Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Rambling thoughts from my Hospital Bed # 3

I was going to call this "My Left Hook" but decided it is now part of my ongoing Hospital Bed series. I wrote this on 1-23-07 and is about an event that happened in 2001.

It's easy to get used to pain in the hospital. Poking, prodding, and getting stuck with all manner of pointy things is just a normal part of one's day. But occasionally hospital staff goes too far. I had a picc line (this is tubing inserted into my vein and then snaked about 2 feet or so through my arteries and then sewn in place) and the doctor came in to remove it as I was being discharged. No big deal, and it takes a minute or two and is completely painless. Unless, of course, the doctor doesn't properly cut the stitches holding the picc line in place.
The institution's doctor, whom I had never seen before, or since, came in to remove the line. She cut two stitches (I had 3) and then started yanking like she had just harpooned a seal. My skin stretched like a cartoon character's and I yelled while she kept pulling. She stopped and I told her about the stitch. She said that she had cut them, and she started yanking again and my skin responded like the main attraction at an old-fashioned county fair taffy pull. The pain was intense, and instinctively, my left hand formed a fist, and I swung at her hard. I missed, but she backed off. NOW she was ready to listen.