Carousel of the Damned

Metal chair and metal table.

Bright, disruptive light.

The bed is not a bed but a torture device of cold steel with a pallet of cotton on top.

It is freezing here.

Maybe I’m dead.

Could it be that this is the room where they drain the bodily fluids for the autopsy, just like on TV?

Maybe the next stop will be a drawer and a toe tag.

No, I don’t think so.

I wouldn’t still feel this shitty.

I would be floating above me and looking down at my plump little body and thinking, “Oh no! oops, I didn’t mean to do that.”

But I might also be secretly relieved.

That’s a horrible thing to say, to write, to think.  How utterly horrible of me.

But, it happens.

Because I see the metal chair, the bright light, the table with the thin cotton mattress all too frequently.

They frighten me so much that the thought of them makes me shake and cry and want to do just about anything to avoid them.

The next thing is the nurse and the needles and me-talking brightly- while she pokes me: over and over and over and over and calls in the next nurse, (the really, really good one) who pokes me: over and over and over and over and maybe two more (really, really good ones) and finally, a fancy ultrasound machine that helps them find my veins and they use a little harpoon to dive in under the skin, to the deeper veins.

I chatter and breathe deeply and they tell me how I am a real “champ.”  I always think they are going to say,

“Chump. You’re a real chump. You come in here and expect to get an IV in those crappy arms with all those blown, tiny, scarred veins!!!!”

The joke is on me, folks.

Most of the time they just get in there and take the blood and leave.  I get nothing from the exchange but bruises.  Nausea, pain, the rest of it, goes untreated.  Because I am ‘chronically ill’ I have to prove that I am in some sort of extra straits in order to get pain medicine or any real relief at all.

So I just lie there.

I count the ceiling tiles, over and over and over.

I try not to panic.  I try to breathe.

If I try to read my I Pad, they say I am not sick enough to be there.  This happens even when I have been ordered by a doctor to go.

I often feel I am on some carousel of the damned.  The horses and giraffes and other animals go ’round and ’round and they all have needles and trays and they beckon to me, saying “hold still, just a little stick.”

“The doctor won’t give you anything unless they know what you have.”

“You can go now.  We don’t know why you are so sick this time.”

“Here’s the door.”

“We are always here if you need us.”



2 Replies to “Carousel of the Damned”

  1. In your next life you will be a doctor and you will relieve and comfort many. You will say “Please tell me, I am listening,” and you will say “I trust that you know your body,” and you will say “I’m sorry we medical humans are so confused and unaware and the body is such a mystery – and I don’t know everything but let’s make you feel better right away at least,” and “I’ll work on this with you.”

    1. I would like that but I am really hoping to be a golden retriever that lives in my house!!!!!!!

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