memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

Posts tagged ‘brain surgery’

Hemmed in by events

I’m checking into hospital on Monday 11th Feb for another bout of neurosurgery (round 4) so all my psychic energy will be focussed on that.

And if you were to ask how I felt about this, I would reply:

Vexed, displeased, irked and gutted

Fed-up and put-upon,

Hemmed in by events,

Squeezed by fate

HEMMED IN - PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

HEMMED IN – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

A bit like this picture in fact

Minnows in the shallows

There are lots of odd and surreal things about this place which lead me to think I have already arrived in that twilight zone between dream and reality.

MY SON - PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

MY SON – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

Take the case of people tapping their head significantly (but medically dismissively) and jerking their chins towards some of the poor souls who get up from their places while a meal is still in progress and start to meander in slow motion between the tables as though exploring a maze to which they have forgotten the way out.

Logically we are facing a scenario whereby one half of the oldsters are tapping their heads significantly and jerking their chins towards the other half.

(Ironically there is only person here about whom they could validly tap their heads significantly and that person is me, with my recurring brain tumours, the fourth of which I’m about to have surgically removed any time now).

Tap tap they should go

Tap tap

Tap tap

We are all just

Minnows in the shallows

Don’t you just hate it when

Don’t you just hate it

When that cheeky

Chirpy little guest

Uninvited but tolerated

Lodging in your attic

Weaving his nest

Hibernating the winter

Harmlessly slumbering

Unobtrusive

Unassuming

Unnoticed

Suddenly awakes!

 

Morphed into a

Lumbering bully

He moves down

A floor wedging His bulk

Back to the bone  

Nudging and pressing

The complex software

The control pilot

The precious jelly

Of my brain.

 

And now the tender thoughts

The subtle arguments

Will be from my skull

Untimely ripped

And the interloper

Plucked out

Leaving blunted edges

And blurred prospects.

 

And don’t you just hate it

When the breakfast cereals

Go soggy

In your

Painted

Bowl.

ART-WORK by THOMAS MILNER

COMA

(The following two posts are extracted from my memoirs THE WAITING ROOM pub. January 2011).

HALLUCINATION

During the course of my second brain procedure I died.

I heard the surgeon calmly call the time of my death and the nurses disconnect me from the various machines and screens which had been monitoring my existence, wash my head and change my bandages, straighten me out and fold my hands decorously over my heart. Then the last of them quietly left the operating theatre and I was left in silence.

The silence deepened as the floor beneath my bed opened and slowly and soundlessly my bed descended on hydraulics, the flaps of the floor, now the ceiling, closing smoothly above my head. I found myself in a sort of crypt and my dream started to turn into a nightmare.

To stay the series of shuddering images and visions and in order to fix them in my mind, I will attempt to describe the vast vault.

It stretched away to a horizon in the same dreary flat monochromatic tan colours of the desert under a dull sky (even the sky was sand-coloured). The bed on which I was lying was in a murky cave giving out onto the landscape and had pieces of furniture carved out of sand around it: a chair, a table and a pré-dieu in front of a tablet or icon. There were figures about the place too – silent sand-effigies, one kneeling at the pré-dieu and the two others standing at the foot of the bed – inanimate, frozen.

Outside the hospital I heard the fire-engines’ sirens giving two mournful wails; of course, I thought, with the logic of dreams – one for a birth and two for a death (one for a girl, two for a boy, three for sorrow and four for joy).

Presently I noticed some stairs cut out of the inevitable sand ascending to a door in the ceiling. Sometimes a doctor would appear in his white coat and begin to descend the stairs slowly and backwards, the image was smooth and coherent at first but began to break up towards the bottom of the stairs, like a person flickering jerkily in a flashing strobe-light … then he was at the top of the stairs again and would repeat the backward descent … an extraordinarily sinister manifestation.

The horror of my situation grew on me.

Presumably the morticians would presently fetch me from this sullen hall.

I despaired.

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