Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thursday's Trauma Writing

Personal update: I had my first ECT treatment today. Everything seems to have gone to plan and wasn't traumatic or scary for me. The recovery was a bit more uncomfortable than I expected with a sore jaw, headache, and very sore throat/neck. My nurse got me Tylenol and a Cepacol and after several hours in bed I am feeling back to good.

I have named my IV heplock Friedrich for whatever reason. He is being a good IV boy and flushes very well. Hopefully he stays that way for tomorrow and then I get a break for the weekend before I meet a new gentlemen catheter next week ;)

My mood... is detached. I feel fine, then I feel like an emotional train wreck, then I feel next to nothing. I was shocked and numbed out the first couple days and just as I felt feeling return it's slipped away, although I appreciate the break. Apparently ECT can make people feel detached sometimes, so we'll see what happens.

Writing: Doing more writing today with help from Delores' prompts at Under the Porch Light. I have revisited my characters from yesterday, Kate and John!



calculate, spendthrift, fiscal, cigar, prominent, Mercedes


wriggle, beguiling, smooth, train, sharp, clipped
Kate stood at the mobile charting station tabbing through patient data and inputting notes as dusk fell outside the fifth story window on the other side of her patient's bed. Her computer monitor blazed in the darkened room as the patient slept and recovered. The baby slept soundly in her father's arms as he gazed down at her obsessively from his seat beside his wife. Kate smiled then sighed, her toes wriggling impatiently inside her clog. 

In a couple hours she was meeting John for their first date at a Thai restaurant a few blocks away. While the birth of a baby would always make her heart flutter, tonight the afterglow was wearing off fast. 

Her phone buzzed in the cargo pocket of her brown scrub pants and she started. Biting her lip against a smile she wondered if it was John texting, then frowning she wondered if something was wrong. 

Quietly excusing herself she walked out of the room, carefully shutting the extra wide door behind her. Stepping a few feet away toward a small storage closet, Kate leaned against the wall and pulled out her phone. The text was from John.

Minor explosion last week at Thai place, everyone's okay but we can't have the "world's best pad thai" tonight. Will meet you at information desk, main lobby, 1930? I got an idea.

Kate's eyebrows shot up at the news as she imagined floppy noodles flying through the air and charred kitchen walls then furrowed in curiosity. She texted back an assent and returned to her charting.

End of shift came slowly but eventually Kate was showered and struggling with freshly blown dry, frizzy hair that couldn't understand why it wasn't lashed into place with three hair ties. Her wavy strawberry blonde hair wasn't quite blonde, brown, or red but it was definitely thick and on the coarse side, stoutly falling to her shoulders. 

Desperately  she reached for a gob of smoothing gel, she raked the goo through her hair and then combed the fluff into place before dumping all the date night accoutrements into a bag in her locker. Locking up and grabbing her jacket and purse she glanced one last time in the mirror and shrugged in satisfaction. She had managed to apply mascara without any major issues and her sweater and jeans were remarkably wrinkle free since they had been hanging in her closet, undisturbed, for so long. 

Making her way to the information desk on the first floor, Kate paced back and forth in front of the long, stainless steel counter with frosted glass privacy screens that formed individual stalls beneath a large styalized wall. The mural depicted people of every age and every race, playing or blowing on dandelions, dancing in the wind, and a variety of other activities reminiscent of a medication advertisement. One elderly black man looked suspiciously close to flying, Superman style, across the top of the mural. She had never figured out what he was doing, besides saving the world, but he was her favorite character.

John walked around the corner as she dropped her gaze from the painting and they exchanged a small wave. "How are you with surprises?" he smiled.

She smiled back reflexively while internally, she winced. "Not terrible but you won't see me in line for any horror flicks."

"Good. Come with me." He waved toward the front entrance and they left the hospital. At the first intersection they crossed the street, walked down a block, turned right and stopped exactly a block away from the hospital at a small storefront with blackened out windows and shiny black lacquered door and trim. A menu hung in the window but she couldn't quite read it. "Here we are, madam."

Kate blinked. "And where exactly is this, are they open?"

"Try the door." He dared.

She lurched forward and placed a hand on the cool wooden door, pushing until she felt it give and swing inward. In a flash they were awash in color and light. Bright oranges and yellows, splashes of bright green foliage, the multicolored walls abundantly laden with intricate and exuberant paintings. In the center of the room small stools, some woven, some carved, circled large round tables. Smaller square tables lined the outside walls. Kate felt as if she inhaled the vibrant energy of the restaurant into her chest as she gasped.

John stepped into the restaurant as she moved forward, surveying the number of lively diners. He placed a hand at her back and pointed toward a small table on the right, beneath a painting of a water buffalo. He pulled out her chair then went to his side of the table and sat. "Surprised?"

"Ummm, yes. Quite. I'm not even sure what I'm looking at, but it seems wonderful." Kate laughed and surveyed the bright room once more.

"It's a---" John began, but was interrupted.

"John! John, John, John." A petite women with dark cocoa skin and bright dress charged toward him with her arms outstretched, he rose and embraced her. She looked to be on the dark side of seventy-five, maybe older, with bright eyes and wry smile. "It is so good to see you stay not just grab and go back to the hospital like you do---and who is this?" The woman offered a hand to Kate.

"I'm Kate." She shook the woman's hand and smiled.

"Ah, Kate. You are a smart girl, I already know. I hope I see you here again." The woman winked at Kate with expert precision. 

John cleared his throat, "Kate this is Fannah, she started the restaurant with her son, what, six years ago now?" 

Fannah smiled and nodded, patted them each on the shoulder and blissfully said, "I will bring you emaye's special."

John grinned and Kate smiled at the sight, watching him watch the woman retreat to the kitchen. Not wanting to be caught in a stare, she turned to hook her purse on a hook in the wall beside her stool and then shrugged off her jacket to hang it up as well. John performed the same task before standing and walking to a small wooden stand with a giant glass jug of what looked like ice water with spots of green floating in it. He poured two glasses from the spout at the bottom and brought it to the table.

Before she could bring the glass to her lips Kate felt John's light touch at her wrist. She felt a warm shock rippled up her arm and through her chest and pinked cheeks. He raised his green glass to her purple in a toast and said, "Here's to going from hot to cold, er, wait. Good grief."

Kate snorted and John sunk his head into his palm. They looked at each other and shared a nervous laugh before smiling and shaking their heads. 

Emboldened by John's genuine effort, Kate raised her glass and said, "Here's to no scalding or freezing, no hurricanes or acid rain, no cafeteria food or scrubs. Here's to here---and now."

John's mouth gaped slightly before he broke into a grin and clinked his glass with hers. The cool water was laced with mint and perfectly counterbalanced the warm glow in Kate's cheeks as she sipped. She had no idea what she was about to eat, but she had an idea it would be a good night.


  1. Wow, wow and wow.
    I LOVE what you do with the prompts. Each and every week.
    And I will very happily drink to you having good nights, days, weeks, months and years...

    1. *clink* Thanks for reading EC :)

  2. I am honoured that in the midst of your trials you take the time to participate....and to such an extent. This is amazing.

    1. Thanks Delores :) It really helps me

  3. Wow, amazing writing, girl!

    I hope the treatments work wonders for you. Happy weekend!

    1. Thanks Martha, and happy weekend to you!

  4. Hoping these treatments bring you back to yourself.

    And when are you going to write a book?

    1. Haha Birdie, I love you! I have a couple ideas, just have to see if I can bring them to life.

  5. More lovely writing. I see a book or two in your future. I hope the treatments work for you. Hugs!

  6. From hot to cold without scalding or freezing... Sounds like something to look forward to.
    Love it and love you

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  8. Just stopping by to see how you are. I imagine you must be feeling a little tired.
    Just got your gentleman catheter joke. ha!

  9. I still don't... please enlighten me? ;-)

  10. It's my IV port, Els, I gave it a gentleman's name just for fun :)


Thank you for reading and commenting!

Be well, HBF