PHARM Podcast 186 Measuring Time By Mitochondrial Eve
I talk a lot about the healthcare experience from the perspective of a bedside nurse in the ICU. I have a story about being a patient.
— Mitochondrial Eve (@BrowofJustice) July 28, 2017
Measuring Time – by Mitochondrial Eve
38 years old,
eight hours after emergency open-heart surgery,
back from the OR for a second time.
Twelve hours until dawn.
120/55, 112, 16, 93%.
A heartbeat is comprised of parts,
forming a series of numbers
that define stability within this intensive space.
70/33, 175, 10, 80%.
50/20, 200, nothing, nothing…
Two halves for two hands,
one on top of the other.
Two brothers to stand attention as the thing unfolds,
this stopping and starting,
two cycles of thirty,
two measured breaths between rounds.
Two pads deliver 200 joules to one chest.
Three specialists in one room.
A single heart.
Two hands over two halves,
the sternum a spring of bone and steel,
five wires snugged, looped,
palpable under pressure the edge between,
the pressure just shy of two inches down
and two back up then down again,
at least a solid hundred times in sixty seconds.
Two hands belonging to one nurse.
One patient in two halves.
One daughter in the waiting room,
twelve years old.
A series of numbers—
the way we mark time in this infinite space.
200 mcgs of epinephrine every minute.
Three more shocks at 200 joules.
Two halves for two hands to break and make whole.
One patient, skin slick and grey,
no beats per minute or breaths without
two hands to support and assist.
Three cracked ribs.
Two brothers hugging shoulders,
backs against the wall.
Too many cycles.
One daughter, alone.
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