Tag Archives: cardiology

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

In My Castle

Warfarin

You know, rat poison

It’s something I have to take now and forever

To keep clotted rats away from the mechanical valve

Who knew I had rats running around my cardiovascular system

I didn’t

But my medical team

(if celebrities can have medical teams so can I)

Well, they’re all very earnest about warfarin and the dosage

I have to visit the vampires often

Who draw my blood with whetted appetite

Challenging me to make a tight fist

That they know I’ll never raise

But I’m cool with it

I have been gifted with a small measure of the royal disease

A junior baronetcy of hemophilia

So I’ll line my moat with rat poison to keep the buggers at bay

Besides, I never liked coagulating

Anyway

 

 

David Trudel   ©  2013

 

 

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Filed under Cardiology, Poetry

Bleeding

Bleeding black ink

I spill words as my body leaks blood

On hospital gowns

Inking the floor with my essence

I wonder if the OR staff made wishes

When they cracked open my breastbone

I remember long ago dinners

When wishbones were mysterious

Full of promises

Like wishing wells and shooting stars

Imagining untold fortunes of vague and impossible hopes

Now, I no longer feel the need to wish

Just cope

Taking each step in faltered stride

Wearing the determination of my years

And while I’m grateful for the good wishes of others

I have no expectation of magic

Or celestial intervention

Just faith in a good defense

And the resiliency of my own spirit

 

 

David Trudel         ©  2013

 

 

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Post-Op Second Night

Pain curls itself on my chest

In the night

Like a malevolent cat

Ready to sink its claws deep

Into my sternum

And deeper into my lungs

With each cough I fear

To make

Until I remember to call the nurse

Who brings meds

Just in time

 

 

David Trudel     © 2013

 

 

 

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Filed under Cardiology, Poetry

Broken Hearts

There are no mechanical replacements for broken hearts

No bypasses for a love betrayed or denied

Even when it feels like your chest has been cracked open

And your heart has been ripped out

All we can do is grow scar tissue

Become a little more cynical

In the realization that Hollywood is all about illusion

Camera tricks and crafty angles

Harlequins masquerading as the girl or boy next door

Because we don’t understand what love is

We don’t listen to those vows

About richer or poorer, sickness or health

Or if we do, we don’t believe them

Since we trust in the promise of happy endings

With stirring crescendos of romance uplifted into gossamer clouds

We have been indoctrinated with ideals

Fantasies of impossibilities

Unreal as any misproportioned Barbie doll

Or glossy airbrushed photo spread

So disappointment is a foregone conclusion

When we don’t measure up

To unmeasurable visions of dreams

Based not on love but greed

How can we when we are trained in selfish fantasies

Instead of hard realities

Dragged dirty through a thousand tragedies

Tarnished by time and fate

Until we no longer recognize the truth

Of mutual support and shared attention

Comfortable love whose soundtrack is heard through an open window

Elastic enough to bend, not break

 

 

David Trudel    ©  2013

 

 

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Filed under Cardiology, Poetry