Quick And Dirty

My son asked me on Monday evening if I was going to write about the day’s happenings.

“Are you going going to write about today?” He asked.

“I don’t think anybody wants to know,” I replied, surprised he’d even thought I might want to, and even more surprised that he thinks someone might want to read about it.

He shrugged.

So here’s what happened on Monday and Tuesday.

On Monday morning when I saw the doctor, or rather she saw me, (if you get my drift) she said, “It’s leaking now. Oh, it’s leaking quite a lot. It’s still leaking. Hmmm … It’s leaking a lot. (etc) “I’ll take your temperature.” “I’ll ring the surgical registrar at the hospital.”

Actually, I feel much better now I’ve leaked a lot. (I don’t feel better about leaking on the doctor’s bed, but I do ask her why she wanted to be a doctor, after all, it’s really quite an unpleasant job, but then why do people become plumbers? At least doctors are paid better for dealing with other peoples’ s**t)

I do everything I’m told to do, I think. I sleep most of the afternoon, first in the ED waiting room, then in a corridor in ED on one of eleven beds that don’t have little walls around them. I don’t care, I am asleep.

The anesthetist seems annoyed that there are pages and pages and pages of repetitive forms he needs to fill in, so that my tiny procedure can be fitted in to the time it takes to slip one bed out of the OR before sliding in another, REAL surgical procedure. Apparently they’re just as accountable if the anesthesia is required for one minute or ten hours.

Both anesthetists are confounded by the drugs I take, which the GP has listed mostly by brand. They ask if I know their generic names. I do. They ask about one in particular, for which I give the chemical and generic name, it’s mode of action and the company name. They tell me it will interact with what they were planning to give me but they will google it to see what it won’t interact with … Somehow, I don’t find that comforting … That google replaces text books and senior staff and is now considered a reliable source of medical information. Still, I suppose it’s how you process information that matters, rather than the information itself.

The anesthetist comes back with a pen and tells me to sign unless I plan on putting myself to sleep. I want to tell him that I’d put myself to sleep but he keeps waking me up. Maybe I say this out loud, or he reads my mind, because he laughs and tells me that the one health professional you NEVER want to p… off is the anesthetist because he holds your life in his hands. I’ve just met Dr Evil.

But back to my son, who suggested I write about this … Or perhaps he meant writing about the plate of food that’s in front of me when he arrives. One scoop of amorphous white goop, another scoop of amorphous white goop, a scoop of bright green mush, and some brown gluey stuff. I am reminded of the time when I was in the spinal injury unit and instead of just complaining about the food, I organized a petition requesting that we be fed according to the food pyramid, given that we were all imprisoned for at least three months with no alternative food source. This petition was delivered to the hospital general manager who told the head dietitian to deliver what we asked for.

No such strategy existed on Monday night.

Discharged on Tuesday. Sleep all afternoon. I seem to recall hearing that general anesthesia can make you sad … Or maybe it’s the congealed chicken soup in a can that is my dinner on Tuesday night that makes me feel sad …

Still, I’ve done what my son wanted, that is, to write about something that turned out to be quick and dirty.

I hope he’s happy.


2 thoughts on “Quick And Dirty

  1. Thanks, Deborah. I find that humour is a great coping mechanism when you’re feeling vulnerable.
    Try reading “The Brain That Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge. It’s more relevant to brain injuries than my situation, but the author gives numerous examples of how the brain and the body can be tricked. Perhaps it’s the supposition that one can trick oneself that’s difficult to process … some people have several selves living in the same brain, I sometimes think that I have different selves occupying the same body …

  2. Bless him!

    And thank you for writing about your experience. Because you are so resourceful, and so analytical about your experiences (I’ve often turned over in my mind your accounts of how you use your mind to trick your body, and coiled myself into the most frightful philosophical knots about that), I forget that actually, you LIVE WITH A SPINAL CORD INJURY, and the profound consequences that has for you. I hope recovery from your surgery goes well.

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