Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Paying it forward

When I stepped out of the elevator onto the ward, suddenly it was 2002 again. All the sights, the sounds, the smells were just as I remembered them.

That year, I went to the doctor complaining of severe abdominal pain. She sent me to the ER, and the next thing I knew, I was hospitalized for what turned out to be a skosh over a month. The blood clot that took out three feet of my small intestine (and that is usually diagnosed "on autopsy", as my surgeon explained), followed by immobility-related fluid developing around my left lung, kept me there so long that I literally burst into tears when Mr thalarctos wheeled me out into the natural light on the way to the car to go home.

Now, almost 7 years later, I'm back on what may be the same ward (post-hospital-remodel and lots of pain-killing drugs, I'm kind of vague about logistics). Also, I have a memory of my instructor actually being my nurse at the time, but that may well be confabulated, given the way that memory operates and my confusion around that time.

If I can show the current patients even a fraction of the kindness, support, and competent care that the staff showed me over that month in 2002, then I will have taken a small step to repaying some of my karmic debt.

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