Notes from a Hospital Bed.

When I begin to feel trapped, I begin to feel stabby.
So, when I had a run-in with a doctor earlier today, it is
not surprising that thoughts of stabbing her in the neck with a penknife came
to mind.
However, seeing as we were disagreeing, me with a weapon of
non-emotiveness, she with a weapon of self-righteousness, on whether or not I
could be released from the hospital tomorrow, I “played the tape,” followed the thought through to the end like video tape. I realized
that, huh, stabbing a doctor, or anyone for that matter, would likely inter me
for much longer than the length of treatment for an eye infection.
So, I decided against it.
Not that I have a penknife.
I have been in the hospital since Monday morning. But, I
also spent much of Sunday afternoon in the ER. I have a stye in my eye, and
because of the compromised nature of my immune system as a result of this
month’s chemo, it became nuclear. I look as though I met Rocky Balboa’s right
hook in a dark alley. Or maybe it was a light alley, since this one really met
its target.
Alternatively, it looks as though someone has inflated a
balloon underneath the right half of my face, even down to my neck. It’s
unpleasant to look upon, and worse to endure.
That said, it has begun to get better; the swelling
decreasing, the fatigue from the rancorous fever it brought on abating.
And I want to go home.
I am not “supposed” to be here for another two weeks. I am,
and have been, emotionally prepared to spend one week in the hospital per month for as long as these rounds of consolidated chemo have been going on, following the
near month-long initial round/internment.
There is only so much juice I have. And it has all been
Last night, I hit a wall. I was getting angry at a tissue
box whose perforated opening I couldn’t find, and therefore whose box I ripped.
I paused, acknowledging the irrational reaction to an inanimate object, asked
myself why I was so angry, and in that pause, I began to cry.
In a hospital bed.
There are few things more pathetic. (And I don’t mean that
in a judgmental way, just the simple, plain, sad way.)
I sobbed for a few minutes by myself, and then called a few
friends, finally reaching one. And I sobbed on the phone to her, my isolation
began to abate, but the feeling of frustration, powerlessness, being OVER this whole “being a patient” thing did not.
The hardest thing about it, is that I have no, none, nada,
not one iota of control over this situation. The eye infection, the alarming
beeping from the IV machine as it repeatedly announces itself for attention,
the doctor who opens the door and then says “Knock knock,” the necessity to
ring for water, for a towel, for a meal that has been nuked into oblivion, the impossibility of fresh air or sunshine, the tethering to a chaotic and
unpredictable schedule of lab draws, medication times, the measuring of my
heart rate, my temperature, even the volume of my pee.
The cancer.
I have no control.
And so, forgive me,
oh snarky doctor, if I’d like a
modicum of freedom, self-sufficiency, dignity.
Even at the bloody expense of your over-eager, raised
eye-brows as you lean in with prodding and painful fingers to my face, and pose
as a question the statement, “I hear you want to go home, against doctor’s
“Not all of them,” I don’t give her the pleasure of
flinching at her unreasonably forceful hands.
“Oh?,” she leans back, eyebrows still forehead bound, “Which
doctors have said otherwise?”
Today, I have been seen by 5 doctors, including Ms. de Sade.
Two have said they don’t see a problem in me being released tomorrow, that I
can, indeed, do much of this at home. It was, in point of fact, a doctor who saw
me first thing in the morning who suggested that I could do all this at home in
the first place. He then told me not to mention he was the one who mentioned
it. He is a doctor I trust. He is in fact the doctor who gave me my diagnosis
of Leukemia when I was in ER at midnight just over four months ago. He’s been compassionate and an thoughtful listener and explainer. Plus, he’s
cute. For a married guy.
Looking flatly at her through my good eye, and with disdain through my swollen one, “I just said, ‘Not all of them.’” 
Purses lips, “We’ll continue discussing your case.” Exits.
Is this a prison? And please, please, I beg you, please do not give the rational rationale: they
just want to ensure your health. They just want to make sure you are healthy.
I concur, and concede that my medical health is of optimal
import in their assessment. I am sorely sure that my emotional and spiritual
health is not.
Well, two hours have passed since I wrote those last words,
as a friend came by with food and fellowship, and now those two “f”s have counterbalanced the
one in “f*ck you,” so, I’ve run out of resentment steam. 

Luckily, my friends do have my emotional and spiritual health in mind. 

Thank god for that. 

One thought on “Notes from a Hospital Bed.

  1. Sending love, comfort and peace from the other side of the bay.

    Where are you please? I'm not much on FB and miss stuff as a result. I'll search and find what I can. You have my number, yes? If no, 650-722-7742. I know-you're surrounded & have lots of peeps who love you-me too 🙂 I'd love to take a trip to visit once I'm passed this cold (probably not wise to carry it in).

    So, beautiful sprit and soulful writer, I want you to know I love and heart God gave you. You're amazing.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s