To drive to the hospital

To drive to the hospital
plunged in blue—
tenting this cyanotic skin
of this curve of the world
my car drives in—

Fragile film
of blue fuzzes the trees
fringes branches
undemarcates silhouettes 
into soft brown brushes
It blunts the sky heavy
with glow and ether
until all settles
into holy sediment—
dumb and sedated
the shade obtunds distinction
of road and tree—
world and me

Technical red punctures
the morning hue—
speckling my window
and my mirrors
Neon pulsates through the dye
The other patrons
of this lonely artery—
our anemic hour

Soon I will calculate
and I will prescribe
I will congest
the brain with the gravid
parity of artery and vein

But before I step
into the hospital—
the drowning hue
heavy horizon
thrombotic mood
I inhale congestion—
flood the soul to breathe
  1. Scrubs – blue, green, black, etc; different departments wear different colors
  2. Radiation fog – “usually occurs in the winter, aided by clear skies and calm conditions. The cooling of land overnight by thermal radiation cools the air close to the surface. This reduces the ability of the air to hold moisture, allowing condensation and fog to occur. Radiation fogs usually dissipate soon after sunrise as the ground warms”
  3. Fimbriae – are finger-like projections from bacteria that help them attach to things; Fimbriae are also projections that form a fringe around Fallopion tube ostium, through which eggs move from the ovaries to the uterus
  4. “When the evening is spread out against the sky” – The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock BY T. S. Eliot
  5. Anesthesia – On October 16, William T. G. Morton (1819-1868) made history by being first in the world to publicly and successfully demonstrate the use of ether anesthesia for surgery. This occurred at what came to be called “The Ether Dome,” at Massachusetts General Hospital on patient Edward Gilbert Abbott.
  6. Ether – the word ether, I really like, because it conjures up images of medicine, heaven, and Final Fantasy 7 to me
  7. CAM-ICU and RASS – in the ICU we can use tools to assess for delirium if they are not too sedated; delirium is a disturbance of consciousness characterized by acute onset and fluctuating course of inattention
  8. Central Artery – John F. Fitzgerald Expressway is a section of freeway in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. I didn’t realize there was a highway named this until after I wrote this poem!
  9. Family doctors – 36% perform minor surgical procedures, 45% treat patients in the ICU, 40% deliver care in hospital ERs, 59% care for newborns, 77% have hospital privileges, 19% provide routine OB care
  10. Gs and Ps – In labor and delivery we use gravidity and parity to describe a woman’s obstetric history
  11. Chronic congestion – “advanced forms of venous disorders, including manifestations such as hyperpigmentation, venous eczema, lipodermatosclerosis, atrophie blanche, and healed or active ulcers”
  12. Pulmonary embolisms and DVTs – pregnancy increases the risk of clots in the lung and legs; VTE is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in the United States

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