Heers wut ya git!

Pull up a seat and read a little. If you are from WV you are probably like me and have never learned to read so get someone to read it to you. I'm Skully, my friend Mike listens to me and translates my words from Hickglish to English. He is familiar with the ways of folks from other areas, and can communicate readily with the general populace.
(Fetch ya a char an lisen ta wuts heer. If’n yer frum West Verginua yu r proly lak me an ain’t had no reedin ejukashun so git sumbudy to reed it to ya. I’m Skully, ma frend Mak lisens ta mee an translates ma werds frum normul to wut them thar hi falootin peepole talks. He nows how to talk to outciders an can speek thar langwige.)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Essay from a friend

A good friend of mine who was an excellent writer, Bill Mucklow, sent me this several years ago. He is responsible for making me want to write so all blame is his.

How I Spent Last Week

An Essay by

Bill Mucklow

I guess one of the disagreeable things about being confined to a hospital (committed, I guess would be worse) is time. Unless you are sedated beyond senseless or in terrible pain, time works on your mind. Oh, there are those folks who can lose themselves in daytime drivel television, or melt with abundance of cable channels available in any self-respecting intensive care unit.
For me though, time occupied in thought and contemplation of events that brought me to the place and the ramifications rendered a most awesome awareness. For better or worse, for the moment at least, my world was within the walls of the Cardiac Care Unit.

Trying to pee, lying on my back occupied most of my first hours. I’m sure with all the wires glued to my body the nurses at the monitoring end knew when I chucked the concept and slipped my legs over the side of the bed. It wasn't anything they said, just the looks of disappointment. Like I’d cost them the pot in some perverse medical pool. I could have fought back and just soiled their sheets.

It’s amazing how quickly one can adapt to what in a normal world would be intolerable. Availing myself of the open-air toilet in the corner of my curtained cubicle while people milled about just a few feet away was an unusual--if not disconcerting--effort. For some reason I wondered about Lord Nelson’s instructions to his fleet before the battle of Trafalgar; England expects each man to do his duty. Here I was, doing my duty. Humor is the best protection in such situations.
After a couple of days in almost blessed solitude, my captors moved me across the unit to a room already inhabited. It’s just as well. The old neighborhood fell victim to over crowding in Intensive Care. Surgical patients moan and groan a lot. Us stoic cardiac types mostly lie there, clucking our tongues, bemoaning the almost certain loss of barbecued ribs, rare roast beef and chocolate eclairs.

Anyway, I guess my new roommate was less than fit. I’d found I could use the room’s telephone line for E-mail from my laptop computer. For obvious reasons, there were no permanent telephones. Well, right in the middle of composition of a treatise of my predicament, the luckless fellow--in the medic vernacular--had the gall to code. It must have been a minute, or so before someone noticed the gentleman had become, late.
Hell, it looked like something from a television drama. People running around as if someone had died. Talk about a Chinese fire drill. A nurse poked her head around the curtain. I guess to see how I was reacting to the closeness of the grim reaper. I was in the middle of a particular good sentence and mustered my best Churchillian scowl. I had a ringside seat in a death to life struggle.

The chaos was in certainty an orchestrated triumph--if even temporary--over eternity. With emotionless precision, some well-trained and experienced nurses and doctors beat back inevitability. I don’t know the long-term prognoses for the guy next door, but for a time he was restored to the bosom of life. An already healthy respect for some dedicated people deepened in my thinking.

Next day, I was shuttled off again. This time to the less prestigious, general population. The regular hospital. My roommate this time was obviously a rural chap. If his browbeating wife was to be believed, his name was Jackie. Further unsought information imparted, he was ninety years old and suffering from--among other things--Alzheimer's. I think he was trying to escape his wife. Why she was allowed to stay in the room all day is a mystery. She constantly berated and scolded him. Jackie, put your legs down. I don’t want to see your dirty parts. Nobody wants to see that old thing. Perhaps, she was just afraid of the passing of someone with whom she'd spent her life.

By nightfall--indifferent to posted hospital rules--several other friends and family joined her. My wife, Toni, arrived just in time to share a morsel of dinner with me. She gratified to hear, Jackie lost his snuff. A quick shakedown of his sheets and his relatives returned the foul mixture to it’s almost hysterical owner. We were both interested to learn; he indented to remove his catheter himself. Hit's again the law to do this to a man, he shouted toothless at a nurse. Hi'll have yea all arrested. The medic assured him he'd bleed to death if he removed the offending tube and it was doctors' orders.
I was right in the middle of a not too imp-palatable turkey breast when Jackie told all his company, Toni and me and at least half the floor, he had to shit.
Jackie! Watch your language, we got folks here.
I don’t care who’s here. I gota shit. And right now.

As someone searched for the bedpan, several of Jackie’s guests abandoned him for a more favorable climate in the smoking area. His wife and a couple of others stayed while Jackie served king and country.
Toni and I were laughing so hard I could hardly finish my dinner. Nothing bothers Muck low’s when they're eating, does it?
Certainly not. Food is serious business. Besides, considering I'm in here I'm going to have to change my part of the family crest from a knife, fork and spoon on a gravy field to chopsticks over a rice paddy with skinny fish.

AI gotta shit! Again from behind the curtain.
Well, shit damn ya. You don't have tell everybody 'bout hit.
I thought I was tough, but a little while later, my son Ed, showed up. He nodded as we related the events just passed. He replied it true family style; that would have bothered me. But now, I can eat a sandwich sitting on a corpse. Chip off the old block.

What did you do last week?


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I am writing, because I believe I know the Bill Mucklow you are referring to. If so, he lived in Oregon for awhile, and had a black lab named Benny. I've lost track of him over the years, and would love to get back in contact.

If you hear from him, or know his whereabouts, can you please let him know that Heidi Marie (Sally's daughter) is looking for him. My email is damask78@gmail.com