Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturday Musings, 16 November 2013

Good evening,

It's not morning, I know; but  it's still Saturday, and I'm still musing.  I hear the wind howling outside this secluded bedroom, my cabin-in-the-sky at the top of our airplane bungalow in Brookside.  Faint sounds of the television drift through the open door of the stairwell.  My tinnitus shimmers.  Somewhere beyond my hearing, Saturday night plays out on the roadways of Kansas City, only dimly invading my sanctuary.

I've had the pleasure of seeing the inside of yet another Kansas City emergency room.  Another trial odyssey:  Clay County; Division 5; Lunch break over, the judge back on the bench, my client quietly standing near our side of the courtroom, my opposing counsel settled in her chair, leafing through her flawless trial book.  I feel a familiar reeling, one I had thought I left behind me a decade ago, and I realize that I will not be able to continue.  An hour later, I sit in a triage unit, telling an unfamiliar scrub-clad nurse a long tale about abnormal bodies which behave -- well, abnormally.

When you present in an Emeregency Department with pain in the chest and a history of arrythmia, you've bought yourself an overnight stay.  There in the northland, the hospital of choice for cardiac events sits on a wide expanse of land just east of the I-35 loop towards downtown.  North Kansas City Hospital boasts a tall pavillion, single-patient rooms, and the ability to deal with any cardiac crisis you can manifest.

For me, the twenty-four hours resolved itself with some medication adjustment and a new asthma management plan.  For the Code Blue that I heard while waiting for my room, the outcome was apparently grim.  I inquired, as I knew the room to which the team had been paged lay just a corridor away from the one into which I had been admitted.  Eyes averted, the doctor merely murmured, "Up here, Code Blues almost never turn out well."  I let it go.  The pain of failure can rarely be shared.

Though my symptoms had not quite vanished, they sprang me shortly after lunch.  I drove my Saturn south to Brookside, where a couple of pharmacy folks spent nearly an hour trying to locate the right medication, then finally called back to the hospital to get further guidance when it turned out to be impossible to find.  It seems I am too small for the most common pre-loaded syringe of a certain bloodthinner.  Just my luck:  I knock myself out to stay thin, only to find that I've placed myself in one more abnormal category.  Ah, well; just remember, you made it out, you did not Code Blue.

My husband, who has lounged patiently, scrolling through his e-mail, beside many a hospital bed in the four years he has known me, took me to our favorite El Salvadorean restaurant for dinner.  We greeted friends who had just finished eating, and traded stories about our grown children until they slid off their counter stools and went back into the warm November night.  Then we ate pupusas, and yuca frita, and the luscious, carmelized fried  plaintains which always snare me.  And the wind blew; and the full moon shone overhead; and when we had eaten our fill, we came back home, where no machines beep in the night, and no team of doctors races toward  the sound of sorrow while the rest of us sleep, unaware.

Mugwumpishly tendered,

Corinne Corley

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The Missouri Mugwump™

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I've been many things in my life: A child, a daughter, a friend; a wife, a mother, a lawyer and a pet-owner. I've given my best to many things and my worst to a few. I live in Brookside, in an airplane bungalow. I'm an eternal optimist and a sometime-poet. If I ever got a poem published in The New Yorker, I would die a happy woman. I'm a proud supporter of the Arts in Kansas City. I vote Democrat, fly the American flag, cry at Hallmark commercials, and recycle.