A cardiac arrest. A resuscitation made. A life recovered. One patient tells me his experience.
This is his story.
Death. Amid the chaos enclosing, beseeched by an ambiance of ages to come, I hear the seraph’s dulcet calls. Immured by words divine and bittersweet, they sculpt the frigid air, and I am comforted. As flesh is pierced, poisons forced, I am held in tender embrace– its whispers an oasis to the fears that boil within my breast.
A skyward calling, its promised hope glistens the starlight above me. Memories, regret, longings and dreams– a cycle ripened to revolve anew cascades within my being. I then behold a fleeting sight– a son, wife, a father, my life– their love commanding,
with a strength untold I fight until with the sun
I am ushered
out of the grasp
of the ebbing eve.
Lines, tubes, wires, chains. Dignity stripped, cavities drained. The metronome of your pulse above the beeping orchestra, dissonant buzz. Each gesture tracked, beat recorded, breathing measured, life distorted. Do you still feel free?
The body, its function a masterpiece to muse, altered by poison, fluid infused. Vesicles, vessels, organs affixed, shrouded in blood, lymph intermixed. Adhered in oneness by tendon and skin, scarcely quickened by a pump grown dim. Do you still feel strong?
Risen before the dawning sun, a swarm of stoic white has come to declare the status of your issues– Liver, kidney, heart, lung, tissue. To examine and prod, inspect then move a person, a soul, or a number to improve? I hope you still feel human.
A code called. She races as the seas part
for her crossing. Reposed before her– rhythm without pulse,
fluid without flow, substance without life– is you.
as lines in your thigh penetrate a pump paralyzed, as tube between ashen lips thrusts into stagnant air.
Poison pushed into a heart
quivering, she watches as your chest rises
with the force of each counterfeit breath.
The symphony begins.
Thump Shock delivered. Strike through the breast. Voltage down your limbs. Buoyant, jerking, Each retort a life feigned by lightening.
Crunch Bones crush. The carol of ribs, a surrender to the fury
of each compression, quickens with her pounding heart. Each chord
a dissonant harmony.
Glazed are your eyes as they pulsate with the cadence of their dance. She looks at you. Pleads for you to return. Prays to the god she plays. But your eyes plead for something more.
Some people call this a hospital. I like to call this a place of my P’s. A hidden treasure
in a downtown peach orchard where all my P’s roam. But don’t panic. Let’s pause.
This is the place where physicians palpate, pain is palliated, and papillae are poked.
Patients are pacified, parking is pitiful, penlights are peddled, and parolees panto.
But me? I just call this home.
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Founded in 2013 by Phoebe Chi, MD, PhoebeMD: Medicine + Poetry is a health information and literary arts website that aims to inspire, empower, and inform through a curated mix of essential health information, uplifting personal stories, and original poetry.