Thursday, May 31, 2007


In nine hours, I will be at the hospital. They will be prepping me for the removal of the "foreign object." I will not get to keep the "foreign object." It will be taken for forensic purposes. If they convict Tyrone Singleton or someone else for the crime, I may get it then. Who knows...

The whole "foreign object" thing is really amusing to me. Why do we have to be so euphemistic with language? (And I don't just mean in this instance.) Why not just describe what the object is? Does it remove the reality so that the physician does not have to consider the circumstances as s/he performs the procedure? So that it is all just a procedure?

I ponder this partly because the process has been so fascinating. At no point in this process, from the shooting to the doctors' follow-ups, have I had any control. I have been told when my appointments will be--even if they don't jive with my life--and when my appointments will not be. I understand that the trauma circuit is a difficult gig, but that doesn't really seem like an excuse for treating patients like commodities with no restrictions of their own, as though we do not have to worry about our own schedules. It's patently absurd. I have to compromise my work timelines with my clients' schedules. Why should physicians be able to to insist that everyone work around their schedules?

Then again, I have only met my attending physician once--the night I was shot. I've seen other doctors and residents since, but not met the man who is supposedly responsible for me since that night. It's as if I am no more a person than the alias I was given for my stay in the hospital--Mr. Plum is a phantasm, not a real person with real worries, and therefore can be manipulated like a marionette.

Not quite... At least I got them to move the surgery reporting time from 5:30 to 8:45.