Tag Archives: cardiac surgery

Broken

A broken ice jam in my chest

Subcutaneous scab recedes

An alpine glacier

Shrunken to a few frozen crevasses

While muscles have reformed

Beneath a punctuation of red hyphens

Exclaiming sternly sternum drumbeats

Against a rhythm of compressed short breaths

Syncopating inhalations

With relentless staccato bursts

Of feeling healing

Relentlessly marching in place

Above my heart

 

 

David Trudel         ©  2013

 

 

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Filed under Cardiology, Poetry

What Is Truth

If I could talk about beauty today

I’d talk about whirligig seedpods spiraling down from maple trees

Whose leaves lie yellowed and rusted

Beneath the green canopy that has begun its fatal turn

Anticipating the fall

Or the smell of the forest moments after a rainshower

Evoking distant memories

Walking along the trail

My feet play an arpeggio of crunches

But I’m not listening to that song

My mood is as gray and ponderous as the clouds

Massing like warships off the coast

There is little room for beauty

When the ugliness of war is imminent

When the ugliness of violence is prevalent

And the mean spirits of the convinced

Crush any non-conformist view

With the finality of the fallen

Yet even though I ache with empathy

For the lost and beaten

For long lost spirits vanished in genocidal flames

That is not my truth today

My truth is my own pain

The dull ache of bone regenerating

A scabrous tug of congealed tissues beneath a zippered line

Of reddened welts

Ascending my chest like angry punctuation marks

My truth is stolen by my self-absorption

I isolate chaotic messages of a disrupted nervous system

Comprehending metallic intrusions

Listening to the mechanical insistence of the new valve

Then, drained and enervated I fade

Into somnolence

Unable to maintain the illusion of reality

I slumber unconcernedly

Aware of nothing beyond my next breath

Finding a solitary truth

 

 

David Trudel        ©  2013

 

 

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Naked Sky

There were other summers

When miles would roll by

Cliffs and undercuts

Screaming here I am

Here I am

Today

In those half forgotten days

I would trust in

The reality of whatever gods presented

Today

I listen to

Murmurs

Of your heartbeat

I listen to you

Under the naked sky

Even if you are cloaked

With the fetters of your generation

I listen

To the beats

You don’t hear

To the messages that are always

Intercepted

By your sense of propriety

Or mild revulsion

Under this sky

That holds its own revelation

Waiting

For

A rhythm to follow

All I can offer

Now

Is the mechanical whir

Of a machine

Saying thump

Thump

And thump

With the insistence of a chapel house

In the night

 

David Trudel © 2013

 

 

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Battles

My hardest battles aren’t with others

But with myself

Waging relentless optimism against an array of sins

I am cloaked in lethargy

I can barely shrug off the self-pity that has me wrapped up

In my own pain

I find it difficult to perceive the urgency of others’ struggles

Empathy is in short supply

So I retreat

I find myself napping

Taking short breaks

Eventually I psyche myself up for a walk

It has warmed up

So that insects and birds play out their aerial battles

With sunglints punctuating each twist and turn

Under the forest canopy I forage for blackberries

It is early enough that at least half are still tart

Their color belying their character

I leave the park and find my way to the commuter trail

I take pictures of the highway below

Wondering how many people have driven past this spot

Oblivious to its beauty

In their obsession with speed and distance

I think of the distance between heartbeats

And how oblivious we can be

To what our hearts murmur in our ears

 

 

 

David Trudel     ©  2013

 

 

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Filed under Cardiology, Poetry

Healing

The enervation of healing leaves me flattened

My energy level drains as fast as an iPhone battery

So now I take naps

I rest

Each small chore a triumph

I battle ennui

With slow motion moves

I breathe, feeling my lungs inflate

I listen to the unnerving click of the mechanical valve

Only I can hear

I watch trees grow

I listen to the murmur of eroding rocks

I slowtune my thoughts into ponderous beasts

I release the hummingbirds that used to populate my brain

I send messages to the bruised bone that is wired together in my chest

Fuse, I tell it

I feel muscles and flesh tugging tightly

With each twist or pull

I feel the inanimate object buried in my heart

I wonder if it will change my feelings

Or reduce the impact of love’s vicissitudes

Unlikely, since the heart is just a pump

Unlikely, given love’s absence in my life

So I wait

Listening to my cells transform from torn to together

I wait

Patiently

Because I’m a good patient

My impulses to rush fall aside

I learn to mistrust anything quick

I learn to embrace slow and measured steps

I listen to the universe

As I heal

Slowly

 

 

David Trudel     ©  2013

 

 

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Filed under Cardiology, Poetry

Coming To

The unmistakable chime of a monitor echoes

Intruding into darkness

Awareness creeps up like a shy kitten

Mewling

I feel chest tubes

Painlessly weird

Opening my eyes I see the nurses’ station

So many devices and displays

It’s like an aircraft control tower

I look at the nurses

They’re looking back at me solicitously

I close my eyes

To dream of other cities and waking up there

A tour of unspoken words

I wake up in every city I’ve ever been in

Slowly drifting in and out of dreamplaces

Places that don’t quite make sense

Finally, I wake up here and I’m present

Alive

There’s less pain than I thought there’d be

But pain is present

I remember I’ve had a heart defense

Accounting for the lines attached to my body

Pings and chimes provide an otherworldy background soundtrack

A nurse comes over

Introduces herself

She shares the name Lisa with my sister

Which bodes well, I think

So did my mother she tells me later

I am extubated, the breathing tube taken out

The first unmooring of several

Breathe in, hold it, exhale

Slip slide upthroating relief slices through incipient nausea

I struggle to catch my breath

I do

Settling into consciousness I am wide awake as possible

Given the circumstances

I survey the lines and tubes attached to my body

I am unsure how many other patients there are on the ward

The man next to me is a loud talker

Voice booming out like a sideshow barker

Somehow I drift back into sleep

Until two patients across the room go into distress

One is a code blue

Gowned shapes appear, passing the foot of my bed

Until they cluster on the far side of the ward

Their ministrations succeed and the chimes stop

For a few moments there is peace

Rare peace

A time that I have come to

In this place

Where I awake

 

 

David Trudel      ©  2013

 

 

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Filed under Cardiology, Poetry

In The Night

I feel each molecule of splintered bone in the night

Constricted by wire twisted tight

I wonder what dance or battle is occurring at the cellular level

In the refusion

It isn’t always easy to bond once ties have been severed

At this moment it doesn’t appear to be an easy seduction

More of a battle

Subcutaneously the soft tissues are going through the same process

Nothing is flowing smoothly

Muscles feel pinned down and tug with each breath

The mountain ridge of incision line is eroding into gentle hills

I hear the drip, drip, drip

Of blood over metal echoing loudly in my ears

I try to resist the impulse to get up

But fail

I take an extra strength Tylenol

Just one

An air strike against the soft bullets

Of pain

This is not a war

Just a skirmish

This is not pain

Just discomfort

I remember pain

Archived now

This is not pain

Just discomfort

I feel my wounds settling

Subsiding slowly into the process of healing

Learning the normalcy

Of just discomfort

Because it is a kind of justice

To pay for miracles

With small sufferings

Here in the dark

Listening to mechanical rhythms of the heart

Marking each moment

Of slow improvement

With blackbeat backbeats

Counting the price of my reward

 

 

David Trudel    ©  2013

 

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Filed under Cardiology, Poetry