Archive for the 'Stroke' Category

Simple Minds Embrace Clichés

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

After I’d been a patient at the rehab hospital for several weeks, the faceless administration assigned me to the brain trauma floor. My stroke technically qualified as brain trauma, but I’d managed to survive the debacle with my cognitive abilities unscathed. Other patient’s serious injuries had forced them to accept a diminished level of mental competence.

My first roommate appeared to be in his late teens. One afternoon his family—mom, dad, and little sister—showed up for a visit. He greeted them with befuddled grunts. After his father slowly and loudly recited the litany of events leading to his hospitalization, he warmed up and began to mumble at them. more »

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Paratransit Follies — Part 3

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

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Many warehouse residents were elderly and/or near death. The chintzy bastard administrator, Mr. Gold couldn’t justify paying a trained therapist to work with a resident, only to watch that resident waste any newly learned physical strategies by dying. The warehouse bosses promoted easily manipulated CNA’s who excelled at making beds and emptying bedpans to revered positions as physical therapists, much like teacher’s pets are chosen to clap erasers. Stupendously lazy young residents didn’t care about the administration’s tacit ban on competent therapists; they rationalized that their own lack of ambition demonstrated a mature acceptance of their bodily deficits. Or maybe they realized physical independence meant an end to their mooching. more »

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In God They Trust

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

Immediately after I entered the hospital, my doctors spewed their quarter-assed diagnosis at my parents who passed it along to my grandmother. She (like most people) regarded the conclusions drawn by white male doctors beyond reproach. News of their—and in fact everyone’s—irresponsible speculation prompted her to write a letter to me, her ill-bred wicked grandson. In it she expressed her hope that enduring this stroke fiasco would somehow “save” me. The correspondence caught me off guard because though she counted herself as a devout Catholic, she had never impressed me as a woman inclined to use what amounted to a popular catchphrase.

* * *
After I’d emerged from the coma, I remember lying on some sort of stationary gurney in the ICU of an urban hospital. more »

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I Disrespect Kelvin

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

The warehouse seemed to hire more female than male certified nursing assistants, but world-class incompetence knows no gender. For a couple months I endured the misfortune of Kelvin’s assignment to first floor.

Kelvin often barged into my room at 7:25 am and inadvertently woke my weak ass. He’d trot to the dresser and toss his sunglasses and various unseen personal items into my top drawer. Then he’d wheel the squeaky overbed table parked at my feet to the narrow space between my bed and the privacy curtain hanging next to it. Next he’d flourish a clothes iron and plug it into the chest-level outlet on the wall. Finally the overbed table became an ironing board on which he aggressively pressed his white lab coat*, making it presentable for his 7:30 shift. He never asked permission to make my side of the room his base of operations and in fact seemed to take for granted that he could do as he pleased. more »

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I’m Uncoop’rative

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

Over-educated liberals who trip over themselves to exhibit political correctness while disregarding reality routinely challenge victim blaming. Ironically, alleged victims are often anxious to find fault with those weaker than themselves, particularly the elderly or infirm—kind of like a linebacker beating up a six-year-old.

Many shitworkers at major urban medical facilities take disproportionate pride in their menial positions. These nano-wits delude themselves that a job requiring a white uniform and the use of bona fide medical gadgets must also demand extraordinary skill, and magically transform them into a “medical professional” worthy of awe and respect. Legions of these simple oafs infested the rehab hospital. more »

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My Testicularly Challenged Doctor

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

Questionably skilled but consummately arrogant MD’s descended on the warehouse every couple weeks to examine residents. They depended on the charge nurse behaving like a shameless lickspittle, scampering behind them and juggling charts while they made their rounds. When the duo entered a room, the nurse informed the preoccupied doctor of the occupant’s condition and its progress or deterioration. (There’s nothing quite as pathetic as a wide-eyed simpleton striving to gain the confidence of an uninterested taskmaster.) While the nurse groveled in the background and scribbled notes, the doctor examined the resident and intermittently deadpanned statistics and generic comments. They both usually ignored questions posed by the resident. more »

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A Sin Against God

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

Anger and indignation overwhelmed me when sycophantic nurses at the rehab hospital forbade me access to my file. Yet CNA’s not associated with me freely scrutinized the documents describing my case. They believed that my cognitive abilities were fried and openly gossiped about their findings in my presence.

CNA’s often went out of their way to snoop into a patient’s file. One afternoon two obese soap-dodging pork-monsters who reeked of cheap perfume waddled unannounced into my room. I’d never seen them before. One of them snatched the manila folder from my nightstand where a preoccupied doctor had left it, opened it and riffled through its contents. She moved her lips as she scanned each document for juicy information. One document captured her attention. Her eyes bulged while she turned to her colleague and like a grade-schooler noticing a classmate’s mischief intoned: “Awwwww, it say here he tried to kill hisself. That’s a sin against God.” She nodded her head to demonstrate her simple-minded pious authority. more »

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Welcome — Part 2

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

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Because most licensed doctors recognize a dead patient as a potential lawsuit, they initially performed a tracheotomy on me. I remember during my time in the ICU when I wore a string like a choker around my neck. (I’m sure there was more to it, but at the time it seemed just a string.) An either overzealous or incompetent nurse had tied the string too tightly and it mercilessly dug into the nape of my neck—I host the permanent furrows that prove I’m not whining like a drama queen. I literally couldn’t make a sound, much less complain. more »

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Welcome — Part 1

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

I have no problem differentiating between hallucinations and factual events that occurred in my post-trauma surroundings. Though I had a flimsy grasp on reality immediately after I surfaced from the coma, the fleeting moments of lucidity proved themselves wildly enhanced. And my intuition had kicked itself into ultra-high gear.

A silent ambulance obeyed speed limits while it carried me from the intensive care unit of a standard hospital to a rehabilitation hospital where the thickheaded staff would try to subjugate me for the next three months. My faceless doctors had assigned me to a high-ceilinged three-bed ward. (During the course of my stay they would twice order me transferred to another room.) more »

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Well-connected

Sunday, August 20th, 2006

While I crept out of the coma I discovered wires connected to strategic areas of my body that fed vital signs to a bank of monitors. An IV tube, ready to administer real medicine, pumped saline solution into a vein in my arm. Some nurse had jammed a tube leading to a pissbag into my urethra.

You haven’t lived until you’ve dealt with a plastic tube sprouting from your wally. I’m aware of guys that shove foreign objects into their urethra when they masturbate. On that note, I’d like to point out that some men get their ya-ya’s out when humorless buffoons wearing leather costumes plunge large needles into their testicles. more »

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