Cancer Crawl Feb 22nd

I just downloaded WordPress for iPhone. They do think of everything, don’t they?

For better or worse, I have settled into a routine here. Part of that is coercive– no full blinds and they come and wake you up at all hours, because in hospitals theories of pharmacology trump those of sleep.

But I am also a creature who imposes order on my environment (Carrie is this way too). The hospital room began its life as bleak and drab as any dorm and I guess dorm living is the model I bring to it. Certain zones for certain things. We’ve got a couple posters up (Carrie’s idea) and have rearranged things as best we can. Today after waiting since Wednesday for a chair, I just stole one. I assert control over space in other ways, assuming control of an ever growing range of functions that used to be done by orderlies and nurses.

In this way, the hospital is like any other modern institution in that roles tend to aggrandize themselves and occlude other roles. Another way of thinking is that like the student, the draftee or the convict, the patient enters the hospital, is stripped of external subjectivity (initially), placed in the system and then developed, sometimes allowed to become self developing in certain directions to occupy a niche (the staff are perfectly happy to let me look after myself but I won’t be getting the keys to the medicine cabinet.)

I’m good at institutions and so since Friday have begun using those skills (as has Carrie with our systematic campaign of staff food bribes). The result? Better niche. At the same time, class privilege can backfire. I can’t speak but I can write. But what if my orderly does not read very well in English (or any other language)?

Okay, long and rambling and full of typos and hard to edit but we will see how this develops.

Updates: thanks to all who mocked me on pain meds. It turns out that codeine and Ativan go very well together at bedtime.

Also, I keep discovering stuff about the area of my body below my eyes and above my armpits. For instance, my taste is all off, I keep finding numb spots and I can breathe in through my nose but not out. One friend wishing me well before surgery said “it would be just like Avatar except you’ll wake up in Jonathan”. Boy was that right!

2 replies on “Cancer Crawl Feb 22nd”

  1. Hi Jon, keep up the posts! But did you type all of that on the iPhone? That’s incredible. (Or is it still typing on the laptop and using the iPhone to get online?) Oh, let me know if you need anything from the Twin cities! – Nick

  2. My favourite patient moment was when I said to a nurse while undergoing some tests at Jewish General was, Wow, I didn’t know being pregnant meant turning into a lab rat. My humour and attempt at provoking some reassurance or sympathy was met with a, You’ll get used to it, honey.

    I hear you. Hang in there!

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