Posts Tagged ‘hospital’

Medical system FAIL

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

This happened yesterday. The only info you need to make sense of it are a) I was in the hospital for a few days about two weeks ago due to high fevers following an endoscopy (a look down the throat), and b) when they were looking, the docs saw something that concerned them,  declaring it Must Be Removed. I agreed. Now if only I could get it done…

Rather than polish it up and risk losing the, er, spontaneity, here’s the eMail I wrote to my friends.

Went to ENT (Ear/Nose/Throat) clinic today to get the thingy in my throat removed. The following happened:

1. Doc saw me, said situation is exactly what the docs in the hospital had said two weeks ago: growth on pharynx, probably papilloma, needs to come out. Said he’ll do an excisional (right word?) biopsy removing the whole thing (unless it extends into my brain or some other inconvenient spot). I said hooray for that! (more…)

Scene 2: "Do you know why you're still here, Mr. B?"

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

I am now apparently  allergic to all pain meds no matter how they’re delivered. IV or pill, even the patch so beloved by many, every last one of them makes me puke. Lovely!. Not. Some people regurgitate like cats: casually, out of boredom, with no consequences. Not me: even thinking about it is a misery. So you can see how happy I was to spend my first conscious post-surgery hours desperately trying not to throw up and failing. 

The weird thing was, I had no pain. Nada. Just the usual post-op stiffness that comes from being artificially dead for a few hours. It wasn’t a difficult op and all the nerves in the area had been killed off during previous ops, so my body didn’t take too much of a hit. And I’d been training for this. No, really, I trained for surgery: at the gym, hiking with the dog, yoga, even hypnotherapy. Anything to get my body and mind in as strong a state as I could so I’d make it through this. After my last time getting chopped, I left no option that might aid survuval unexplored. And it worked. Something did, anyway. (more…)

Off topic: Cycling Back, a poem

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

Though it is not my intention when I started writing poems, a number of my attempts have wound up with medical themes (go figure). This is one of my earlier poems, written a few months after I experienced a near-life-ending bout of pneumonia. Each time I survive some new calamity and return to my bike I remember this poem, re-read it, re-live it. Yes, it really happened. This version was tweaked in May, 2007.


Cycling Back

You climb, standing hard on the pedals
for leverage, each cycle a notch into the sky
hovering at the hill’s pitch. Lungs burn

a shirt sticks to your back, blood moves
hot through thighs, an intoxicating dance.
‘To hell with the burning’ you tell yourself

“I’ll make the point and the other side”
and one breath pushes on another and limits
are driven out of mind – then it happens.

You are in a pale peach room. A lonely
window cut too high opens onto a wall
and forty inches of gray sky. You’ve had days

to make that measure but from a distance
for tubes creep into your arms and snake up your nose
and you long to rip them out but you know

know inside a moment or an hour or three
you’ll have to turn on your side or a nurse
will plant another thermometer or God forbid

you’ll have to speak, if only to say “I am tired
and cannot breathe.” The tubes are lifelines –
you let them stay. Three grave doctors appear,

hover, stare as if at a curiosity. One frowns
holds out his palms. “We can do no more.”
Another’s head quivers. “It is up to you.”

Minutes pass. A life is balanced.

And somewhere you find some thing
you thought was lost, some thing to push against,
some thing as solid as this bike’s pedals

some thing to push you to the hill’s crest
and the relief of the plateau. Another cycle
another, one more turn around the wheels

and here you are, at the precise point
where the sky meets elegant homes with porticos
and groomed gardens and the Bay at last

reveals itself. You catch your breath and drink
and wonder how many times you’ll climb that hill
before you can do it without spending time

in the pale peach hospital room with its oxygen
and thermometers and those doctors, their faces
all twisted and professional with concern.


I’ve published Cycling Back with a Creative Commons license.
You can print the poem but you can’t rewrite it and  you can’t publish it without contacting me.

Creative Commons License