Tag Archives: post-op recovery

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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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