Friday, September 25, 2015

James' Adventures in Medicalland

"I'm late. I'm late. No time. Must study. I'm late!"

The rabbit shoved the pocket watch into its lab coat as it sped off down the hallway, disappearing around the corner.

I took off after the rabbit, trying to case it down as my limbs grew leaden with fatigue. Exhausted, I sat on a bench to catch breather. All around me, the various benches and chairs began to twist themselves into various shapes - rings, prongs, and sticks - and began running around in circles, first slowly, but gaining in speed. With a whump, I fell on my behind as my bench contorted itself to join them.
"Everybody take your place
Before we start Kreb's cycle's race
With your rings and Cs and Ns
Soon the cycle begins..."
I found myself dragged up and carried into the circle, running about and around, over and over again until my limbs were filled with energy again. 

Energy? From running in circles? This place was getting more and more peculiar by the minute. I shook my head in disbelief, before continuing down the hallway. I didn't get far before the air began to fill with the smell of hand sanitizer. 

I looked up.

In front of me was a large, white caterpillar, wringing its hands in a washing motion.

"And what brings you in today?" it began, with an imperious tone. "What is your name? When did all this start? What are you allergic to?"

"That's not the proper order," I interjected.

"Oh? Well, please, recite it for me."

"Well, first, you have the onset, then provocation and palliation..."

With a great Harrumph the caterpillar interrupted me and proceeded is a rhythmic baritone:
"Symptoms, Onset, Characteristics
Radiation, can't you see
Associations, course of Time
Exaggeration, Severity"
It made sense, but yet, everything was just all wrong. Where am I, in this topsy-turvy place? 

Just then, from the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of fur and white coat. The Rabbit! I sped off after him, trying to catch him and ask him what was the rush before, once again, I found myself all turned about in the hallways. Left took me right and going forward took me behind. I sat down in a pile of frustration.

Off in the distance, I heard various noises and clatterings. I drew closer. In another room were a man in a white coat and top hat with a card saying 121/76 mmHg sticking out from the brim of the hat. In his hands was cradled the head of  rabbit. No, not a rabbit, but a hare. With a swift movement, the hatter twisted his hands, eliciting an audible crack from the hare's neck as he melted to the floor before hopping back up. Curious, I came closer. They were hopping from bed to bed, testing and articulating joints. Without realising it, they swept me up and dropped me on a table, walked up my spine, and, with an audible pop, I felt half my tensions melt away.

Astonished, I turned to the man in the hat, who looked at me and asked, "Why is a rotation like a sidebending?"

I sat there, puzzled, before giving up: "I have no idea. Why is a rotation like a sidebending?"

The hatter looked at me quizzically before answering: "I haven't the foggiest."

As the hatter and hare ran off, hopping from bed to bed, rotating and cracking joints. I stood for a second, pondering my sanity and whatever this place was or seemed to be. Simultaneously, the lights began to dim and the ground underneath my feet began to change, as I found myself standing on a white little pathway, surrounded by pink, fleshy walls. At the edge of the pathway was a signpost.

"Cephalad, caudad," I read. Before my eyes, the words began to change: "Medial, lateral," "Proximal, distal." The words continued to cycle about. Confused, I sat down on the pathway and crossed my arms.

A ways off, I heard a hum-singing noise drawing closer as a long lab coat began to materialise, out from the bottom of which poke a striped tail. A cat's head appeared above the coat. He flicked out a claw like a scalpel and began to move first one way, then another, along the path, the pink walls parting before him as he passed, rummaging along the pink wall,before finding a blue and red pathway over to the side. "Oh, vertebral artery. Excellent."

I sat, staring in disbelief, holding my head in my hands, thinking aloud.

"Have I gone mad?"

The cat's ears perked up as it turned to me and smiled: "I'm afraid so, but let me tell you something, the best people usually are."

With a laugh and a smile, it began to fade from view, hum-bumbling as it went.

Without much ado, I stood up and began to walk in some direction, following the path as best as I could, as it faded into the darkness.

~     ~     ~

Bleary-eyed I looked around. In front of me was my notebook and computer - still paused on the last slide I had been studying. My pen was fallen from my hand and the cup of tea grown cold on the floor. I looked at my watch, rolled my eyes and groaned.

"I'm late. I'm late. No time. Must study. I'm late!"