Thursday, August 13, 2015

What Keeps Us Going

I don't know the answer to the question for the "US" of it. I can only talk about me.

Talk. My friend and I talk. Yes, she's still in the hospital. We chatted into the wee hours of this morning, even though I had a "look-sharp-and-alert" meeting in a few hours focussing on local demographics. It was good to hear her voice and wit and intelligence. She's a brilliant woman.

She's taking notes of all the stuff going on around her and she read it to me and we were hysterical laughing even though a lot of it wasn't really funny at all but taken out of context it is. Hospitals can be cruel, callous places. Particularly for those who don't behave as expected - subservient to Demz in Charge.

I said to her: these writings of yours need to be a performance piece, seriously. For example: she is lying there with her eyes closed and two nurses are changing both her colostomy bag and her diaper and she overhears one of them say to the other sotto voce: "Did you ever see such a weird vagina?" And of course, this begged the question: how could they see inside her vagina, or did these two supposedly medically articulate people mean vulva or labia? How confident am I, she says, when the hospital staff can't accurately name body parts?

Meanwhile we crack up through further readings from her journal. Every overheard conversation or off the cuff remarks by doctors to each other, her hand-wringing visitors who find her 'difficult', her inept wheelchair pusher who loses control of all her life-giving gear in the garden and literally trips over all her tubes.

And that, my friends, that joyful hooting, keeps me from curling into a ball and sobbing my heart out.


  1. My goodness aren't you both blessed to have each other. I have two close friends who share my irreverent sense if humor. I couldn't do without them! Thank you for this heart lifting post. I'm new at reading your blog.

  2. Thanks........I needed this post..............

  3. Yes, I cringe when I think of the women who may be going through this sort of thing and have no one to share their experiences or advocate for them. Now I have to phone and find out what's going on with my husband's cousin and crossing my fingers it's not a recurrence of his colon cancer.

  4. What keeps me going is just momentum. I go to bed every night thanking my lucky star for another uneventful day in terms of health issues and wake up every morning with the hope that I will have another day like yesterday.

    Something has gone wonky in your blog. The posts are all on the right extreme and the middle is totally blank. Rather unsettling.

  5. How amazingly unprofessional and disrespectful, to comment in someone's hearing "Did you ever see such a weird vagina?" If that isn't ripe for a disciplinary hearing, I don't know what is.

    I hope I never have to go into hospital. I hear so many off-putting anecdotes about the way patients are treated. Of course the medical staff are overworked and under pressure etc, but that's no excuse for blatant rudeness.

  6. I think I'd report the nurse's comment. But seeing the humor in her situation is sanity-preserving and I'm glad you were both able to laugh.


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