Medical Adventure

“We are going on an adventure” I try to tell myself.
An adventure no one wanted,
An adventure filled with loud strange sounds,
Loneliness, and painful procedures,
Medications that relieve one symptom,
Only to have a thousand other side effects,
But you will take it for the one symptom that ails you,
The one symptom that kills you,
The one symptom that drags you into the Emergency Room
In the middle of the night,

Veteran chronically ill patients, they know the drill,
They make calculated decisions based on the day of the week,
Time of day, condition needed to be treated, previous medical rapport,
They pack sweaters, change of clothes (always loose fitting), chargers, a book, snacks, 
In fact, if it’s a non-emergency “emergency”, 
They eat before they go
Because the ER does not provide food,
And many of us have waited twelve plus hours before,
Stomachs gurgling, tired, weary, sick, wishing we were anywhere else,
They pack a hospital bag like a mountaineer pack their backpack
Because to many of them, the hospital is Everest,
Many go in not all come out,

There are battle wounds and scars,
Stories to be told,
Some stories too gruesome to tell in polite company,
When the body oozes pus and blood,
No one wants to hear it over the dinner table,
Not with lumpy mash potatoes and sloppy gravy,
Not with knives carving into roast beef like a scalpel in flesh,
To remind them of what some bodies endure,
And others are fortunate to escape,

It is hard to explain what it is like to be hooked up to an IV,
Writhing in pain, bed ridden, wishing you were on an adventure,
Somewhere exotic like the jungles of the Amazon,
Or the Sand dunes of Egypt exploring the pyramids,
Or stargazing on top of a volcano in Iceland,

These mental escapisms are sometimes the only thing
That get me through my own medical journey,
I can be anywhere, do anything, be anyone,
I am invincible, and it gives me hope to fight a little harder,
Because somewhere in make believe
Where the medical adventure
And the pretend adventure cross paths,
I find truth and inner strength to fight,
To keep pushing my body a little further,
To keep going on the adventure, 

I take a deep breath in,
And I take a deep breath out,
As the syringe sinks in my skin
“We are going on an adventure…”

~ By Hyacinth Hale

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