Friday, August 2, 2013

my night in the hospital

of course i didn't want to stay! alas, the doctor said i'd miss important tests in the morning if i didn't: a brain-scan and a tracing of my arteries by ultra-sound, i needed to be monitored during the night. common sense made me give in. the action had already started, as the woman in the next examining room yelled, "i want to die! let me go! i'll blow my brains out." the duty nursed yelled back, "that's never going to happen. not on  our watch. that's not the way it works." this, certainly, affected my impulse to flee.

i didn't. beautiful young nurses and laughing older ones kept waking me up, testing my reflexes, drawing blood a couple of times. the brain-scan machine banged and hissed like a performance by dada (1920) artists. the ultra-sound fascinating, watching my blood gush on the screen like the sea and hearing the tremendous whoosh-whoosh like waves landing on the shore. i could see the evidence: my body really, really 72.8% water.

by noon, waiting for the doctor's analysis, i realized i felt helpless, having been waited upon so assiduously. how do the rich and presidents stand it? in a hospital your body becomes a prison. i began to doubt i could function on my own. two days later i'm fragile, on the edge of panic. lucky i could and did, driving back to my fire-tower last night, the truck stayed on the highway as i wove along the river. i'm sure this disquieted state will pass.

no, no, they found nothing wrong. since i'd woken up the morning off all this unexpected attention, lurching to one side, having a hard time not wobbling, grasping chairs and wall, they thought i might have had a TIA, basically a mini-stroke which passes before you know it, and an hour later i was fine. alas, two friends ten years young have had strokes recently. this stoked my alarm. my blood-pressure a bit high, as well as my cholesterol. two new cartridges of pills, damn-it-all, rest atop the micro-wave.

i need to be more grateful: no brain-tumor, no evidence of a stroke, clean veins. at my quickly advantaging age, no small thing. my neck's still stiff, and i think arthritis in that locale causing all the problems. pain-killer helped a bit and last night i could sleep in relative comfort, my dreams weird, as always with drugs. and, boy, i think those cute, caring, attentive young nurses made my blood-pressure rise!

        "No one, I suppose, genuinely admits the real existence of another person...Most people are for us no more than scenery."

                                                                                     Fernando Pessoa, The Book of                                                                                                                                                    Disquiet