Dangerous Compassions

midnight phlebotomist witchbird, hospital lies, medical monster fail, old horses

I was at a late party on a patio table lying on my back.  A witch or bird was holding down my left arm, pecking deep at my arm.

I was trying to understand why I was letting her do it, sharp beak pecking me, and I didn’t know where I was or who I was.  It was night, and there was a loud whooshing sound so I couldn’t hear and pillows stuffed around my head, blocking my ears.

I thought I would let her do this to me because maybe it was the last time.  Midnight she’d hurt me like this but then I would get to go free in the morning.

Then I realized she was sticking metal in me to get blood.  She said the word and the metal pierced me.  I was giving her advice in my mind based on the previous 25 times others had done this to me.

She moved the metal again and again in me.  I wondered how to tell her I needed to pee, tilted my head to move pillow from ear. 

I was still in the hospital: Laura-Marie.  She undid the rubber strap from tight around my arm.

“Did you get it?” I asked.

“No, baby girl. You’re a hard stick.”  She could see all the purples and was at a new spot wrapping it with rubber and poking her sharp finger into another’s bruise. 

The last one I remembered had whispered, “I’m sorry,” like a prayer as she went for a deep one, but it was okay because I trusted her and she got it.

This one poked the back of my left hand.  Many others had had luck there and I felt a hope. 

When the metal slipped in, I tried not to move my shoulders or make a sound each time she moved it.  I wondered if it was working because if it was working, it was fine.

But that was another fail.  She unsnapped the rubber and turned my arm over to poke at the inside of my left wrist. I knew a good vien there and tried to tell her the spot but didn’t know how to explain.

She found it and some blood pumped out into the tube.  She got what she needed and pushed a cotton ball to the spot then taped it against me with a blessing and quick turning away.

“Let me lower your bed,” she told me so I could struggle off it and shuffle to the bathroom.

They wanted me to poop so they could see if my poop was still blood.  “How are you supposed to poop if you can’t eat?” Mom asked.  The tiny particles of carrot I swallowed from the bottom of each broth bowl were not enough to make poop form. 

Nurses made me swallow two laxatives.  Then another hard red pill.  My release was contingent on a measure of hemoglobin, not pooping, and the three GI doctors had told me they would come back, but it was superbowl sunday.

Hospital life there are a lot of lies.  The lady in the next bed had her womb removed yesterday, and the pain medication they gave her made her vomit at least ten times.  She’d pushed the button to ask for a clean gown and sheet, but they were ignoring her.  I was getting mad because they said her spouse and Ming had to leave even though we all consented.

If this poor scared barfing hurting lady had to spend the night alone because of their cruel policy, the least they could do was not make her lie in her own vomit for an hour because they were too lazy to bring her a fresh sheet and gown.

When Ming went to the nurses’s station to re-ask about linens an hour later, they were talking and laughing.

I told Ming the charge nurse shouldn’t be getting rich enforcing inhumane policies.  I imagined telling him he should be ashamed of himself and cursing him to be as poor as the rest of us.

If I yelled at the guy long enough, half-naked in the hallway, would they transfer me to the psych ward?  I’d have a hold on me then.  Ming said we could take out the iv and just go.  I said I couldn’t run faster than them.

I told Ming I was a monster and showed him my arms.  “You’re not supposed to have this stuff,” I told him about the itching tape holding down the iv places and all the royal splotches of color on my skin, the tape getting fuzzy gray on the edges and curling up.

This is a fail.  I think I will escape tomorrow with my life.  I’m sorry to everyone I dragged into it.  A learning experience, but I always used to say I’d rather just die than go to the hospital.

“Why do you laugh when you say that?” Mom asked.  I remember Dad saying, just take me out into a field and shoot me.  I’m the old horse too.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *