Sunday, August 2, 2009

Care of the body (1)

When I took my shirt off yesterday, a day after being released from the hospital, my wrist brushed along my ribcage and stopped at an unfamiliar obstacle. An EKG lead was parked there, its little pad glued down and the metal contact in the center. I felt around and found several more.

I was confused for a second, and then remembered that placing the chest tube had gone strangely. My back was convulsing so they sedated me earlier and more than usual. I can only hazily recall George the doctor moving me in and out of the machine and marking the spot for his needle. I don't recall the EKG at all.

For a day, I thought nothing of those abandoned leads.

You get used to so much.

Then I thought of them rolling me away insensate and bruised with a new tube and suction box moored to my fragile, sunken chest. I thought of them having someone hurry me upstairs as they wiped down for the next client, not even taking the care to remove the trash they had left glued to me.


Elizabeth said...

This one made me cry.

SG said...

When people tell me that, I'm never quite sure to say thank you or I'm sorry. I think "Thank you" is right here because it seemed like a petty thing to write about in a way -- but those foreign presences on my body at the time I found them made me feel so strange and sad... as I tried to convey. It's not that anyone is in the wrong, it's just... I don't know. Thank you for commenting.