Monday, December 17, 2007

An ordinary Tuesday at the hospital

The morning ends with the speech therapist coming into the room. Again I cannot produce any sound at all. Then comes the questioning about various objects and concepts. She asks me to point to the "doctor" sign on a sheet of paper. From various options, I cannot select the sign. She points it out. Then she asks me again. After maybe 30 seconds of thinking and evaluating I can point it out too. Gosh, it is really hard work. I have to concentrate very hard. Much later, may be after one year, when I ask my my brother about the hospital days, he volunteers that during those days I was like a very slow processing computer. You put a search word in, hit enter.... and wait... and wait..., and finally the answer would come. But I was not noticing that so much time went by. I was really thinking hard.

After lunch a cardiologist comes, he is going to perform an oesophageal doppler ultrasonography. That means he is to put a tube into my esophagus, and measure my cardiac output. OK.

After he performs the non invasive procedure, he gives me the "All clear!" sign. And tells that I am as healthy as a mule. Of course he doesn't say this with those words! But long story short it is what I take out, or what I need to hear.

Now comes time time for the angio. Nurses come and take me downstairs to the radiology room, they speak among themselves freely, joking...

It is highly peculiar, how this thing works. People who come to the hospital are sick or injured. Most of them are experiencing big or small personal tragedies at the moment they are admitted. At the same time, for the people who work at the hospital, it is business as usual at the "office". Same old , same old... They cannot walk around with grim faces all the time, nor should they. But this juxtaposition leads to one big emotional question mark: the question mark behind what is special and what is common. The emotions float freely between mundane and extraordinary. If you think about it, every human being's coming to this world is the single most unique experience in his or her life -and the people around them- so is every persons death. But at the same time, life as well as death are extremely ordinary. Everybody dies, everybody is born somehow... Sickness and injury are inbetween states. As for the hospital people, they deal with people's most singular experiences in the most unremarkable way.

Sorry for the ranting... The reason why I sidetracked for a while are nurses that came to bring me downstairs. They are joking among themselves and they are also joking with me. "Whazzup?" "How is it goin' eh?", I'm delighted to join in their joyous dialogue. I want to say: "Sugar, Were Goin Down Swingin!" Unfortunately, my communication repertory is limited to four gestures, so I reply by turning my hands around each other. " Yes, right!"he says " Crushing waves! Crushing waves!" Mehmet and I look to each other, laugh out loud. From then on we will refer to this gesture as "crushing waves" movement. With that Mehmet is kindly shown the door, and I am on my own.

The doctors make an incision to the artery in my groin, for a minitube to go all the way to my blocked carotid artery. The operation goes very smoothly, and I'm out in no time. Back to my room.
Soon they will tell us, after deliberating the matter among the "stroke team", the long awaited diagnosis : FMD (Fibro Muscular Dysplasia)

What? (more about that later)

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