Tuesday, June 3, 2014

You might feel a little pinch...

I recently had surgery, and as a somewhat interested observer in the activity going on around me, I was reminded of the vague terms that the medical professional uses to give the patient a brief heads-up that something unpleasant is about to happen. As someone who uses words to invoke different perceptions, I like to examine the actual meaning of a given word, though it's difficult to concentrate through all of the trepidation of actually being the patient.  Below are some of the insights I've developed over the years, and may perhaps shed some light on what's about to happen to you, if you find yourself on the wrong end of a medical procedure. 

"A little sting."  A brief but painful meeting of flesh and steel usually a small needle.

"A little stick."  This means a bigger needle is about to pierce your skin and last longer than a sting.

"A little prick."  This one worried me for an instant, but it's a painful medium-large needle.

"A little pressure."  This could be anything that hurts like hell, it's usually large.

"I need you to remain still."  This means your initial impulse is going to tell you to run like hell.

"Take a few deep breaths."  Hang on, this will probably make you feel like screaming.

"Take my hand."  When spoken by a nurse, it means someone is behind you--and it's gonna hurt.

"Take a few breaths and relax."  Don't believe for a moment it's over, it's only intermission.

"That wasn't so bad, was it?"  This means you survived...for now.

The part that I respect most is the fact that I know they're lying, they know they're lying, and they know I know they're lying.  Yet the dance continues.


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