Rage Begets Wrath; Wrath Begets Depression

By

Leonard Zwelling

I have been wondering why I seem so blue since Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston. We were lucky. Our house was one of those that did not incur damage. All cars were intact. Yes, I need a new roof, but it was getting about that time anyway. Why should I, a retiree writer with one book out and more (hopefully) on the runway, feel so down?

Then, when reviewing some of my recent fiction efforts it came to me. I’m pissed and want revenge, but being semi-civilized, I, instead, internalize it all and it comes out as depression. How healthy! Not! I know. Write more.

What’s all the rage about?

Let’s start with the fact that I have watched, first from within the institution, and then from outside, the place I love, MD Anderson, go from the leading provider of cancer care to a pseudo-academic institution of drug development. That was never Lee Clark’s plan. Above all else, MD Anderson is to care for the cancer-stricken of Texas and patient care cannot become an after thought as it has because doing it gains the faculty nothing, but gains the institution revenue.

Then let’s move on to my belief that I could transition from care giver, to basic scientist, to administrator, to politician and not be woefully disappointed at each stop–especially on Capitol Hill. I know, I know, what did I expect? But during the self-assessment to which I subjected myself, I came to realize that all I believed and cared about at the various stops I had made in academic medicine had come undone.

The physical exam and history taking has been supplanted by the admission MRI and the EMR.

Integrity in science has been under attack as example after example of misconduct has come to light, even at MD Anderson.

When I was overseeing the infrastructure for clinical research, I thought preserving the principles of the Belmont Report, the Code of Federal Regulations, and conflict of interest rules was of the highest priority. Silly me! Nothing could have been further from the truth and eventually, I resigned that aspect of my job. The office that I built basically fell apart. Entropy, I guess.

And public service is anything but. Capitol Hill is a den of many (but not all) inadequate egocentrics whose sole purpose is to stay on the public dole and on television. This begat us Donald Trump. Mazel Tov, America.

If I weren’t depressed, I would be crazy. What I have seen develop in the halls of academia and of Congress makes me angry. It makes me want to get even, when I know that I cannot. And thus the blues.

I feel better already. Don’t you?

Leonard Zwelling