Medical Vernacular Spectacular!

Part of having a condition like mine is learning a lot of big words. I like big words and I like to write silly poems – seems reasonable to assume that I would double like a poem about big words. I haven’t written the poem yet, but I’m sure I’ll like like it. To that end, I’ll quit introducing and start writing the poem you’re about to read. One last note – I’m going to stick to a simple AABBCC rhyme scheme – Shakespeare I amn’t. I’m going to italicize the terms to set them apart.

The medical field uses words that are big and complex,

For instance, raising you for at the able is called dorsiflex(ion) :).

The above word is one of the many that end with I-O-N,

Proprioception is a word that I use often;

It’s a big word for knowing where your limbs are in space.

Circumduction is another I-O-N, it affects walking pace.

When the knee doesn’t want to bend, the leg swings;

If I’m not careful, I’ll start to kick things.

Yet another I-O-N is ambulation;

Or you could say “walking”, if you value concision

Walking is made more difficult by the symptoms of spasticity.

Incontinence is when you have trouble going pee-pee,

“Pee-pee” is a silly word for releasing fluid that is pent.

The fancy term for pooping is “bowel movement”.

There is also a tube for moving pee-pee and other fluids hither and thither,

The fancy word for this tube is catheter.

There’s an intrathecal catheter delivering medicine to my spine ,

The catheter carries medicine from a baclofen pump to help me feel fine.

At first, the needle caused my spine to leak,

But thanks to a blood patch twas fixed in about a week.

To get the blood for the blood patch, the nurses set a Mid line,

The needle went so deep into my arm, I felt like dying.

Medtronic is the company that makes my pump.

Ataxia, or loss of balance, makes it difficult to jump.

Seeing two of something is called double vision or diplopia.

Seeing two of something is called double vision or diplopia.

Dysphagia is one of the fanciest medical terms I know,

It’s easier just to say “it’s hard to swallow”.

Let’s not forget the word for constant muscle contraction,

Hypertonicity is the word given to this action

I owe this list of words to the Pons region of the brainstem,

Without having a major hemorrhage there. I wouldn’t have learned them

This concludes the list

Did you get the gist?

I know I left some off, but I’m happy with this list, short as it may be. I think I explained the meaning of the words pretty well, but here’s a list with definitions just in case –

Dorsiflexion: This is when a door opens – I jest. Quite simply, it’s bending your ankle so that your foot/toes goes up

Proprioception: Obviously this describes a professional at “priocepting”, and as we all know (right?), prioception is the ability to perceive of a Toyota Prius. Actually, it’s your perception of the relative position of some body part.

Circumduction: The Romans came up with this one. Circ is Latin for “Pringles” (they’ve been around for a while). Um is Latin (and every other language ever for “WTF?”). Duction translates to “talking with one’s mouth full”. In essence, when in Rome, it’s not cool to talk with a mouth full of Pringles. Truthfully, it’s when the leg swings outward because the knee won’t bend enough to clear the ground.

Ambulation: Walking

Spasticity: Tremors caused by constant muscle activity

Incontinence: When you’re not on a continent. Examples – swimming in the ocean, flying on a plane or exploring outer space. A less awesome and more truer answer is when you can’t pee

Bowel movement: Pooping (heh, poop)

Catheter: This one was adequately covered above – it’s just a tube

Baclofen pump: A hockey puck shaped machine that delivers sweet, sweet baclofen (muscle relaxer) to the spine

Blood patch: The use of blood to patch a leak in the spine. I asked them if they could just use tape. They laughed derisively and said we could, but then we won’t get to set a…

…Mid line; thereby IMPALING my right bicep to harvest blood from a deep vein

Medtronic: A science fictiony name for a company that makes baclofen pumps

Ataxia: The IRS’s answer to whether or not there’s a tax for some object. E.g. “Is there a tax for asking stupid questions?” IRS reply: “A tax, yeah.” That, or loss of balance.

Diplopia: This one means double vision, I don’t get it. When I think of the word “plop” I think of poop splashing into the toilet.

Dysphagia: Saying disparaging remarks to some named “Phagia” – she(?) will punch you in the throat and make it difficult to swallow.

Hypertonicity: Similar to “spasticity” – constant muscle contractions.

Pons: Latin for bridge due to its position between the cerebellum and the cerebrum on the brainstem (that sounded pretty scientifical, eh?)

Hemorrhage: Internal bleeding, which, when paired with the term above, can create everything above that. Basically, it’s at the bottom of everything (symbolic, no?)

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

Two B minuses = A+ and the Pain Refrain

Sorry for the delay, I basically holed up in my apartment for a week to study for the second A+ certification exam – I passed with another B-! Now that I’m A+ certified, I can get on with my summer. I did so by swimming the day away with my kid.

That said, I was inspired to write this after a friend commented on my poem about medication. She called me a “tough cookie” (mmm…tough…oh wait…). I thought to myself that ain’t nothin! At that very moment, I conceived an idea for a poem. My head, being so impregnated with rhyming verbage birthed the following verse –

Medical procedures can hurt,

Notably with all the needles doctors insert.

The following words list some of my pains;

but despite the the hurt, I’ve made many gains.

Early on I was bound to a wheelchair,

now I walk freely from here to there.

One of the most painful procedures that comes to mind,

is when some nurses couldn’t find a vein and had to do a mid line.

They stuck a needle deep into my arm,

they finally found a vein from which to farm…

…the blood needed to patch a hole in my spine,

after that I felt fine!

Until the day came to remove the staples from my belly incision;

you see, I got an implant for a direct baclofen infusion.

I felt a small sting when each staple came out,

it’s a good thing I had painkillers, so I didn’t have to pout.

I raised a pretty big stink when a nurse placed an IV,

she stuck me several times before leaving it in the band of my arm, you see.

Whenever I’d bend my arm, the needle would stab and poke;

The pain I felt was very real, it weren’t no joke!

Speaking of poke, I frequently get 10 or more injections of botox;

the injections go anywhere from my arm to the place where I wear socks.

This list is certainly missing a few ouchies;

give me a break! I’ve had brain surgery, geez!

The Magical Magic of Magic

The time has come for me to write another entry in my blog. If you are reading this then I’ve published this entry and you are reading it – you are probably aware of this, but I told you anyway.

In medical news, Jarrett has been scheduled to undergo a dye study. This is a simple procedure where the patient stares at a series of shirts that have been tie-dyed and describes them (similar to a Rorschach test). This could be as simple as describing the color (for instance, “blue”) to going into great detail about your feelings (for instance, “this shirt makes me feel blue”). Raise your hand if you believed that. Now put your hand down, no one can see you, weirdo. Here is what I understand a dye test to be – First, some background: in my abdomen lives a hockey puck. This hockey puck is connected to a tube that leads to my spine. The hockey puck, by some process that is best described as magic, transmits magic juice to my spine via that tube. The people that dress like doctors and use big doctor words (i.e. “magic tube”, “magic hockey puck” and “magic juice” and so on), they tell me that I might possibly have a kink in the magic tube that leads from the magic hockey puck to my spine, thereby obstructing the flow of magic juice. If this is the case, I blame that dark wizard I saw driving past me in a Daewoo the other day (I don’t know his name, for purposes of this blog I’ll call him “Stephen”. Aside: if your name is Stephen and I’ve offended you, I apologize, all the Stephens I’ve known have been good people with the exception of the Daewoo driving dark wizard). Back to the point, if there is a kink in the magic tube, they’ll have to use surgery magic to replace the magic tube with another more magical (magicaler?) tube. If no kink- I will continue to receive a dose of Baclofen that would turn an elephant’s legs to Jello.

In other news, Jarrett is going to get serious for a short time (not long, I promise). I make a lot of jokes, I like to laugh. I suppose I could let this condition defeat me – in many ways, it has. The one thing I can do to say “up yours” to my situation is to keep laughing and think happy thoughts. These aren’t easy to do. There are times when I want to crawl out of my own skin and, if only for one moment, experience life as I once did. The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that the “old Jarrett” is ready to emerge, but I’ve forgotten how to be that guy – I’ve been locked inside this stiff, clumsy body for three years now.
I do tend to dwell on the things I can’t do and get angry when I see a dad effortlessly tossing his kid into the pool. However, at the end of the day, I’m thankful to be alive to watch my daughter grow up and I’m hopeful that one day “old Jarrett” will emerge and I will know how to greet him.

FIN

@JarrettLWilson