Written by PP Rega
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Monday, 14 September 2009

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30

By PP Rega

My last day.

Thirty years.
Emergency Medicine.

Thirty years...

Of MIs and morphine

of rotating tourniquets, MAST trousers, and nasal intubations,
of arterial blood flowing triumphantly in a heparinized glass syringe

of ectopics, ruptured and robbing
of epiglottitis and meningitis

of the alabaster stillness of an infant dragged from a pool
her blondness despoiled by vomit

of consultants distant and delayed,
detached and delayed,
doltish and still delayed…

of semi-successful hangings,
and toxic 'sock' syndrome,
of back pains, toothaches, renal colic,
of decubiti and maggots

of a cirrhotic, decayed umbilicus spouting ascitic fluid
from a cirrhotic, decayed belly

of marmoreal myocardia
and charred limbs and degloved fingers

of pus liberated from a pilonidal prison

of rectals
rectals with light bulbs
rectals with Coke bottles
rectals with gerbils

of silicone-stuffed mammaries
standing defiantly atop a mass of bedsheets and blood


of papoose boards and leather restraints,
of milk of molasses and Lugol's solution
of Jones' dressings and ankle braces,
of plaster and Ortho-Plast
of paralyzed limbs intertwined with dulled minds,
of fractured spleens and ruptured bowels and blown pupils,
of nuchal rigidity and 105-degree fevers

of the interminable incisiveness of SVT presaging
the near-terminal undulations of V. Tach
followed by ZAP!

and asystole…


of Ezechial-regurgitating psychotics and
inebriated clowns with slurred speech and slurry minds,
of bigoted, knife-wielding rednecks and
mydriatic kids enthralled by jimsonweed dreams,

of phlegmon and melena
and emesis and pelvics and disimpactions
of boxers caked with crap

of the sweet smell of malignancy


of wheezes and rattles
and hums and belches
and beeps and farts
both man and machine
of moans and groans and curses mingled with shrieks of anguish
behind blood-speckled curtains


of families,
confusion and anger…
and hope for a God in a godless sanctum

and their gratitude
as salvation drips from the sweat of crisis
within the arena of controlled chaos


of the exhilarating "save" calved from a glacier of skill and self-doubt

of MIs
STEMI and non-STEMI

and morphine
and aspirin
and beta-blockers
and thrombolytics
and biomarkers
and PCI
and
and
and…


Thirty years.

My last day.
Twenty-four hour life flight duty
Restive dormancy.
Waiting for "tones."

But the "tones" never come.

This is the way a career ends
This is the way a career ends
This is the way a career ends

Not with a tone
But a whimper.


-30-

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