancreatitis is dealt with?

    Are you still going to Hazeldon? I think that would be best, if you can, because it doesn’t sound like anyone you’ve seen so far, in any of the facilities you’ve gone to so far, knows what the fuck they’re doing.

    I’m worried you’ll wake up in a recovery room to discover someone gave you breast implants or something.

  27. 27
    spudgun says:

    Hang in there, John – as my dad would say, you’re a tough hombre, you’ll get through this.

    As before, sending good vibes and good wishes your way here in lurkdom-

  28. 28
    BGinCHI says:

    If you have to go off one someone, JC, find a local GOP politician and let them have it.

    Remember, violence doesn’t solve all problems, but it does solve the ones caused by total assholes.

  29. 29
    Helena Montana says:

    Nobody can ever say that you’re not serious about going to rehab.

  30. 30
    Ann Marie says:

    John, I’m so sorry you are going through this ridiculous nonsense. The first part of getting well may be admitting you have a problem, but the second should not be “go through hell to get help”. Fortunately, you are persistent and determined. You will get through this.

  31. 31
    Violet says:

    @WaterGirl: I had to argue with my GP for twenty minutes just to get him to agree to test for thyroid issues–just a simple blood test. This was after another doctor had told me my thyroid was enlarged. And my symptoms were textbook–fatigue, dry skin, cold, depressed mood, elevated cholesterol, etc. My GP told me I was depressed and that was my problem, that I didn’t have a thyroid problem. When I finally got the test results my TSH was about 7 times higher than the upper limit. It’s amazing I was walking around.

    I always take someone else with me to key doctors appointments these days. Preferably a man because I get better treatment when there’s a man at the appointment with me. Hate that but hate being treated poorly more, so…

    Edit: My point with my comment is that doctor fuckups are ridiculously common and happen at every point. You practically need to be a medical professional to manage your own health because our medical system sure as shit won’t.

  32. 32
    gogol's wife says:

    Still praying. I hope you get into Hazelden after you take care of the pancreatitis.

  33. 33
    Porco Rosso says:

    Dude, bummer.

    I’ve never gone through this process personally–but I’ve witnessed it firsthand while working as a social worker for folks living with HIV/AIDS.

    The problem is that if folks don’t learn good non-toxic ways to help themselves, they are screwed/waiting in futility.

  34. 34
    greennotGreen says:

    I guess I don’t understand the doctor’s wanting to send you to another hospital to be treated for pancreatitis – and then no follow-up to see if you were there until Friday. Heck, by Friday my hospital where I was treated for cancer would have called five times to find out how my experience was.

  35. 35
    Greg says:

    I wish I could say that your experience is unusual, but it’s not. I am in a constant battle with hospitals, doctors,clinics, and insurance. I now have no fewer than 8 diagnoses, each with it’s own prognosis, and none are even vaguely in agreement. Of course, some guys at an insurance company think they know more than even the doctors, so they add to the confusion with having to approve everything, even treatments I have gotten previously for the exact same chronic genetic disorder. I cannot get a blanket approval. Each time I go for treatment it has to be reapproved. But as people have pointed out we have “the best healthcare system in the world”. Piffle.

  36. 36
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    Keep documenting it all, John. Use it to help fix the system when you get through this. And you will get through it.

    Hang in there. We’re all pulling for you.


  37. 37
    The Dude says:

    You say you’re having trouble with absurd wait times and buracracy and quackery during a medical crisis?

    That’s what you get for going to Canada for health care, Cole! Wait.

    That’s what you get for going to France for health care, Cole! Wait.

    That’s what you get for going to the UK, Cole! Wait, you’re in America?

    Well then…

    That’s what you get for not being rich, Cole!

  38. 38
    gsp says:

    And we are getting tired of wishing you well and luck as well. This is like our 4th time around. Tell those doctors we have shit to complain about and ‘we love you jc’ type comments are a little much.

    All the best…great to see your determination knowing how challenging the path you are about to walk.

    Speaking of such, if interested in a great book about addictions and another way of looking at the addications epidemic, Bruce Alexander’s “Globalization of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit” is highly recommended.

    Looking forward to hearing more about your journey through this struggle, well as much as you are gonna/able to share.

  39. 39
    MazeDancer says:

    Insanity. Utterly unfair. And big props for letting all this increase your determination to create health and sobriety for yourself.

    As everyone has said, an actual diagnosis does let hospitals at least treat you for that.

    Sending you much light.

  40. 40
    Comrade Mary says:

    Fucking HELL, John. While I agree that actually choking out a doctor is not a good long-term treatment plan, I can certainly understand the impulse.

    Hope Saturday staffing at the hospital is more on the ball. Let them treat the pancreatitis so you can start working on fixing the rest of you.

  41. 41
    seaboogie says:

    @dexwood: I am with you here, dexwood – maybe this is just the universe providing John with ample, ample material for a memoir. And on that note, I’d invite Betty Cracker in on the writing project – because her sheer eloquence with absurdity would make it a pip – and also maybe Richard Mayhew for the healthcare insight. Already I am seeing it translated to a mockumantary, which – alas and unavoidably – will only result in filmgoers treated to the sight of Seth Rogen mopping naked. But with Lily, Rosie and Steve as “themselves” – that would be some kind of awesome.

    Hang in there, John-O…you are beloved to us and have our firm support and all good wishes!

  42. 42
    Glocksman says:


    At least here in southwestern Indiana I can and have got help for my alcohol addiction.
    That said, it seems that four days detox maximum is what my insurance is willing to pay for.

    IOP, on the other hand is something that they’re willing to pay unlimited for.

    I hope that you win your battle, but beware that it’s not a one time thing.

  43. 43
    Louise says:

    I went through a bunch of this last year with my mom, trying to get her doctors to talk to each other and talk to her. Now this, with John.

    If anything else goes wrong, I want one of us to get up there and help him kick some ass. I know there are people here who can say “lawsuit” with authority as well as other words and phrases that will get John put at the front of the line.


  44. 44
    dance around in your bones says:

    @John Cole Do you have acute or chronic pancreatitis? (deleted all experiences of my husband when he had acute so I don’t freak you out) … If you haven’t been aware of it until the tests, I would guess chronic. Anyway, both types are usually alcohol-related or gallstones, in my ever-so-not-a-doctor experience. Weirdly, this may be the ticket to getting you into a rehab more quickly, once the pancreatitis is seen to. Soldier on, JC!

  45. 45
    Waynski says:

    @Roger Moore: Had pancreatitis myself. It’s from the booze.

  46. 46
    Anne Laurie says:

    So sorry to hear this, John. Pancreatitis — you’d have the right to be extremely cranky even if you weren’t getting thirty-one flavors of medical runaround!

    Any chance your mom can come with you, this time? Sometimes an aggravated teacher lady of a certain age can work the TAKE THIS SERIOUS mojo for best effect, especially since she’s your mom

  47. 47
    JPL says:

    John, We have faith in you. You are showing so much strength and perseverance that I know when you come out on the other end, you will be healthier.

  48. 48
    Tommy says:

    Sorry you are going through all of this. Clearly it shouldn’t be this hard for you to get the medical care you need.

  49. 49
    El Caganer says:

    I don’t know if you’ve considered Caron PA. It’s not in your back yard, but it’s somewhat closer than Hazelden. At this point, though, it sounds like ‘wherever you can get in’ might be the best way to go.

  50. 50
    Violet says:

    John at top:

    no facility receiving medicare or medicaid money should receive any until they have a coherent and clear plan for when someone comes in asking for health.

    That’s not how our medical system works. Our system is set up to treat sick people. You can’t come in “asking for health” and get treated. You come in with a problem, get a diagnosis and they treat that thing. If you come in saying, “Make me healthy” they’ll look at your like you’ve got three heads and just landed from Mars.

    Doctors don’t know how to help people get healthy. They do know how to treat diagnoses. Now that you have a diagnosis–pancreatitis–that’s your ticket to getting treated.

  51. 51

    @Roger Moore:

    I tend to agree that this is another sign of the medical system not taking mental issues seriously, even — perhaps especially — when there are physical symptoms that go hand-in-hand with them.

  52. 52
    skyweaver says:

    Hey, John. I’m so sorry. You’ve got a lot of people in your family and out here in the BJ community who really care about you. Surely this is all about to end! Best of luck to you. This will end.

  53. 53
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: I think you are exactly right but I still hate it. A few years ago my father had a mild heart attack. He needed to change his diet. But instead they just gave him a lot of pills that cost a small fortune. It would have been cheaper for his insurance company just to hire a private chef for a few weeks to help him buy better foods and cook healthier. But nope they didn’t do that.

  54. 54
    Violet says:

    @Roger Moore: @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Agreed. The bias toward physical issues and the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” attitude toward mental health plays a part in this.

  55. 55
    WaterGirl says:

    @Violet: Sounds like you were being dismissed as a hysterical female – which is unfortunately all too common. Time for a new GP?

  56. 56
    Russ says:


    I feel for you. find an AA meeting and go! Speak, yes speak up in the meeting about your desire to get sober. They will welcome you like you do not know. You have to speak and make your intentions known. I know, because I have done this. Trust me you will not be disappointed. AA people are thicker than republicans impeaching Democratic black President.

    If you do not ask you do not get………

    AA works.
    Go and welcome the love and respect you will get, it is amazing.

  57. 57
    dance around in your bones says:

    Oh, and during my husband’s hospital stay for the acute pancreatitis attack, he was released with strict orders to abstain from drinking alcohol PERIOD. Since it would be cruel shoes for me to drink in front of him, we both quit.

    I still remember the first afternoon at home, sitting on the front porch with our two glasses of water, looking at each other with a “Now what?” expression. It’s amazing how much time we wasted around drinking – the buying, the rituals, the hangover recovery that generally involved a hair of the dog. It’s like quitting smoking – “now what do I do with my hands?”

    It got easier over time until even those gawt-damned beer commercials with the dewy cold glasses making even the shittiest beer look enticing didn’t entice me anymore. I hope you will get to the “Meh” stage, too.

  58. 58
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: The pharm companies make money when people get on long term medication. They encourage it. They don’t make money when people eat right, exercise, lose weight and get off medications.

    You see plenty of drug company reps at doctors’ offices. You don’t see nutrition consultants or healthy chefs.

  59. 59
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I’m worried you’ll wake up in a recovery room to discover someone gave you breast implants or something.

    I’m afraid I displayed quite unseemly mirth when I read that.

  60. 60
    Kathy says:

    I am about a 98.5% lurker, when I comment it is mostly on sports threads. I am so sorry you are going through this John. I will be sending good thoughts and karma and voting for people who at least say they want to fix this sh*t up.

  61. 61
    WaterGirl says:


    And we are getting tired of wishing you well and luck as well. This is like our 4th time around. Tell those doctors we have shit to complain about and ‘we love you jc’ type comments are a little much.

    Speak for yourself! I will go through 10 more iterations of this if that’s how many times it takes for one of these plsvrd yo psnouy places to pan out.

    Edit: as you can imagine, there was a little last minute kitty action on the keyboard as I was pressing submit.

  62. 62
    NotMax says:

    Bummer. Considered changing your name to Rob Ford to gain instant admission?

    Soooo, long story short, tomorrow I will pack my suitcase up again, head off for the fourth time

    Gives you the opportunity to be absolutely certain that this time you packed some pants.

  63. 63
    Luci says:

    Good luck with Hazelden! It is an excellent treatment center where many, many people have learned how to live better and do without substances that are going to kill them. I have known people who have gone there and achieved sobriety and kept to it. I suspect you will also, although there is a good deal of relearning that you will likely need to do. If you do not mind my throwing in my two cents a bit more, and they will doubtless tell you this there, but when you are done with your 30 days, immediately hook up with a self help group like AA and go… and go… and go…. Recovery is an ongoing process, and while it is painful and stressful, it is also a wonderful thing that will make your life immeasurably better. If you can find some other self help group or a good therapist who will help you learn to live better, go to that too. You cannot really do enough while you are learning to live differently, and all the support and such you can get is really a plus. Start thinking that you are in this for the long haul and that you want to learn to live as effectively and well as you can, and that takes a while to do… I can think of nothing else more worthwhile though… Good luck!

  64. 64
    Violet says:

    @WaterGirl: You know, I was going to switch but I have developed a rapport with him at this point. I think after he was so stupendously wrong and I really was terribly ill he decided maybe I wasn’t an idiot. He’s old so some of it is generational. I will have to find a new doctor eventually so I’m semi looking into it but right now I’m okay where I am.

    I have other doctors in my arsenal that treat me seriously so I’ve got backup if I need it. And I always take a man with me to new doctor appointments when possible. It’s just how the system works so I play the dumb game to get the best treatment for me. Wish it wasn’t that way but it is.

  65. 65
    Luci says:

    Also… what @Russ said… I missed it the first time through, and we said the same thing, but he is very right.

  66. 66
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: Yeah my grandfather was a doctor and my uncle owned the drug store. They HATED the phar reps and would throw them out of his office. He was the doctor that suggested generic drugs long before it was popular, to save his clients money.

  67. 67
    Jacks mom says:

    I am sad that I am not shocked and outraged by this. Which is not to say that I’m not pissed off that you are going through it.

    I hope that what you are dealing with will somehow shine a light on our grossly stupid health care system.

    USA! USA! usa

  68. 68

    I shall not rain the Woo upon thee, Mr. Cole, but this run-around may be the very thing that propels you through rehab. Who knows?

    The image of a nekkid Seth Rogen and the critters playing themselves (along with Shawn) in a Lifetime “very special movie” about John Cole gave me some serious grins. Hope it did you, too.

    We’re all here and will all be here, no matter what. Wishing you the very best this time around.

  69. 69
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I wouldn’t necessarily assume that the pancreatitis is unrelated to the booze.

    Almost certainly related to the booze. In fact, john has probably had pancreatitis for a while.

    Remember, john: we came to realize we were powerless over alcohol, and that our lives had become unmanageable.

    Hang in there. If you want help getting referred to the mayo clinic, shoot me a message.

  70. 70
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I’m pretty sure* John’s mother reads this blog, so I just want to send the warmest, brightest light possible to John’s mom. Mrs. Cole, this must be excruciating for you to watch your dear son go through all this nonsense. I hope you know that there are lots of us wishing him well — and by extension, wishing you well.

    Please excuse me for using the F-word earlier (although I’m guessing you might possibly have seen it before.)

    *(I seem to remember)

  71. 71
    Violet says:

    @Mystical Chick:

    The image of a nekkid Seth Rogen and the critters playing themselves (along with Shawn) in a Lifetime “very special movie” about John Cole gave me some serious grins. Hope it did you, too.

    This must happen.

  72. 72
    Chris T. says:

    Pancreatitis can be particularly serious. The reason is obvious once you think about it.

    The pancreas secrete enzymes that digest meat.

    You are made of meat.

    An inflamed pancreas that leaks meat-digesters in the wrong place, well…

  73. 73
    K488 says:

    Late to the thread, but you’re very much on my mind. Good luck tomorrow!

  74. 74
    Pogonip says:

    @Ilia: I had pancreatitis caused by gallstones. I am surprised John was walking around anywhere. They gave me a prescription for heavy-duty pain medicine, and I’m an overweight, single middle-aged female. The only people ER personnel hate worse than us are young black women with expensive phones. It’s extremely rare for someone like me to get a pain prescription from an ER. Pancreatitis is very unpleasant.

    I also got a prescription that made the gallstones go away (that one from a specialist, not the ER). It worked. If you’re not a young black woman with an expensive phone, and you’re not John Cole, modern medicine is a wonderful thing.

  75. 75
    catperson says:

    Cole, I genuinely wish you the best and hope you get the help that you need.

    That said, fuck you. Fuck you for spending decades actively ruining your health and expecting “the system” to fix you the instant you’re ready. Going into this with that attitude means you’re doomed to fail. This is not a problem that is going to be fixed externally via a miracle pill or the like.

    The “system” isn’t going to fix you, you’re going to have to do it. The system is there to help you do it and I hope it does.

    TLDR: Take ownership of your wellbeing.

  76. 76
    trollhattan says:

    “Mister Rogan to costume for the robe-fitting. Paging Mister Seth Rogan, to costume, please!”

  77. 77
    SiubhanDuinne says:



    Just, wow.

  78. 78
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Heh, I was just gonna say, between the naked mopping and the pantsless Dem convention, there won’t be much of a wardrobe budget to worry about.

  79. 79
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Calm the f**k down.
    This is unsat
    By tomorrow this time, I will either be under excellent medical care or in the county jail charged with several counts of assault and battery and causing grievous bodily harm.

    and u know it.

    On your previous thread somebody re-iterated an offer to get you into a facility. If you’ve not followed up on that offer, do that.

    Otherwise, stop entertaining (in your head) wingnut threats. Start coming to grips with this is a long hard slog that you can surmount because you have a community you can go to for help.

    If you have an ask of this community you’ve created, put it out here.

    But please stop with the wingnut threats borne out of frustration. Not at all healthy for you.

  80. 80
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @catperson: You are a bit of a smug prig, aren’t you?

  81. 81
    scav says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Well, apparently, a System geared to Not Actively Impeding someone attempting to take care of themselves is a failure and sozialism and who all knows what other kind of hellhole enabler of personal failure.

  82. 82
    Pogonip says:

    @MikeBoyScout: Huh? When did he threaten a Wingnut (or anyone else)?

  83. 83
    Citizen_X says:

    head off for the fourth time for someone in the medical community to give a shit

    Christ, Cole, it sure sounded like the doctor gave a shit. How about you calm down enough to recognize when people are trying to help you?

  84. 84
    WaterGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Wow is right, talk about not helpful.

    I’m pretty sure catperson is the person who says “it’s your fault, you should have been doing backups” right after you just lost the only copy of every single irreplaceable photo from your entire lifetime.

    And the person who says “I told you you shouldn’t be doing (whatever)”.

    (That would be the person I want to smack when they say stuff like that.)

  85. 85
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Pogonip: I believe that MBS was suggesting that the threats of violence toward non-cooperative medical personnel were wingnuttish behavior.

  86. 86
    Steeplejack says:


    Someone in Congress really needs to set up some clear rules for how these sorts of things are handled by hospitals, and no facility receiving medicare or medicaid money should receive any until they have a coherent and clear plan for when someone comes in asking for health.

    Why do you hate America?

    Also, be sure to pack your strap-on for the choking-out of the physician(s). That’s your signature move, along with the corrective neck-punch.

  87. 87
    MikeBoyScout says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): @Pogonip:


    I evaluate the following as threats of wingnut behaviour:
    or in the county jail charged with several counts of assault and battery and causing grievous bodily harm.

    None of the knuckleheads causing extreme and unjust medical injustice to Mr. Cole should be subject to “grievous bodily harm” by any of us.

    Yes, what Cole is experiencing is wrong. But none of us should think of physically assaulting the perps. That’s what wingnuts like Bundy do.

    We don’t do that.

  88. 88
    Pogonip says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): MBS should find a dictionary, then, and look up “hyperbole”. Or John will kick his sorry ass.


  89. 89
    Ruckus says:

    Not impossible but my last 2 surgeries they made me write on myself with a sharpie what was happening and where. One of them was my right shoulder and I’m right handed. Didn’t think they could understand upside down backwards gibberish but they managed.

    I got nothing. Wish I had something that might at least lighten the mood. But being pissed off sounds normal here.

  90. 90
    WaterGirl says:

    I’m pretty sure Cole knows the difference between venting on his blog and actually harming another human being.

    It’s immensely frustrating to make the decision to take some (scary) actions so you can get your shit together and then have the universe seem to smack you down at every turn.

    Sometimes you just have to vent before you can take a deep breath and pick yourself up with renewed energy to deal with the seemingly endless bureaucracy as you try to get some help.

  91. 91
    Pogonip says:

    @MikeBoyScout: Find a dictionary, look up “hyperbole,” and get back to us.

    Double harrumph.

  92. 92
    angler says:

    Get well JC.

  93. 93
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @MikeBoyScout: Do you for a moment think that Cole’s comments are anything other than letting off steam?

  94. 94
    Ruckus says:

    Do you have a reading comprehension problem? From this comment I’d say absolutely.
    Either that or you are an asshole.

    Take your pick.
    It could also be a trick test and the answer could also be C. Both of the above.

  95. 95
    SiubhanDuinne says:



  96. 96
    Pogonip says:

    @Ruckus: Me too. When I had foot surgery, I wrote NOT THIS ONE! in big letters on the healthy foot; on the bad foot I drew a dotted line with CUT HERE instructions. I heard them giggling before I conked out, and later the nurse was telling me all the fun things people wrote.

    There has been at least one case of a surgeon amputating the wrong leg before this practice was adopted.

  97. 97
    MikeBoyScout says:

    I’m going to just throw this out there. Don’t beat me up, unless you are Cole.

    So, what would it take of JC and us to get him into the gold standard of substance abuse care?

    I’m looking to other front pagers to carry the ball forward, but ….

    I’m in for $$$$ because Mr. Cole is a person motivated for treatment and an invaluable community organizer.

    How can we help?

    One of you knows more about this than I will ever know.
    Somebody out there has been to the Betty Ford Clinic, or knows somebody who has.
    How can we do this?

    Let’s help Cole out. Let’s help get him the best known care we can, because we know he’ll pay it back in spades.

    I believe we can help. Yes.We.Can!

    Fired up? Ready to go?

  98. 98
    JohnK says:

    I took my wife to rehab. When we arrived they were ready and the facility absorbed her in no time right after I signed the paperwork agreeing to pay for everything the insurance company wouldn’t. But she spent months before that talking to doctors, clinical psychologists, and the insurance company. She had three referrals to the recovery center and when it came down to the day and time, she was approved for admission and she had already been talking to admissions well in advance. The admission counselor gave me a tour of the facility and recommended that I watch the movie “28 Days” with Sandra Bullock. I returned for two weekends for family sessions and family counseling. At the 21 day mark I started looking around for a lawyer. The agreement that I signed said they would not release her if she was not stable enough for release. What a difference a week makes. One day at a time. She did great and was released at 28 days. BTW, her problem was benzo+alcohol, a really bad combo. She has been drug free for over a year.

  99. 99
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @MikeBoyScout: It doesn’t sound as though money is his problem. He has a good job and good insurance. What he has is a bureaucracy problem.

  100. 100
    WaterGirl says:

    @MikeBoyScout: Great idea. I’m in for $100 if this actually happens.

  101. 101
    Sir Laffs-a-Lot says:

    Wow. Good luck, John and get better soonest.

  102. 102
    Ruckus says:

    I asked if they wanted me to write wrong on my left shoulder but they said no, it’s best to just mark the correct one. I did circles and arrows just like Arlo did in jail as well, seeing as how actual words weren’t going to happen.

  103. 103
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): I think if you have the money for betty ford, you don’t have a bureaucracy problem.

  104. 104
    Pogonip says:

    @MikeBoyScout: Well, now, that’s very generous of you! You’re a good guy after all and I apologize for snarling at you.

  105. 105

    @MikeBoyScout: Hyperbole for Fuck’s sake. I don’t punch people. I can’t even recall the last time I was in a situation where throwing a punch was even an option. Sweet jeebus.

  106. 106

    @catperson: You can just go fuck yourself with something rusty. Twice.

  107. 107
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole:

    I can’t even recall the last time I was in a situation where throwing a punch was even an option.

    You are right. A pool cue or broken bottle is more effective in a bar brawl.

  108. 108
    Ruckus says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole:
    We’re on it.

  109. 109
    RepubAnon says:

    The other thing to try when being denied care is to say “my lawyer told me to call right away if this happened…”

  110. 110
    Pogonip says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: ‘S’okay, John, he looked it up and now he’s passing the plate for you. Turned out to be a good egg after all.

  111. 111
    Karen in GA says:

    Fucking hell, John.

    That’s all I have. Just fucking hell.

  112. 112
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Now, see, that’s why they invented selfies.

  113. 113
    Pogonip says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): And a sawed-off shotgun trumps everything. You don’t even have to fire it. That magic jacking sound scatters evildoers to the winds. I’ve often wished there were an equivalent for fleas, flies, and skeeters.

  114. 114
    gsp says:

    @WaterGirl: for the record i was just joking about hearing it for the fourth time :)

  115. 115
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Pogonip: Then there is this perspective.

  116. 116
    catperson says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole:
    That’s fine. I get why you’re pissed. And I’m genuinely sorry that it has been so hard for you to find the help you need. But if you go into this with the attitude that everything is going to be fixed by going to rehab, you’re going to be disappointed. It’s not a switch that someone else is going to flip to make everything easy.

    You’ll get through it and you’re enough an asshole that you’ll get better but getting into rehab isn’t the beall endall. It’s just the next thing.

    Again, I wish you the best.

  117. 117
    WaterGirl says:

    @gsp: That makes me feel better! thanks

  118. 118
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @catperson: You should perhaps think of the first rule of holes.

  119. 119
    gsp says:

    @catperson: You might actually want to take the time to understand a little about addiction. Your comment is extremely ignorant, uninformed and insensitive. Hope none of your loved ones has addictions issues, I can’t imagine their resistence in discussing their struggles with you.

    jc, we are very proud of you. To face that demon can be as difficult as the struggle itself. Keeping going.

  120. 120
    KBS says:

    I know you don’t need one more person saying this, but I truly hope things start getting easier soon. What a load of crap. Hang in there.

  121. 121
    PeorgieTirebiter says:

    @MikeBoyScout: Last I looked, Hazelden still had a sterling reputation. Based on my twenty five years of experience, I believe John’s progress will almost entirely depend on the groups he hooks up with when he gets home.
    WVU no doubt still has a number of thriving AA groups to choose from. My brother taught there some time ago, but I’d bet the groups have only gotten bigger and better. FWIW

  122. 122
    PeorgieTirebiter says:

    @mike – Last I looked, Hazelden still had a sterling reputation. Based on my twenty five years of experience, I believe John’s progress will almost entirely depend on the groups he hooks up with when he gets home.
    WVU no doubt still has a number of thriving AA groups to choose from. My brother taught there some time ago, but I’d bet the groups have only gotten bigger and better. FWIW

  123. 123

    @catperson: You stupid fuck. There is a switch they can flip to fix me, which is called medically certified detox. If I do not do that I will die. There is another switch they have to flip, and that it is to treat my pancreatitis. Then, when I am detoxed and healthy, I can attend to taking care of myself.

    You are really an ignorant asshole. I’d tell you to go fling yourself off a bridge but then I would have to spend the rest of the night telling people I was not serious, so how about this. Go grab a ball peen hammer, and smash your fingers so you don’t type any more ignorant, uninformed bullshit.

    Or just walk away from the keyboard content with the notion that you have filled the Balloon Juice asshole quota for the night. Whatever works best for you.

  124. 124
    Ramalama says:

    @catperson: The 20th Century called and wants its understanding of alcoholism back.

  125. 125
    martha says:

    John I know you have a pain tolerance level that’s about 39 on a scale of 1-10, but wow. I had pancreatitis as a result of an infected gallbladder and resulting tests to diagnose what was wrong and how far it went (sorry TMI)’and it was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. There was not enough morphine in the world. The surgery to yank the darn organ was nothing after that.

    Good luck with everything. In all seriousness, if you don’t trust what they’re telling you, see if Hazeldon will take you and help you deal with this. Or call Mayo and just go there. They are saints and do incredible work (experience with mr. m)…

  126. 126
    different-church-lady says:

    But you know… BEST HEALTHCARE IN THE WORLD!!!!

    I mean, if a consumer gadgets business ran as poorly they’d be out of business. “Yeah, we said we’d deliver your TV on Monday, but instead we’re going to give you a microwave oven and we don’t know when we can get it to you. And we don’t know how much it’s going to cost. And maybe we’ll decide to not deliver it at all and never call you and tell you.” But this is just par for the course in a situation that sometimes affects your basic ability to continue living.

  127. 127
    catperson says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: You missed my point. But I think you’re not in a place to hear it. Hope you get what you need.

    But as to to the “ignorant” part–I detox people almost every day I’m working and refer them to inpatient and outpatient rehab programs just as often.

  128. 128
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @catperson: No, you are being a douche. If you have been following this saga at all, you would know that Cole is well aware of the process aspect of this. He, however, needs some fucking help to get started because doing it on his own isn’t working. Don’t try suggesting that someone isn’t in a place to hear what you are saying when you simply are being an ass.

  129. 129
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:


    Or call Mayo and just go there.

    As I said before, shoot me a message. I have an in.

  130. 130
    pat says:


    Yes, AA, AA, AA.

  131. 131
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo): Mayo is fucking disgusting. Even if the mustard is missing.

  132. 132
    WaterGirl says:

    @catperson: Did I miss your point, too? Because I heard you say that “getting into rehab” is not going to solve John Cole’s problem with alcohol. That getting into rehab is just a step along the way. That ultimately it’s Cole who will have to deal with his struggle with alcohol.

    Did I miss anything? If so, what did I miss? (besides the parts where you’re being a total asshole, we can skip those)

    Because there’s not a thing I said above that Cole does not understand, and he indicated as much in what he wrote in response to you.

  133. 133
    catperson says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): I stand by everything I’ve said this evening. And yes, I do know Cole wants to get help and has done everything he can to get it and is frustrated.

    But the language he used in this post is all about someone else fixing him. If all he wanted was to get medical detox, all he’d have to do is stop drinking for 1-3 days until he was withdrawing enough to merit an inpatient admission. He’s looking for a magic bullet, just like some people think an antidepressant pill is a magic bullet. Rehab isn’t that and thinking that it is is self-defeating.

  134. 134
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): You’re kind. I was going suggest officious, spiteful, condescending dickweed. But your version is nicer. And requires fewer commas, for obvious reasons.

  135. 135
    pat says:


    That is just bizarre. When I had my hip surgery the SURGEON came in and wrote HIS initials on the right hip.

  136. 136
    theButjaysus says:


    Hang in there. I’ve been sober for 12 years. I remember having to get on a waiting list for a medical detox. The important thing is to hang on until you get into detox and then approach treatment with an open mind. I struggled in and out of rehabs for two years before I realized that I didn’t know shit about staying sober and that my decision making had been questionable for quite some time. I remember when you returned from, was it Pittsburgh? And you thought you needed to stop drinking. It’s easier said then done. Its time to start looking at this whole thing as life and death. Stay on the doctors to get you treated for the pancreatitis and then realize that for some of us to drink is to die.

    Anything I can do for you let me know. If you got any questions or wanna vent, you’ve got my email address.

  137. 137
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @catperson: And we are back to the smug prig bit.

  138. 138

    @catperson: I really feel sorry for your patients. And you.

    If I went 1-3 days on my own I wouldn’t need emergency medical help you stupid fuck.

    Seriously, go DIAF. At the very least, consider a career change. I don’t want a magic bullet, I just don’t want to die before I get myself right. That’s actually why they have medically supervised detox problems all over the country at the FRONT end of rehab where you work on yourself. When you go to detox, you are basically just turning yourself over to medical authorities to get you to the point where you will be able to do rehab.

    You’re just an ignorant asshole and it terrifies me what your patients must go through. I’m always amazed by how many horrible people there are in the world. Today, you are at the top of my list.

  139. 139
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: Ignore the assholes. You have enough going on right now.

  140. 140
    theBuyjaysus says:

    No it was Madison. Fucking Madison….there is a lot of trouble to be had in that little midwestern oasis.

  141. 141
    hitchhiker says:

    JC, every time you don’t post for a day, I’m happy thinking, damn, good for him, damn, can’t wait to hear from him on the other side.

    Then you post saying that you’ve had your chain jerked yet again.

    I swear to god. Please let this be it.

    also, @catperson: the deep truth you believe you’re telling, about how this will take time, and there’s no magic cure, is SOMETHING EVERYBODY ALREADY KNOWS. And you’ve put your stupidity on display in magnificent fashion by volunteering to say to the host of a site on which you’re hanging out: Fuck you.

    Srsly, who does that? If you want people to abuse while they’re sick and looking to get better, roll on down to the local ER and share your deep wisdom among the poor sods there. I’m sure you’ll learn something. Or maybe not.

  142. 142
    scav says:

    poor lonely catperson. at least he’s managed to find a few people to recognize he interrupts photons and pays his internet service on time.

  143. 143
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @catperson: You’re awfully smug, still. If you detox people every day you are no doubt aware of the dangers of unsupervised alcohol withdrawal. Sometimes an inpatient admission is required prior to 3 days. And if you’ve been following the story at all, you’d know that Cole is well aware of what is required in rehab. His language reflects his frustration with the bureaucratic roadblocks to getting started in a facility.

    20 years ago I drove the former M. Q to a facility in Newark OH, where they admitted him on my referral. I’d had enough of life with a crack addict, and he could go there or on the street as he was no longer welcome at home while using. 120 days in transitional housing after 30-45 days in (long time ago; details fade). Clean 19.6 years later. I told him it was a process and that the hospital wouldn’t fix him. I have every reason to believe – since I actually read the posts – that Cole understands this.

  144. 144
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @theBuyjaysus: We was framed.

  145. 145
    martha says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): at least it’s Rochester in the late summer. We were doing the drive in the winter for appointments and such, so not as fun. Until we got there. Underground tunnels connected all the buildings. Nice for the companion who had lots of time to kill and no desire to freeze to death.

  146. 146
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @martha: I meant the condiment. Every once in a while, I enjoy a good non sequitur or silly play on words.

  147. 147
    theBuyjaysus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    I’m missing the reference…

  148. 148
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @theBuyjaysus: You are blaming Madison and, as a resident, I am suggesting that it is a frame up.

  149. 149
    martha says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Oh I know, just being obtuse on a Friday night. I’m tired and tired of scrambling for the remote already. Can’t even imagine what Walkers desperate ads will be like by October. Sort of scares me,

  150. 150
    theBuyjaysus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    ha! not blaming Madison. It’s just one of those towns, like, say New Orleans, that needs a warning sign when you arrive that states that you might want to pace yourself if you’re there for a good time.

    Last time I was in Madison was to see the Tar Babies, the Midwest’s answer to the Big Boys and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

    That’s over 20 years ago…

  151. 151
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @theBuyjaysus: Frankly, Milwaukee is worse as far as that goes.

  152. 152
    theBuyjaysus says:

    What do I know, I’m just a dumb FIB.

    I always love being in Wisconsin.

  153. 153
    Ruckus says:

    You are a medical professional? I used to know a Dr, cardiac surgeon, who is so full of himself that it’s amazing that his head fits through doors. You remind me of him. I wouldn’t let him remove a splinter, he’s such an asshole. Yes you do strongly remind me of him.
    You have made it clear now that you fall into the side of the medical profession who are fucking assholes who don’t even try to be human. So the answer was C. Both of the above.
    With heavy emphasis on B. Asshole.

  154. 154
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @theBuyjaysus: Maybe I’m lost, but I thought it was something like:

    Someone suggested the Mayo Clinic. The reply was, Mayo [the bread spread] is evil [nyuk, nyuk, nyuk].

    So ends tonight’s frog dissection.



  155. 155
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Different bizarre comment from me. I appear to be sowing confusion. So shall I reap, I guess.

  156. 156
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ruckus: Yeah. Not a recipe for success when you look down on the people you are supposed to be helping. Catperson showed show much hostility and disdain towards Cole that it makes me worry for anyone who goes for treatment and is subjected to that.

    It reminds me of when my dad was gravely ill in the hospital. Some of the nurses were wonderful people, but others? I just wanted to say “you, over there, you should go work in a lab somewhere because it’s obvious that you don’t care about people at all”.

    Made me angry then, makes me angry now.

    Catperson, you can go away now. You don’t belong here; you are not welcome here.

  157. 157
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:


    Everyone’s right, John: you do need someone with you on these delightful excursions to get yourself some help. But that person needs to be your Luca Brasi, someone who can promise the attending that your admission form will either have their signature or their brains on it.

    Sweet Jeebus on the half shell. I’d say, “hang tough, big guy,” but I don’t think there’s a soul around these parts that doesn’t know that’s exactly what you’ll do until you’re properly attended to.

  158. 158
    El Caganer says:

    I’m sorry you’re having to put up with all this bullshit, Mr. Cole. I hope they admit you tomorrow and get your show on the road.

  159. 159
    xe says:

    Wow–so sorry. kindest wishes that things get right very soon…

  160. 160
    PurpleGirl says:

    I’m comparing John’s experience with what I experienced this morning — and my doctor’s appointment was a two-week follow-up. The doctor and I talked about the blood test results. We discussed the medications I take and changes. I then spoke with nurse who tracks my case. And at the City clinic I go to, all records are on computerized and any doctor/nurse can check all my records to check for any cross information.

    John, the doctor should have spoken with you first and not left it to the nurse to handle your exit. He should have explained what pancreatitis is and the treatment and the path going forward from here. Piss-poor doctor and routine if you ask me.

    When this over, you write the medical association and the state regulator and complain about him and the whole incident.

  161. 161
    Jane2 says:

    @catperson: Oh I think he got your point. I hope that you’re not in any of the helping professions.

    John, Hazelden sounds like the place for you, and hopefully there won’t be any more (or much more, because there always is more when dealing with the health care bureaucracy) bullshit.

  162. 162
    Mnemosyne says:


    But the language he used in this post is all about someone else fixing him.

    Right, because he has A HERNIA and PANCREATITIS. Last I heard, neither one of those were things that you can fix on your own by just applying more willpower. They need MEDICAL INTERVENTION.

    Cole is not complaining that no one has magically fixed his problem with alcohol. He’s complaining because he has PHYSICAL PROBLEMS that require PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL INTERVENTION and assholes like you keep dismissing those PHYSICAL PROBLEMS as being all in his head.

    Tell us, doctor, how does John self-repair a hernia? Do you have a YouTube video he can watch so he can do the repairs himself?

  163. 163
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:


    Tell us, doctor, how does John self-repair a hernia? Do you have a YouTube video he can watch so he can do the repairs himself?

    DeNiro removed a bullet from himself in Ronin*. Obviously, it can be done.

    *I do like that movie.

  164. 164
    different-church-lady says:


    Tell us, doctor, how does John self-repair a hernia? Do you have a YouTube video he can watch so he can do the repairs himself?

    Like I said in the earlier thread, Other World Computing has lots of good DYI clips…

  165. 165
    different-church-lady says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    DeNiro removed a bullet from himself in Ronin*.

    You know how many of us are DeNiro? Exactly none, that’s how many.

  166. 166
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mnemosyne: I think it’s more that Cole (correctly) feels he needs to be medically supervised in order to stop drinking without a serious risk of death and only then can he start rehab and get on the road to making the changes he’ll need to make.

    It makes perfect sense – it’s what the professionals all say needs to happen.

  167. 167
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @different-church-lady: How do know that DeNiro doesn’t comment here? I’ll grant that DeNiro probably doesn’t, but we don’t know. In any case, the fictional nature of Ronin is probably more to the point than DeNiro’s presence or absence.

  168. 168
  169. 169
    Mnemosyne says:


    In general, yes, but there’s also this:

    Then she tells me that my doctor is furious the emergency room released me after my blood work and ct scan, because he said that I have a bad case of pancreatitis and should never have been allowed to leave. This is Friday. I was in the hospital on Wednesday. So I’ve basically been stumbling around for two days when I should be hospitalized. (emphasis mine)

    John is in the middle of a medical crisis serious enough that his doctor is “furious” that the ER released him instead of admitting him and catperson thinks the issue is that John wants other people to solve his problems for him? If I showed up at the ER with a broken arm and they didn’t bother to x-ray it and sent me home with a bottle of Tylenol, would me complaining about that be proof that I wasn’t willing to solve my own problems?

  170. 170
    catperson says:

    @Mnemosyne: His plan of “I’m going to get this hernia fixed and then go to rehab this week” was kind of vague. It struck me as odd but I thought maybe he thought he’d go in for elective hernia repair and then have to stay for the withdrawal to expedite his rehab. Don’t know. But that’s not what he was complaining about.

    As to the “bad case of pancreatitis” that sounds like him misunderstanding what his doctor told him. If not, why is he at home posting rather than back at the hospital? There’s a big difference between having biochemical markers of pancreatitis (and even radiographic markers of pancreatitis) and actual clinical pancreatitis. But maybe he really is having agonizing pain, nausea and maybe fevers but didn’t go back to the hospital even though his doctor thought he should be there? Make of that what you will.

    Bottom line is that Cole’s post wasn’t about barriers to treatment for hernias or pancreatitis or whatever strictly physical problem.

    I get why y’all think I’m an asshole. That’s fine. I certainly have not tried to be kind. I care about John and I got pissed off that he seemed to be engaging in self-defeating thinking as well as a bit of my own shit about the many people whom I have bent over backward to help and it went from there.

  171. 171
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @catperson: Smug prig again.

    Bottom line is that Cole’s post wasn’t about barriers to treatment for hernias or pancreatitis or whatever strictly physical problem.

    No. Cole’s post was about his frustrations with a system that seems to be batting him around like a badminton shuttlecock.

  172. 172
    MvR says:


    Just want to add my good wishes. And the note that pancreatitis is serious, usually alcohol related stuff, If that doesn’t get them to take you seriously, it isn’t clear what will, except your determination. Which, along with a sense of humor and some humility you seem to have plenty of.

  173. 173
    Mnemosyne says:


    You really, really need to work on your reading comprehension. All of the things you claim not to understand are right there in the post. Try searching for the word “suitcase” since you seem to be unsure what tomorrow’s plan is.

    But, hey, if you have a magic way for John to nut up and cure his pancreatitis at home rather than lazily depending on medical professionals to fix it for him, I’m sure we’d all love to hear it.

  174. 174
    Violet says:


    His plan of “I’m going to get this hernia fixed and then go to rehab this week” was kind of vague.

    Good Lord. John is supposed to post his medical and rehab plans with enough detail so that you can scrutinize them and make sure they meet with your approval? Maybe he didn’t feel like going into that level of detail on the blog. Why should he have to? Maybe he had a perfectly good plan that then met the fuckedupedness that is our medical system and didn’t work as planned.

    As to the “bad case of pancreatitis” that sounds like him misunderstanding what his doctor told him. If not, why is he at home posting rather than back at the hospital?

    Perhaps in consultation with his doctor they decided on the best course of action for him and he didn’t feel the need to report all that private medical information to you or any of us. How the hell do you get that he’s “misunderstood” what his doctor said?

  175. 175
    El Caganer says:

    @Mnemosyne: All he needs is this one simple trick…….

  176. 176
    Mnemosyne says:


    Or, to put it another way:

    Unless you have access to John’s medical records that you are not sharing with us, your internet diagnosis is about as valid as Dr. Bill Frist’s diagnosis of Terri Schiavo since you, too, seem to be willing to ignore all contrary evidence so you can continue to ride your own personal hobby horse. So go fuck yourself.

  177. 177
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    Did the asshole get banned? My last reply just disappeared into the ether.

  178. 178
    Violet says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): I had a reply disappear yesterday. I think I was replying to Tommy about Question Time. I included a link to Beebify. The comment vanished. When I took out the link it posted.

    FYWP is really confusing.

  179. 179
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole:

    You’re welcome. We may be a dysfunctional little family here, but no one gets to say the shit to you that I get to say to you. ;-)

  180. 180
    Sandia Blanca says:

    How can we miss you if you won’t go away?

    Seriously, John, your frustration is completely understandable. I like the suggestion above that you take your Mom with you. I also thought of another West. Va. blogger who’s an attorney–Christy Hardin Smith. She’s faced her own health issues in the past couple of years, and she would certainly be a fierce advocate for you.

    I’m praying that THIS TIME you and your luggage get to stay.

    Love from Austin.

  181. 181
    kc says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t admit you right away. Friend of mine had pancreatitis some years ago & was hospitalized for a week or so, as I recall. She was dangerously sick; it was a scary thing. Of course I’m not a doctor, yadda yadda. But I sure hope you get the medical treatment you need ASAP. Maybe that will help get you on the road to getting help for the alcoholism; I hope do.

  182. 182
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:


    His plan of “I’m going to get this hernia fixed and then go to rehab this week” was kind of vague. It struck me as odd but I thought maybe he thought he’d go in for elective hernia repair and then have to stay for the withdrawal to expedite his rehab. Don’t know. But that’s not what he was complaining about.

    Really? Me. I see a person who is trying to get help for a medical condition and is finding it difficult to arrange. Bitching at him for not phrasing his issue to your satisfaction is fucked up. I hope that if I ever need help that I never encounter you.

  183. 183
    catperson says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): I wasn’t the person who brought up the hernia nor the pancreatitis. All I’ve said is that his plan to get his hernia fixed and then go to rehab with the implication that it was all going to happen in a few days made no sense to me. It still doesn’t. I’ve intentionally refrained from commenting on the medical issues much precisely because I don’t know what’s going on with him. But again, it doesn’t make sense to me that his doctor would tell him he has a severe illness that should have led to hospitalization and yet have him still be at home unless he either misunderstood or refused to go back to the hospital.

    I do think it sucks that he wasn’t able to just say “I’m ready to go to rehab’ and find a place that suited him. There are deep deficiencies in the availability of mental health treatment in this country. That doesn’t change my original point that he’s locked on to inpatient rehab as a panacea.

    At this point you guys are just reaching for reasons to throw stones. Go ahead. They still don’t make me think I’m wrong.

  184. 184
    Mnemosyne says:


    Bill Frist never admitted he was wrong about Terri Schiavo, either.

    ETA: The person who brought up the pancreatitis? John Cole. In this very thread. But, as Violet pointed out above, apparently it’s medically okay for you to ignore his physical symptoms and scold him for his addiction issues. It’s not like pancreatitis is serious or anything, right? He can wait and get that fixed after he goes to a few months of AA meetings.

  185. 185
    stibbert says:

    Sorry to read that JC’s been messed around w/ yet again. Can understand his frustration & need to rant, & ain’t that why he created this site in the 1st place?
    Have had srs mental/medical probs of my own of late, & don’t agree that “healthcare is broken” in the US. I’ve had far fewer probs w/ delays & mis-diagnoses than JC, but I worked thru them w/ a combo of cussed perserverance & consistent politeness. 90% of the people I’ve met or called (from receptionists to surgeons) have been professionally competent, as well as kind & concerned. Even my health-ins company helped, when I needed to find a provider or ensure that a referral was in-network. What really blew me away was when a nurse called me 1 week before my scheduled surgery, to check that I had attended to my pre-op blood & EKG tests. That person was an employee of my health-ins carrier, assigned to follow my case & give me a direct link to available post-op & home-recovery care. I was amazed to find this level of service from my insurance company.
    In addition, electronic data-sharing of test & scan/xray results to my doctors (as well as written comments to each other) seemed to work fair flawless.
    Sure, I ran into the occaiasional Nurse Ratched, & hospital food is still teh suck. Info gleaned from a morning-rounds resident might not always be accurate, esp at a teaching hospital, but it’s part of their learning experience to have a patient diss & dismiss them in front of the attending Fellow.
    Mebbe I’ve been v lucky, but I’ve been well-served in all aspects of my recent health probs. And thank FSM for, I got my medical insurance from the national exchange on 12/31/13, so I’ve been able to weather this storm w/ little debt & no burden to my family. The American health-care system is working for me, thanks to the PPACA & the folks who work in the medical-industrial complex.

  186. 186
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @catperson: Okay then. From your point of view, John is going to doctors, right and left, but completely ignoring their advice. Does this make any sense at all?

  187. 187
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @stibbert: Could you please compose that in a way that humans can read it?

  188. 188
    kc says:

    Serious question: How does one know when one needs medical supervision to stop drinking? I mean, I probably drink too much,but I can abstain for a few days without fear of death from withdrawal. How do you know when you’ve reached a point that it would be dangerous to quit without medical care?

  189. 189
    Harish says:

    @Pogonip: I’m surprised the medication worked (if it’s what I think it is, ursodiol, surgery or ERCP is by far preferred. Is there a reason they didn’t remove your gallbladder?

  190. 190
    catperson says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): That’s not what I said at all.
    But the “plan” for treating his hernia, as presented, didn’t make sense and what he’s saying about the pancreatitis doesn’t make sense. People don’t go to the ER for a preop eval for a hernia. What’s the missing info that will make it make sense? I have conjecture (that his doc was trying to help him game the system) but I don’t know.

    Anyway, I’m going to bed. Hopefully by the time I next check in to this place, Cole will be where he needs to be.

  191. 191
    Ilia says:

    @Pogonip: I’m surprised the medication worked (if it’s what I think it is, ursodiol, surgery or ERCP is by far preferred. Is there a reason they didn’t remove your gallbladder?

  192. 192
  193. 193
    trollhattan says:

    I can see this conversation is progressing nicely.

    JC, if you’re still up, get some sleep. The rabble can self-immolate with no further supervision.

  194. 194
    catperson says:

    @kc: This is a really good question without an absolute answer. If you can go a few days without having symptoms (tremors, anxiety, sweats, palpitations/racing heart.) there’s a decent chance you don’t need medically supervised detox. In any case, if you’re a nearly daily drinker and thinking about quitting, it’s worth talking to your provider who can give you a prescription for symptom management that would avoid the need for hospitalization in most cases.

  195. 195
    kc says:


    People don’t go to the ER for a preop eval for a hernia

    Well . . . he IS in West Virginia . . .

  196. 196
    stibbert says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): what are these hunans that you refer to, Omnes? I can see my post ok. is my unpracticed writing skill or rambling narrative style that makes me unreadable?

  197. 197
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @catperson: Now you are offering seemingly reasonable analyses. Great. Do you want to step back from your original “Fuck you” comments? Or are you just an asshole.?

  198. 198
    kc says:


    Thank you. I was curious because I saw several people in a prior thread cautioning John NOT to stop drinking entirely. That just wouldn’t have occurred to me before all this discussion.

    Those symptoms sound like hangover symptoms, btw!

  199. 199
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):
    I’m going with just. Was willing to possibly give benefit of the doubt for a while but with even more evidence I’m going with my original prognosis.

  200. 200
    Aleta says:

    Where I live (halfway up Maine), my last 2 doctors turned out to be practicing here under restricted license, after making deals to leave the state where they were before, due to prosecution for harming patients. No one thought to inform me, and (fool that I was) I didn’t have a clue what was wrong when each began abusing drugs. The second time (I was still clueless), the doc got especially strange. But I wanted to get better, so I made myself stick with him. I was such a fool, never suspecting the real issue for about 3 years. Even now I could shoot myself (figuratively speaking) just remembering the lost time and trust.

    Another doc, unrelated (who was leaving medicine) told me, “When doctors around here need treatment, the saying among ourselves is: ‘Get in your car, drive to Portland, and keep driving’.” I’d rather go 5 hours to Boston now to get medical care, but just making appointments gets me so anxious these days that I usually skip it.

    I’m so fcking p/ssed off at this self-protecting system. So very efficient at taking money and time from people and so sociopathic the rest of the way.

    Although, the University of Pennsylvania has a teaching hospital that helped a hard-case relative of mine. They were very committed to getting to the bottom of her problem.

  201. 201
    Delk says:

    Hazelden alumni here

    John, the only good thing about this ordeal is that you will share it so many times during your stay in Hazelden that it will develop into a great story that will allow you to help others suffering with addictions.

    Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now.

    11 months, 22 days sober as of today. Or–a year ago today I was on a binge to end all binges.

  202. 202
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @catperson: It seems to me that if one doesn’t understand a comment, one shouldn’t post a reply that includes “That said, fuck you.” as the second sentence. You seriously need to work on your approach to posting about these issues. I hope you’re better in your professional life in dealing face-to-face with people who have serious issues and who are trying to get help.

    My $0.02.


  203. 203
    Pogonip says:

    @Ilia: I always avoid guys with knives if at all possible, and my innards were too soft from all the -itis to break up the stones with sound waves or whatever they use for that technique, so the gastro asked if I wanted to try the stone-dissolving medicine, with the caveat that if I had another acute attack it would be best to go ahead and operate. You have to take the medicine for several months, but it worked.

  204. 204
    techno says:

    When I lived in St. Paul, I lived next to an official Hazeldon halfway house for 12 years. This doesn’t make me an expert on rehab, but I know a few things about the facility.

    1) If you have a way to pay for the treatment, Hazeldon WILL get you in. They are VERY efficient about this.

    2) I know that they have treatment facilities in more than just Minnesota but this is the mother ship. Because they have been around so long and have a pretty loyal clientele, there are literally thousands of people who came to Minnesota to dry out and have never left because there are so many support groups.

    3) Yes there are usually other medical issues related to drinking. There are plenty of first-rate hospitals around here that will fix those too. Make all the jokes you want about Mayo, but as a former patient with a bad ticker, I can assure you that there are good reasons why people fly from all over the world to be treated by those folks. Great doctors—spectacularly good nurses. And systems tested to produce good outcomes

  205. 205
    different-church-lady says:


    It seems to me that if one doesn’t understand a comment, one shouldn’t post a reply that includes “That said, fuck you.” as the second sentence.

    NOMINATION for comment of the year.

  206. 206
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:


    Well, they have medical professionals who decide that. In my case, I decided I had a problem, and went in for an opinion. When they found out I have been drinking regularly for thirty years. And, most recently three bottles a night, they told me I needed detox, and inpatient treatment (followed by five months of aftercare, which I am currently engaging in)

    TL/DR; medical professionals specializing in addiction.

    ETA: the nice thing is, John, once you are in remission, you will be a different person…much happier. You may even learn a pants habit.

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