Tag Archives: Royal Jubilee Hospital

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

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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Filed under Cardiology, Poetry

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

Janus Place

This is a place of two directions

Where sounds are paired

Like a call and response

Chimes ring in softened doublets

Calling in twinned tones

This is a place of two intentions

Some entering to never leave again

Others here for healing and rebirth

A place of fear, pain and ultimate loss

A refuge for repair, healing and hope reclaimed

This is a place of mixed emotions

Where despairing sobs collide with laughter’s joy

Where elevators ascend to heaven and descend to hell

Carrying all, without the price of Charon’s coin

Into a timeless realm beyond the veil

 

 

David Trudel  © 2013

 

 

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Filed under Cardiology, Poetry

Surgery Day

Today I am having heart surgery to replace my aortic valve. For the past while I’ve been writing poems that allude to this and the stages I’ve been going through along the way.  I’m sure some folks are thinking that it’s kind of odd to write poetry about a health issue but I don’t believe poetry should just be confined to themes of love and beauty.  There seems to be a pervasive fear to discuss and write about our human frailties so I see this as an opportunity to explode this shibboleth through poetic self-expression.

 

I am blessed to be living in a country that has a public health system, where I am able to access excellent care for almost no cost.  I have every confidence in the medical staff at the Royal Jubilee Hospital here in Victoria and I’ll be attempting to take notes and continue to write through my convalescence.

 

Thank you for all the warm wishes,

 

Love to all,

 

David

 

 

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Filed under Cardiology, Passing Thoughts