Friday, June 11, 2010

The Medical Bag

The time of doctors carrying  medical bags has long past, and one is more likely to see a laptop in the doctor’s hands instead.

So, when I found Clint’s bag, clearly not having been used in years, I explored it to see what he was carrying around when he retired.  

Here is a list of the contents:
a metal syringe case - no syringe inside
3 lab tubes, called vacutainers - 2 red top, 1 blue
a vacutainer needle - 20 gauge, 1/2 inch
a plastic airway
1 #10 surgical blade
a 50 cc vial of xylocaine  - expired  in 1988
2 alcohol swabs
1 packaged gauze square
2 (2 cc) ampules of theophylline
1 lonely green earpiece 

I found he must have stopped using it sometime in the middle 80s, and I can only guess that he was using it at that time for little emergencies, probably on his boat.  The theophylline would have been for him - in case he had a bad asthma attack.  There were certainly things missing - used and never replaced.  There should have been syringes to administer the theophylline and the xylocaine if anyone needed stitches, but there were no sutures in the bag, nor was there any tape.  

It’s a sad bag and it makes me cry - a lot.  It has reactivated my grief once more.  Knowing why I hurt so much does not lessen the pain.  I feel as though I just lost him today.  This thing called grief has thrown me to the ground so many times that I can’t count them.  And here I am again, scrambling and scratching my way out of yet another black hole.  Will it never end?  In my heart, I believe it will be with me until I die.

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