miércoles, 16 de abril de 2008

POETRY ON DIALYSIS

I LIE IN THE HOSPITAL BED WITH TUBES COMING OUT OF MY NECK THROUGH WHICH THE BLOOD FLOWS OUT OF AND INTO MY VEINS AGAIN, PASSING THROUGH A MACHINE WHICH PRODUCES A FUNNY NOISE WHICH REMINDS ME OF DREAMS I HAVE HAD IN WHICH I WAS UNDER WATER. THE LONGER I LIE IN THIS BED THE FARTHER I FEEL FROM MATTER, FROM SUBSTANCE, AND MY MIND FALLS INTO A SORT OF NERVOUS STUPOR. I CAN´T SLEEP BUT I AM NOT FULLY AWAKE. I SENSE, MORE THAN I SEE, THE NURSES, MOVING ABOUT THE ROOM NOT UNLIKE WAITRE-
SSES INSIDE A COFFEE SHOP. I AM AWARE OF OTHER PEOPLE IN THE OTHER BEDS, QUIETLY GOING THROUGH THE SAME MECHANICAL VAMPIRIZATION I AM GOING THROUGH. WE ARE ALL ISOLATED FROM EACH OTHER BY THE PROCEDURE ITSELF. IT IS THE SAME PROCEDURE, AND YET IT IS COMPLETELY PRIVATE, PERSONAL. WELL, I AM EXPERIENCING SOMETHING VERY REAL, FOR DIALYSIS IS NOTHING IF NOT REALITY. IT IS A WHOLLY PHYSICAL THING, A MECHANICAL PROCESS. YET MY CONSCIENCE IS STRANGELY DETACHED, AS IF FLOATING IN A REALM SOMEWHERE BETWEEN MATTER AND SPIRIT. IT IS LUCIDLY AWARE OF THE WEIRDNESS MY BODY IS GOING THROUGH IN ORDER TO RID ITSELF OF NOXIOUS TOXINS WHICH THE KIDNEYS THEMSELVES ARE UNABLE TO ELIMINATE. AT THE SAME TIME, BECAUSE I HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE COMPOUNDED WITH WHITE COAT SYNDROME, I FEEL THE RISE OF MY BLOOD WITHIN MY VEINS, RISING POWERFULLY AGAIST ME, AGAIST THE WALLS IF MY ORGANS, AGAINST MY BRAIN. I CANNOT STOP THE VIOLENCE OF THE BLOOD. IT GROWS AS THE FEAR GROWS. SO THAT THE BLOOD PRESSURE IS ACTUALLY THE FEAR ITSELF, AND VICEVERSA. IT IS THE ONLY WAY I CAN EXPLAIN IT. WHEN THE NURSE TAKES A READING OF MY BLOOD PRESSURE, I AM LITERALLY READY TO STAR HOWLING, BECAUSE I CAN FEEL HOW HIGH IT IS, AND HOW IT IS HIGH BECAUSE OF PANIC. SHE LOOKS ALARMED WHEN SHE SEEN THE NUMBERS. I DON´T UNDERSTAND WHY SHE LOOKS ALARMED. SHE REALLY SHOULDN´T. IF I AM IN THE HOSPITAL AT ALL, WITH END STAGE REAN FAILURE, IT IS PRECISELY BECAUSE OF MY FREAKISH BLOOD PRESSURE. WHAT THE FUCK IS SHE DOING BEINS SURPRISED, THEN? AND WHY DO THEY TAKE MY BLOOD PRESSURE WHEN I AM OBVIOUSLY IN A STATE OF NEAR PANIC? DO THEY EXPECT TO GET AN ACCURATE READING THAT WAY? SOMETIMES I FEAR THE LACK OF IMAGINATION, THE ABSENCE OF INSTICNT THESE SCIENTIFICALLY TRAINED PEOPLE SHOW. THEY ONLY FOLLOW THE METHOD. BUT THE METHOD CAN ONLY REVEAL WHAT IT WAS DESIGNED TO REVEAL IN THE FIRST PLACE. SO IT´S A CATCH 22. I WANT TO SCREAM AT THEM: "PUT ME TO SLEEP!!!! THEN YOU CAN FIND OUT WHAT MY REAL BLOOD PRESSURE IS, WHEN I AM NOT IN THE GRIP OF FEAR!!!!" BUT THEY DO WHAT THEY WHERE TRAINED TO DO. AND THEY DON´T BELIEVE I MAY HAVE A PONT. RATHER, THEY ASSUME I AM IN DENIAL. BY THE TIME DIALYSIS IS OVER MY BLOOD PRESSURE IS SO HIGH I HAVE A HEADACHE. I KNOW IT WILL GO DOWN AS SOON AS I STEP OUT OF THE HOSPITAL. IT ALWAYS DOES. THEY CLEANSE AND COVER THE CATHERER IN MY NECK. THEY LET ME GO. I COULD ASK FOR AN AMBULANCE TO DRIVE ME HOME BUT I CHOOSE TO WALK. EVEN THOUNG I FEEL SO DIZZY I MIGHT BE DRUNK, I REALLY WANT TO WALK DOWN THE STREET LIKE A NORMAL PERSON, AND BREATHE THE AIR. I WALK LIKE A ZOMBIE, THOUGH, AND I KEEP SINGING THAT TUNE TO MY SELF, " HEY, HEY...BEAUTIFUL DAY" HOW LONG CAN I PUT UP WITH DIALYSIS? WE SHALL SEE. I KIND OF FANTASISE ABOUT QUITTING TREATMENT, TAKING A BUS BOUND FOR SOM SUNNY PLACE IN THE SOUTH, AND HANG AROUND SOME BEACH SMOKING AND DRINKING WHISKY, WAITING FOR THE END. IT´S ONLY A FANTASY. Í KNOW I´M NOT GOING TO DO IT. BUT THINKING ABOUT IT SURE MAKES ME FEEL THAT I HAVE OPTIONS.

2 comentarios:

ALBinNYC dijo...

We came across your blog and really loved your poetry. I Blogged about it here, and highlighted your poems (citing you as author and your original text) at Dialysis from the Sharp End of the Needle
http://www.billpeckham.com/from_the_sharp_end_of_the/2008/12/poetry-on-dialysis.html

Text of post:

By Anna Bennett (Poem by Vidal Alcolea)

While looking around the corners of the web, I stumbled across the blog: Poetry on Dialysis Including link). It just has four entries all published in April 2008.

Here is the first, very powerful title poem:
Poetry on Dialysis
By Vidal Alcolea

I lie in the hospital bed with tubes coming out of my neck
through which the blood flows out of and into my veins again,
passing through a machine
which produces a funny noise
which reminds me of dreams I have had in which I was under water.

The longer I lie in this bed
the farther I feel from matter, from substance,
and my mind falls into a sort of nervous stupor.

I can’t sleep but I am not fully awake.
I sense, more than I see,
the nurses, moving about the room not unlike waitresses inside a coffee shop.

I am aware of other people in the other beds,
quietly going through the same mechanical vampirization I am going through.
We are all isolated from each other by the procedure itself.

It is the same procedure, and yet it is completely private, personal.
Well, I am experiencing something very real,
for dialysis is nothing if not reality.

It is a wholly physical thing, a mechanical process.
Yet my conscience is strangely detached,
as if floating in a realm somewhere between matter and spirit.

It is lucidly aware of
the weirdness my body is going through in order to rid itself of noxious toxins
which the kidneys themselves are unable to eliminate.
At the same time, because I have high blood pressure
compounded with white coat syndrome,
I feel the rise of my blood within my veins,
rising powerfully against me,
against the walls if my organs,
against my brain.
I cannot stop the violence of the blood. It grows as the fear grows.

So that the blood pressure is actually the fear itself, and vice versa.
It is the only way I can explain it.
When the nurse takes a reading of my blood pressure,
I am literally ready to star howling, because I can feel how high it is,
and how it is high because of panic.
She looks alarmed when she seen the numbers.
I don’t understand why she looks alarmed. She really shouldn’t.
If I am in the hospital at all, with end stage renal failure,
it is precisely because of my freakish blood pressure.
What the fuck is she doing being surprised, then?
And why do they take my blood pressure when I am obviously in a state of near panic?
Do they expect to get an accurate reading that way?

Sometimes I fear the lack of imagination,
the absence of instinct these scientifically trained people show.
They only follow the method.
But the method can only reveal what it was designed to reveal in the first place.

So it’s a catch 22.
I want to scream at them: "put me to sleep!!!!
Then you can find out what my real blood pressure is,
when I am not in the grip of fear!!!!"
but they do what they where trained to do.

And they don’t believe I may have a point.
Rather, they assume I am in denial.
By the time dialysis is over my blood pressure is so high I have a headache.

I know it will go down as soon as I step out of the hospital. It always does.
They cleanse and cover the catheter in my neck.
They let me go.

I could ask for an ambulance to drive me home but I choose to walk.
Even though I feel so dizzy I might be drunk,
I really want to walk down the street like a normal person, and breathe the air.
I walk like a zombie, though,
and I keep singing that tune to my self, " hey, hey...beautiful day"
How long can I put up with dialysis?
We shall see.

I kind of fantasize about quitting treatment,
taking a bus bound for some sunny place in the south,
And hang around some beach smoking and drinking whiskey, waiting for the end.
It’s only a fantasy.

Í know I’m not going to do it.
But thinking about it sure makes me feel that I have options.

reformatted from the original source poetry on dialysis

billpeckham.com dijo...

I hope you will write more. I'd like to have more of your work on my blog Dialysis from the Sharp end of the Needle

I very much enjoyed them once Anna reformatted them, I hope you approve of my reposting.

Cheers,
Bill
bill.peckham
@yahoo.com