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Medically Induced Sojurn

(Entirely paraphrased)

It’s a good thing you came in when you did, you might have died if you’d waited too long.

Or at the very least, lost your arm.

It’s an abscess.

We’re probably going to need to lance it.

(Are they using swords in the operating room these days?)


Surgery? Like putting me out, surgery?

Yes, surgery. With you under anesthesia.


If we don’t and this infection spreads, you might still die.

Well, hello to all of you doctors, bumrushing me with this news. Telling me I might die when you’ve barely introduced yourselves — that’s really heavy. Can I at least get a loved one here before you go telling me you’re cutting me open, lest I probably die soon?

I haven’t had any fevers by the way. Since I’ve been asked approximately 73 times since I’ve been in this hospital if I’ve had any, I take it that’s important. And since I haven’t had any, I wonder if this is really as serious as you’re making it out to be. As serious as my needing to be rushed into surgery in the next couple of hours.

Are night sweats as terrible a symptom as the fevers? I only ask because I have had those the last couple of nights … oh, they’re not? Then can we pump the brakes on you putting me under? The anesthesia sounds scarier than the actual infection.

It’s an abscess.

There’s no antibiotic you can give me that’s going to help? Surgery is the only way? What about after the surgery? You’ve got painkillers for sure, but aren’t you going to give me at least some antibiotics? Oh, they’ll work then?

You won’t know how bad this is until you get the pictures from the CT scan? Then, you’ll be ready to go slicing me up?

Well, it’s now busted open and is starting to pus. You said if it drained, that was good and I could avoid all this.

Put this on there.

Nurse, why are you smooshing it with a gauze pad? Shouldn’t we be pinching it or something to make it pus or bleed more or something? No?

(I’m going to have to figure out how to sleep with a butterfly clip in my arm? Guess I can’t sleep as wildly as I normally do.)

You don’t drink this contrast. We put it through your IV. You’ll feel warm inside.

Why didn’t all of you tell me the contrast might make me nauseous before putting me into the machine? I just tried to throw up in your machine. The welt on my arm you intend to cut off isn’t nearly as painful as this even though it’s large enough to fit a small taquito inside it. Did I mention that I tried to alleviate this pain by throwing up in your machine? I had a bagel earlier. I tried to leave it in your machine.


Looks like we won’t have to do surgery. It’s just on the skin.


Yeah, you squeezing this thing like tomato sauce in a tube stings like you’re jabbing something into it, but if the alternative is being put under, squeeze away.

Let’s make the hole bigger to help it drain.

And now, you are jabbing long Q-Tips into it. Again, better than the alternative, but I wish I’d gotten some of those painkillers we discussed before. I’ve been in hospitals before. Isn’t there some button I can press that automatically dispenses painkillers?

Oh, you’re just going to give me antibiotics and see how it responds? We’ve come full circle, haven’t we?

(The next day)

We may need to lance it.

(Are we going to Medieval Times for this procedure?)

The doctors yesterday said there wasn’t going to be any surgery.

Different team, different diagnosis? Kinda sounds like literature class as much as biology class, but what do I know?


Oh, no surgery? You saw the pictures. Just a skin infection? Swell. I’ll just chill here with these antibiotics.

This tomato soup is the best. Send me more of this. The chicken is pretty good, too, but the gravy needs some seasoning. Should I send out for a bottle of Mrs. Dash?

More antibiotics.

You’ll have to lay on here while we wheel you to your new room.

I have an infection on my arm, but my legs are fine.

It’s mandatory.

Fine. I’ll play along.

(The next day)

We’re here to take your vitals.

What time is it?


Well, I’m up. Painkillers are still working. You need more blood? How much blood do you need? Are you keeping some for me for later? Forget it. I feel too good. Take all you need. I’m going back to sleep.


Yeah, it’s going down.

The infection is sensitive to the antibiotics.

(I’d rather not know what would happen if it wasn’t sensitive to the antibiotics.)

I can go home?

We’re sending you home with a prescription. More antibiotics.

You don’t say …