Sunday, 11 August 2013
Midnight at the Oasis
The thing about my current state is that often I don't know where the symptoms of my kidney failure end and other things begin. Which is why after a particularly miserable day yesterday I found myself heading to the emergency room. It is difficult for me to give in and I was woefully apologetic to the hard-working staff who were spending a long Saturday night caring for a roomful of walking wounded with all manners of ailments. There is very little privacy in that environment and one can't help but pick up the stories of fellow inmates - many of whom were awaiting consults with psychiatric staff for one reason or another or cuddling wee ones who wore their misery on their sleeves. Fortunately I had a very short wait and before very long I was in a stretcher with some fluids and an IV antibiotic which made me feel much better. The ER doctor was funny, kind and compassionate. Sensing I was feeling low, he popped out of the consult room and came back with my chart from my hospital stay in March. He'd flipped to a paper in the middle of the file where my specialist had written notes - and asked if I could read the hand-writing. Trepidatious about what it might say, I tried and couldn't make it out so he read..."48 year old female - delightful"...which made me smile. I thought about the fact that comment was written on the day he had informed me my kidneys were dying and of all the impressions I might have left in that tiny room - that is the word he used to describe me. I wondered at the version of me that doctor had seen and why it felt so far away from the me I know and whether it was possible to believe in that part of myself. Six hours later I was home and grateful to be in my bed and feeling so much better than I had when I arrived. I am starting to understand that choosing "comfort measures" over treatment doesn't mean suffering - and that I am entitled to solve the little things even if the big things remain as they are.