Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Bonging Science Doughnut Time

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  • giovanni tiso,

    Hospital food is totally underrated

    Speaking as a person who received every other meal from a hospital for a year, I'd say it's overrated if anything. But certainly one of my most pleasant culinary discoveries during a three-day period of dietary duress was that jelly counts as a liquid. Go jelly!

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Sofie, where is that scarf-wearing dog of yours? I think a doggie would be more comfort than tattoos - but I'm just old-fashioned:)

    Why yes Cecelia, yes you are ;)
    Stella is getting organised for her journey up north so I am taking her shopping today for essentials like rawhide munchies, and you are correct, if I had to choose it would be Stella, but I don't. After my stroke rendered me half paralysed, my determination to use my left side has prompted the tattoos to be a form of therapy to stimulate the nerves on the left side and it really is a tremendous help, and because I love tattoos and my garden, I chose that in it that dies, which is the flowers.The Phoenix tattoo at the top is my rebirth after my brain Haemorrhage, and paralysis and then chemo.The chameleon is my transition.(Just got the branches done for him to climb, so got fat arm again, but the swelling will go down and it will be worth it) It is my small way of appreciating the flowers which were at the forefront of my brain when I came out of my coma. It has been cathartic.
    I hope you have a great day Cecelia, you have climbed many mountains :))

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Many years ago when my family were experiencing pretty much basic day by day survival stuff (my 6 year old daughter and 30 year old husband were both having radiotherapy and an undiagnosed autistic toddler ran riot), I was very grateful for anything that didn't require any brain work or organisational skill on my part and they just did it eg

    People who
    -organised food rosters and left yummy food on the doorstep
    -mowed the lawn
    -took either child out for a fun day or even a couple of hours, made them nice clothes, provided toys (my daughter built up a collection of Barbies that didn't traumatise her identity, but provided good props for personal play therapy)
    -lent the adults a bach (bliss), and another couple who moved in for the weekend to see if they could cope with kids (they went on to have 3)
    -someone, I have never found out who, left $100 cash in the letterbox - which at that point of sickness benefit survival and lots of costs was very much appreciated
    -a stranger who handed me a towel as my daughter started vomiting in a carpark after chemo
    -popped in or left friendly messages which acknowledged us as people and what we were going through without any need for reply, thanks or easing their unease over us.

    I have never thanked or responded in kind to most of these people but we really appreciated it.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3203 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I have never thanked or responded in kind to most of these people

    Perhaps. You have to other people though, many times over I suspect.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    and because I love tattoos and my garden

    I love that you love your garden, Sofie. And that your garden is all green and jungly.

    In my present semi-retirement I am plunging into the gardening I've never had time for before.

    And I hope Stella has a good holiday up north.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    @Danielle

    Would you be impressed if my heart rate was lower than Miguel Indurain's as reported on the Wikipedia page on bradycardia?

    (actually this morning it was identical, hard run last night, but usually it is lower)

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I love that you love your garden, Sofie. And that your garden is all green and jungly.

    It's an amazing place, I can attest to that. The little piece of it that Sofie donated me is flourishing in homage.

    As for being extensively medicalized, it's definitely a source of unease. Just feeling comfortable in a hospital is sign you've come too often. My little man broke his arm last week, and I could have walked blindfolded from the car to the Accident ward. Keeping him amused in a waiting room was so natural I didn't even need to plan for it.

    The worst part about it is actually the tedium. The pain, misery, sickness, prodding, tests, pills, bizarre machines etc are expected and actually welcome because they all mean something might happen. But the long waits in rooms, the endlessly covering the same material with different doctors, the driving and walking the same paths to and from constant treatments all merge into a long feeling of sickness almost being a day job. I've got to the point that I go to a hospital with the attitude and preparation of a commuter.

    Doctors are much better than they used to be on the interpersonal front, but you still get the feeling of grinding your way through a big bureaucracy, in which there is a procedure for everything, norms of behavior that will be enforced no matter how unnatural, and ultimately being a tiny piece of a big machine.

    I'm not complaining and I don't think anyone else here is, really. Intelligent people can see that it's this way for a reason. It's probably the best way for things to be, unless you have enormous financial resources. My own care at the hands of the hospital system is better than it's ever been, and I have nothing but admiration for what they achieved for my boy. But that doesn't ever mean it will feel normal or natural to me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Would you be impressed if my heart rate was lower than Miguel Indurain's as reported on the Wikipedia page on bradycardia?

    So basically, what you're telling me is that you're a tuatara. I always suspected as much.

    I'm sending out awe-and-respect vibes to all of you here who went/are going through horrible health-related things.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Impressive Peter. It's your knees I'd be worried about, not your heart!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Those pictures of the MRI mishaps got me thinking. Do those machines use permanent magnets or do they just leave them powered up for some reason? I always assumed they powered them up when the victim, sorry, patient was already inside.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    ultimately being a tiny piece of a big machine.

    Wise words.

    I could write a book ...

    The only novel I can remember that conveyed the hospital experience well was one I read in the 70s: Solzhenitsyn's "Cancer Ward".

    Must have a look at it again.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Reid,

    Do those machines use permanent magnets or do they just leave them powered up for some reason?

    Indeed some magnets in MRIs are always on, and they don't necessarily require electricity - the heavy permanaent magnets / superconducting supercooled magnets. Hence the problem when a cleaner wanders in after hours with their floor buffing machine, assuming that the warnings don't apply because the lights are off and the machine's not working. Also the strength of the magnet's field increases exponentially as you get closer to the MRI, so you might not realise there is a problem until you get closer...

    South Africa • Since Nov 2006 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Giovanni, you are so kind.

    Sorry about the rave and I've covered the topic before, but someone upthread wondered what people who want to do something in such times, can do for others. That was my experience from a long time ago. I would never have guessed the therapeutic value of a family of Barbies (one which got named Klaus).

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3203 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Do those machines use permanent magnets or do they just leave them powered up for some reason?

    I thought they were all electromagnets, probably superconducting and supercooled. I think the reason they are left running is they need to be tuned or something like that in order to get good quality scans. Since that tuning takes a lot of time it's more efficient to simply leave them running.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    It's an amazing place, I can attest to that. The little piece of it that Sofie donated me is flourishing in homage.

    Aw shuks thanks Ben, but more to the point, did the aloe help?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Sofie,

    It's hard to be sure, Sofie. My patching was inconclusive - it didn't seem to clear any flares up by itself, but it might have helped nonetheless. I'm letting it get larger before I tax it heavily.

    Cecilia

    The only novel I can remember that conveyed the hospital experience well was one I read in the 70s: Solzhenitsyn's "Cancer Ward".

    How about The Singing Detective ? I jest.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

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