Friday, November 10, 2017

The ARC of EOL - a poem in progress

Not the best way to land a plane...

Hiya.

I haven't posted anything here in a month, not the sign of a good blogger.

I've got explanations and excuses, but that doesn't matter, because the point of blogging is to blog.

Anyway, I've been working on more delirium material, along with a new 'Hospice 101' kind of thing. I've been playing with the idea of trajectories at end of life, and wonder if a cartoon-and-poem combo would help get some points across. Here's what I have for the poem part, so far:

Life is like an arrow, airborne,
let loose at birth,
we live,
we fly ...
… then land.
And die.

For most of human history,
people usually died
from a sudden short decline.
Infants died at childbirth. So soon.
Mothers, too.
Germs were invisible, first aid grim.
Some passed 30, 40, 50, 60.
Not most.
Death was neither friend nor stranger.
Death was always near.
That doesn’t mean we liked it.
But at least we understood.

Now that’s changed.
Life is longer now.
Death is distant, hidden, feared.
We are not prepared.

Life is longer now. It’s better.
Florence Nightingale brought modern nursing. Thank you for intelligent care.
Doctors learned to wash their hands.
X-rays, penicillin, vaccinations, insulin, anesthesia, transfusions, transplants, heart lung, ventilators, ICU, CPR…

Please see me!

… hold on. There’s more.
Hospitals got big, then bigger.
Hospitals are everywhere.
Now we have a war - on cancer!
Bucket challenge.
Walkathons.
Fight it. Beat it. Fix it. Cure it. Wear a ribbon.

Make it go away!

###

3 comments:

  1. Wow. I concur. And, then, would say, that hospice has an old-school approach ("how can I make you comfortable in your final days?") as opposed to a "fix me! make it go away!"

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like Angelo Volandes' construct for 3 kinds of care:
    - aggressive curative care
    - limited medical care
    - comfort care

    ReplyDelete
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