Liveblogging Morphine

Cover of "Midnight Phantom"

Cover of Midnight Phantom

I wrote this when I was in the hospital with my first gallbladder attack. I was there five days, and in my memory I wrote this over the course of many, many days and recorded many, many different experiences.

I did nothing of the kind.

What I did was, write it on morphine. Holy crap, how Coleridge ever puked up Kublai Khan while on this stuff is entirely beyond me. Prolixity is not a quality it confers, lemme tell ya. But in the vague hope that you’ll find it amusing, I will copypaste it here for your enjoyment (?).

Demerol better bring its A Game

Demerol better bring its A Game


I’m watching a lot of 30’s B movies lately, and it strikes me that there is ALWAYS a scene in which two men fight over a woman. When was the last time you saw that in real life?

I just noticed, in the movie Nabongo Gorilla (not recommended, except for hawt Buster Crabbe-ogling opportunities) they actually expect you to believe that snoring, DJ Pauly-haired creature is a real gorilla named N’Bongo. OH well, they expect you to believe The French Floozy was played by an actual Frenchwoman called Fifi D’Orsay. Is Buster Crabbe even Buster Crabbe’s real name? The least they could have done was give Julie London a spiffy Nom De B Movie like Alana Bazonga or something. Instead, she’s credited under her real name, and even has to play a jungle princess called … Doreen.

On the Impressive Faux Nomenclature front, I have to say the winner so far is one “Pliny Goodfriend,” who was in charge of photography on the Reginald Denny pic The Midnight Phantom (skippable. It’s not a real murder mystery unless at least two major characters have been done in. Moar Blud!). I mean, if you had a kid, no matter how intellectual-looking, would YOU call it Pliny? And since when have the English married Greeks (other than the Queen, and that doesn’t count as she’s German anyway)? The Production Manager to whom he presumably reports is the humbly-monikered Moe Sackin. Doesn’t he run the bar on the Simpsons?

It’s a little anxious-making when you’re the only woman in a 4-bed room, and one of your roommates is a young man who appears to have developmental difficulties and a vocabulary consisting entirely of the words: ow, no, sYEsss, asshole, and kill. Fortunately for my peace of mind, he has only one good leg.
I mean, it’s inconvenient, isn’t it? When someone is that visibly different from that with which we are all familiar, one has to pay attention to them in order to be able to make assumptions about their future behavior, and I greatly prefer to pay NO attention to other people.

They just gave me a shot of morphine. I asked for the minimum dose, but they upsized me (no extra charge! Bienvenue a Canada!) so that it would help me sleep through the night. It’s not that I’m actually in excruciating pain, as I explained to them I just have a bit of cramping and can’t sleep, even though an hour ago I was conking out in front of the movie and that was a much, much better movie than this one.

I just wish I had Fear and Loathing with me.

Have written on the Patient Instruction Whiteboard under “Priorities” the following: Chocolate, steak. Thought about adding gin, but that’d only bring on a lecture about how I got here in the first place, as if Gin weren’t a nice vegetable-based extraction.
Whatchingg She Gods of Shark Reef has obiously gone to my head, because the only effects of the morphine so far are a little itvhiness, the inability to type (as you can see), and the distinct impression that my hospital bed is floating on a sufpboard, perhap s gently hnudhged by Dick Fan Dyce’s porpoises. Or wer ethey dolphins? I would always trust Dick Van Dycke’s unlterior porpoises. I sold him a jacket once, and he was just exactly th way you’d expect; perferctly Dick Van Dykeish, which is not to say he had a pair of Doc martins or even a brush cut, but rather that he was very tall, very cute, very married, and very, very nice. The ability t give the impression you’re (as Damon Runyon says) getting a great bang out of life, is a precious thing, and he has it. He came back after lunch to tell us he really loved the jacket. Seriously, just exactly the way you would want Dick Van Dyke to be, he is.

These morphine swells are…not swell for somebody battling nausea. Does morphine cause queasiness, or has it just dulled the pain to the point wher I can now concentrate on secondary or tertiary sources of discomfort, and am now picking up nausea that was there all along? A[[aremly my blood levls are getting worse. Two things related to the liver are apparnetly off, but they’re apparnetly the sme ones as were off yesterday. I’ll get another round of blood tests tomorrow, I guess, and hope that I’ll get cloudy liquids as a sort of reward for managing not to toss my cookies (METAPHOR).

Guess once I’ve got my hydro back on and am at home, I’ll be giving Shahee’s recipes a workout. Will talk to a nutritionist first, to see if going raw vegan and then going off it suddenly had anyting to do with this.

The Sister and one of the nurses want to know if they’re going to laser the gallstones. I never hheard of such a thing, butI’m up for whatever they decide. Frankly, my aesthetic choice would be surgery. Surgery is just frickin cool. Lasers, however, are also cool, particularly when shot from giant flying birds that can transform into minivams that carry gangs of teenagers who ride around the country ghost-hunting (does that pay?). Yeah, those are cool.

Gallstones, however, are not cool. Particularly as they’e not even in the right zone for me to talk the doctors into doing a little tummy tuck while they’re on the job.Morhpine, apparently, makes me ambitious ( it also makes me over use the word apparently, apparently). I am watching for the second time today Night Tide, the Dennis Hopper movie from 1961, which was apparently before he could deliver any line convincingly except “I like looking at you” while looking at a beautiful woman. There are about three lines of greek in it, near the beginning, and I’m going to try to figure them out. I took nearly thre weeks of Greek back in Grade Nine, so this should be a cinch.

phonetically (not phonecianally, as I never took that at school) it’s

Si douma. Ka verri may tou so kousou. Agapoumou.(leading lady shakes her head, scared)Ou nek poli sinima. Dassai na dou toumi, sonema.

Or words to that effect.

Basically, what I get is this is the 60’s Roger Corman b movie version of the “Luke, I am your father” speech.
Blooddy hell, 2:30am and the entire ward smells like skunk. I guess we admitted somebody who got sprayed( you get admitted to hospital for that? pussies!). If they get put in tis room I’m gonna demand an upgrade to a single, because ain’t no way nobody with no nausea problem should be expected to put up with skunk odor. The orderly has denied knowledge and sprayed everything with floral meadow scented spray, so now it smells like a skunk frolic in Van Dusen gardens.

Eau Joy?

3am is an odd time to decide you want to play with makeup, but in a ward full of men I don’t think I’d find much sympathy for “morning face” and I haven’t got any lotions or makeup remover, and there isn’ t any soap that’ll get all that mascara off in one go.

The nurses are talking about someone with a smallish dog, Chihuahua basset hound cross. I wonder if somebody got attacked.
One of the orderlies, an English woman, was just telling the nurses about a patient, “an Englishman, so he has a sense of humour” who saysh’s from the “Costa Del Holdom” in comparison to all his Manchesturian cohort who hail from the Costa Del Whatever in Spain (You’ve seen Sexy Beast, have you not?). He’s waiting for a visit from his “English mates”, meaning his partner and his girlfriend. Who knew the English were so friendly?

At 10 or so the orderly pulls back the curtain and I can look at the view, which is spectacular, diagonally across Davie and Thurlow. I could spy into the rooms on the top floor of the Sandman if I had binoculars. Heck, I could scoop their Sandman wifi passwords, if they’d only hold them up to the window. How would I hook that up?

The sky looks like my gastrointestinal system feels: puce and purplish-grey, and lit from within with beams of fissile energy. Which reminds me, this hospital is entirely out of gin: can you believe it??? The hell kinda joint IS this anyway?
Aparently (much is apparent, when you are on morphine) the tumor of the guy in the next bed was ten pounds, the size of a cantaloupe, basically (it’s been upgraded in the telling from “two grapefruits” to a single produce item, and if he felt about tumors the way that I do, he’d describe it as a small Durian, Durian fruit being the devil’s testicles and about as physically attractive as Pepe Le Pew’s anal glands. It caused him absolutely no pain until three days before the surgery, at which time they were expecting to remove something tiny, as there was only a trace of blood in the stool.

The poor guy in the kitty-corner bed has just been told that he’s got to go back for surgery on ” the bottom part” of his ankle surgery site, apparently there’s a drain there that “is fine, it’s working fine, we just want to make it perfect. For you. We just want to perfect it, because it’s for you.” I wouldn’t trust that doctor as far as I could throw him, frankly, because that’s a bullshit speech if ever I’ve heard it, the kind you deliver with confidence only because you know the patient has only one good leg and no chance of catching you before you vamoose, which you do, if you are this doctor, after a three or four sentence speech, as if your conscience is snapping at your heels. What do YOU think? is he having trouble making those yacht payments? or did he really fuck up the first time and is trying to cover it up with a fixer-upper surgery in the meantime.

Tumor Man is once again getting visitors: he’s had two already, and it’s still two hours before visiting hours. It’s easy to tell he’s a nice guy, because all these people simply adore him. The fellow who’s showed up today apologizes for showing up empty-handed, but his wife brought a present yesterday, it turns out. The parade of daughters was here yesterday, bringing green roses (that, they say, turn yellow as they open up). “We brought you MANLY roses. It’s the least we could do, since you give us roses every time we give birth!” which reminds me, that I was slightly heavier than his tumour when I was delivered. They were planning to do a laparoscopic surgery on him, but when they got Periscope Down, they found a whole bloody planet down there and decided to open him right up. So, naturally, today he’s refusing his painkillers and doing laps around the tenth floor. Seriously, this guy will be discharged and lecturing at Harvard within a week!

I hope they open up the curtain a bit again; they closed it when he had a visit from the nurse. The view does me some good. Today I got coffee for breakfast, which FREAKING RULES!!! But still no milk. The doctor (who seems to be a cougar-hunter, from the knowing winks and smiles he gives me) says no solid food today either, and no dischargeing me until I am eating solids (not just cream soups and junket) and keeping them down without any pain. The pain is vanishing, almost entirely gone, but my bloodwork is still problematic, and my urine still looks like brandy and smells like an abandoned root cellar full of vegetables, vintage 1929. Oh, retroactive TMI alert.

Hysterical, someone is quizzing the Tumor Guy, asking “who are you? What building are you in? how old are you? Who are these people” and he replies “I’m in St Paul’s Hospital. I’m 69 Years old. these are my friends, and this is my first wife…” and everyone laughs, because they’ve been married since the Beatles were still married.

THere is ALWAYS a phone ringing that no-one is ever going to pick up. I think it’s ringing in the Twilight Zone.

New visitor. The tumour is now as large as a small watermelon.

“Regular toileting prevents falls” does it? So says the sign on the bathroom. The community of Niagara must be massively constipated.

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6 thoughts on “Liveblogging Morphine

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