Planet of the Apes
"How could she let herself get like that?" My mother spits at Eva in the corridor.
"Like an emaciated monkey. Like an extra from The Planet of The Apes."
"Illness can do that to a person." Eva says.
"Cancer is an illness, Multiple Sclerosis is an illness, that is not an illness, it's a choice."
I think about choices and the various belief systems that proscribe them. In the law of Karma, choice is thought to operate before a person enters the world. You choose your parents for the things you need to learn - these things are often learned through pain and suffering. People with charming parents don't seem to need to believe in Karma.
David, the treasured child, has placed a photograph of me beside my hospital bed. Every good doctor knows that a photo taken when the patient was healthy and vital reminds the staff each day that this patient had a life.
"Don't you know that bad patients survive?" I rasp weakly at anyone who enters my room.
David says that patients who make the most noise usually get effective treatment. The good ones, lay quietly, politely trying not to offend. One good woman lay with a catheter perforating her bowl until she died of septicaemia. The quiet ones become invisible. The loud ones survive.
|© Copyright 2002 Wes Lee & Trout.|
|This issue of Trout is sponsored in part by UNESCO.|