Day 838, October 18, 2022
Scenes of Mortality in the Emergency Room
A woman brought in on a gurney,
her neck secured in an elaborate plastic brace,
like she might have been an African queen once.
The old woman in a wheel chair,
accompanied by the younger woman.
It looks like we will be here all day,
the younger woman says.
I am festooned with electrodes
that are connected to wires that etch a waveform on a piece of paper,
and then the wires are removed,
but the electrodes remain
and I will remove some of them later that night when I go to bed.
The x-ray technician wheels me to the x-ray room
even though I tell her I can walk.
I don’t protest though,
and submit to the ride.
Inhale and hold, she says.
And then, Breathe!
She yells from the other room.
The phlebotomist works from a mobile station
and he is like a juggler,
a man with magic tricks,
how he handles needle, vials, tape, and cotton.
My blood looks surprisingly dark and gritty.
He holds a vial to the light to make sure he drew enough.
Throughout my visit,
they use my old married name and I correct them,
but it seems futile.
What does it matter who I am anyway?
I am discharged and by the time I pass the workstation,
I am forgotten.
There are other patients,
someone else’s vitals.
(I’m ok. Had chest pain/congestion, but it may just be a tweaked back. Just had it checked out to be safe.)
|Dry Hill Cemetery, filled with tombstones dating from the 1800s.|