6 July 2013: Morning Again: Offensively Cheerful (like a Dose of Salts, or the Fleet Enema)

The Fleet Enema, I believe, is some sort of British product illustrated with trotting sailors who all look alike. If memory serves, for the last time I used it was when I was mismanaging my morphine dose. Perhaps the implication was that this powerful intestinal salt would cause a mass exodus for the crappers of he HMS Dreadful, limited though they be for other ranks (if “other ranks” is properly used to reference naval ranks in the Royal Navy).

Again, the morning chorus, not only of the Groaners, the Screamers and the Hawkers but also of the nurses saying cho-saan to wake us the living to another day and as such some sort of gift at least for a happy go lucky sort of guy like me. Know thyself: if I get the “real” cancer pain, will that persona disappear, as did that of the aunt of the Huxley hero who at first joked that she was an “Amazon” after her first breast removal…the “miracle cure” of the 1930s that uh … didn’t work.

All I know that “palliative” medicine, that is the science of reducing the patient’s pain (as opposed I suppose to anesthesiology, the science not so much of reducing pain, as of getting the patient not to punch the surgeon in the mouth) was not a recognized specialty until about 1990: here’s Wikipedia:

“The first United States hospital-based palliative care programs began in the late 1980s at a handful of institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic and Medical College of Wisconsin. Since then there has been a dramatic increase in hospital-based palliative care programs, now numbering more than 1400. 80% of US hospitals with more than 300 beds have a program.”

Palliative medicine itself, if I read the journals I swipe occasionally from the day room alright, is beginning to relieve the pain not only of the clearly dying but also of people with a good chance of survival who previously were treated as if their pain was always an indicator of a recovery rsn or “real soon now”.

My access to gold-standard palliative care including synthetic morphine probably CheersMeUp: but up until December 2012 (when nonsynthetic morphine was started) I would have good days when I remembered to think about Buddha when in pain. The worst day (20 Sep 2012, the day my son died) had nothing to do with my physical pain.


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