I fidget and squirm on the thin mattress
To try to find a more comfortable position;
The rats nest of wires pull awkwardly,
Perilously close to unsticking the patches
From their assigned positions on my chest.
The screen above my head flickers and beeps,
Displaying its investigative hieroglyphics
To any who might be able to understand them.
The band on my arm inflates again,
As a nurse carries out further observations
And records them on a clipboard.
The itinerant doctor passes by once again,
Having previously professed his inadequacy
To satisfactorily translate the cryptic squiggles and lines
Of the diagnostic recordings.
We await the prognostication of the cardiologist
Who will arrive shortly to deliver the verdict.
I can’t help thinking that the anticipatory suspense
May with its attendant stress, obscure the divinations
Of medical certainty.
Eventually he arrives, with trailing entourage
And leafs through the notes presented by a nurse
Who has attached herself to the group.
After a brief excursion to the nursing station
To peruse the electronic record,
He returns and delivers a jargon-filled homily
To the gathered minions.
He then turns to me,
With what I assume is intended to be
A layman’s version of the sermon.
I pick up on two salient phrases,
‘Changes to your medication’, and
‘Send you home’.
As the assembled party moves further along the ward,
I begin to think of questions I wish I’d asked,
And the stress again ratchets up a notch.
I determine to write these down in future
In hopes of attaining a modicum of reassurance.