Hospital Start to Finish | Part 1

By Sean McDermott

1. Through the Emergency Doors

Heading down to emergency is no easy matter. The time is of the utmost importance if you have a couple of hours to play with. Arriving on a weekday evening around 7 pm is not recommended since all slips and falls and construction accidents and pending stitches and the odd fierce flu is sitting there in the emergency waiting room, moaning about how long it is taking and peering through the mystery doors as they swing open and close again. Depending on the hospital and the length of its halls around “emerg” don’t be surprised to see the elderly, hooked to ECGs and remaining relatively quiet, parked waiting for admittance to what is only the first stage of a tiring evening. Arriving on Friday or Saturday night near midnight is out of the question because barfight stragglers and anyone arrested who has gotten hurt in the process stares at you as you sign in, and continues yelling at the Police Officers who nabbed them and the Nurses who firmly remind the inebriated to stop singing that 70’s Rock classic and no you can’t smoke in here.

I prefer to try and hold out til the [...] continue the story


By Sean McDermott

One of the many benefits of terminal illness and especially waiting for transplant is that I can go to bed and wake up at whatever time that I please.  Yet I find myself matching the rhythms of the world around me to hold on to any leftover sanity that may remain.  The odd time, I turn off the light at 2:30 am having read for a while in my best attempt at comfort in bed with reading glasses sticking into one side of my forehead.

I prefer to lie on my right side with two pillows offset to one another under my head and a throw-cushion in front to prop up the book.  The top cushion is about six inches behind the bottom cushion to create a nest for my head and the necessary plastic attachments to my ears for my eyes.  I constantly adjust as the pages turn but I have tried the other side and it is only a rare circumstance when I find comfort on the other side.  The throw cushion is a necessity only due to pillow purging from move to move, and the book propping and placement could be rendered easily with a shallow [...] continue the story