Personally, i hope to never meet “the pain team”

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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 11:57 am

Blogger David Tiley describes, with impressive lucidity, post-surgical episodes following his bowel resection and heart attack. His visitors included a friendly corner-dwelling bear (hallucination) and The Pain Team (real).

Posted by Tim B. on 06/24/2006 at 04:04 PM
    1. David, Here’s wishing you a speedy recovery and a prosperous life. I sympathize, but cannot say I feel your pain.

      Posted by stats on 2006 06 24 at 04:41 PM • permalink


    1. Speedy recovery, David!

      I’ve never hallucinated after surgery…I wonder if that makes me unusual? I do, however, tend to react to anesthesia by tossing my cookies. Needless to say, it’s a thing I actively avoid.

      Posted by KC on 2006 06 24 at 05:16 PM • permalink


    1. Hm. He speaks of the “despair” of the mostly black attendants cleaning up one of his spilled colostomy bags, and makes gloomy statements about how their presence is a “reproach” because the only way people could have a “servant class” is to treat the servants as nonhuman, and so on and so forth, all very conventional liberalguilt phrases. That’s as may be… but there are other reasons for a hangdog expression and a less-than-thrilled attitude. It could be as simple as the fact that the job of cleaning up human waste is one of the less pleasurable jobs to do, and few people go at it with a cheery smile. He gives no evidence that the cleanup crew was, in fact, being treated as less than human, except for some non-sequitur-ish criticism of the x-ray technician’s “black and white fash,” which I assume means their clothing. People, I have noticed, assume a lot of things about strangers they see in the street—or the hospital corridor—that they wouldn’t about their close friends and family. (On a side note, I find it interesting that doctors and nurses in Australia apparently wear normal street clothes while at their jobs—unless his description of the little sweaters and tight pants of the younger nurses is one of his hallucinations. Here in the states nurses and doctors both wear baggy pants and sack-like tops, sometimes augmented with lab coats. Lots of doctors wear regular office-type clothes under their labcoats, but a lot of them for, I imagine, easier clean up wear the medical garments I have described.)

      Incidentally, I am reminded of something I read a while back that George Orwell wrote, in his account of staying with miners in the north of England when he was, I believe, still into leftism. He mentioned seeing a woman outside her house trying to unclog a disgusting drain with a stick, and said the expression on her face was like that of a person who had been smeared with excrement, or something like that. He was using this as an illustration of how horrible the miners’ lives were (earlier in the essay he had expressed perplexity that the miners would work so hard at such a difficult job in order to earn enough money to buy their homes, which he had made clear were to him dreadful places to live), but I thought that it just as well could have meant nothing much, because after all if a drain is clogged someone has to unclog it, and it’s not going to be a sweet-smelling and fun task, but once done it’s over, and there is the relief of knowing it’s over and done to ameliorate the suffering of having to deal with bad-smelling sludge. I also read in another essay where he was trying out different ideas of how to improve the lives of people, and stated that instead of housewives having to wash dishes every day (which at the time of his writing this essay, during the Blitz—it was, I think, one of his As I See It columns—often had to be done in cold water, because bombing had knocked the power out, with something called “soap flakes”) there should instead be some sort of public service that would pick up dirty dishes and deliver a set of clean ones every day. The following thoughts occurred to me: 1) that only pushes the labor of dishwashing off on another set of people, it does not remove the labor of dishwashing from all humanity, and 2) isn’t that just like a man—it obviously never occurred to him that there could be any value attached by a housewife to her dishes and would she rather give her nice set (often a wedding present) up for plates washed by strangers.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 06 24 at 06:21 PM • permalink


    1. Andrea, you’re so right. My dishes weren’t a wedding present (we eloped), they’re Corelle I picked out some years back cuz they’re tough & lightweight. There is a real sense of accomplishment in making sure they’re clean, though, after feeding my little family. If that’s not a “housewife” attitude—I prefer the term “Homemaker”—I don’t have one.

      Same goes for unclogging drains, a task I’ve done once or twice in my time as HouseMouse. Never pleasant at the time, but always pleasant to be done with.

      Is it a Liberal characteristic to believe they will make my life easier by taking away the things that give me joy and satisfaction? I think this may be pretty much what Welfare has done to at least 3 generations. Sad.

      Posted by KC on 2006 06 24 at 06:50 PM • permalink


    1. Orwell would have loved the expression on my face as I removed a half liquified mouse which had got its head stuck in a floor grate.
      Started at the tail and ended up most of the way down its body as bits fell apart.
      Maybe I should have been wearing a flat cloth cap and going “Eh by gum!” as I did it

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2006 06 24 at 06:59 PM • permalink


    1. What Andrea said about the hospital clean up staff.  I wouldn’t want their jobs, but I daresay they probably make as much money as I made doing what I did at the university.

      Having gone through something similar, I sympathize with Mr. Tiley and wish him good recovery and health.  There was no Pain Team that I know of, but a lot of caring staff (they all dressed the same, so except for my surgeon, I was never sure who was a doctor, who a nurse, and who simply an aide).  Morphine is an awful animal that gives you bad dreams and the heebie jeebies in the worst way.  I don’t know if I hallucinated, because everything was like that.  And yes, they do use staples.  And glue.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 06 24 at 07:09 PM • permalink


    1. Man, you know it’s bad when you start seeing bears.

      Posted by Daniel San on 2006 06 25 at 12:11 AM • permalink


    1. had an op at xmas & boy was i glad to have a private room.  there’s something horrid about being watched when you’re miserable & in pain.  except by bears.  that would be cool, esp polar bears. but not if they decide to chew on your toes.  hmmm perhaps skip the bears

      Posted by KK on 2006 06 25 at 02:01 AM • permalink


    1. How can he blog when he now has no spleen to vent?

      Posted by Zoe Brain on 2006 06 25 at 02:44 AM • permalink


    1. Man, global warmings so bad the polar bears are forced into drug-induced dreams now…

      Posted by Mr. Bingley on 2006 06 25 at 10:12 AM • permalink


    1. When I had my op (on Valentine’s Day), I noticed my surgeon was wearing red scrubs.  Oh.  So the blood isn’t noticeable.  Duh.

      Had no hallucinations from the morphine.  In fact, I didn’t even sleep after the op.  The morphine did nothing for the pain.  So I put headphones on and watched tv all night.  Hallucinations would have been more informative.

      Now, I would have enjoyed polar bears dressed in nurses’ scrubs watching over me.

      Posted by ushie on 2006 06 25 at 12:15 PM • permalink


    1. The hospital in which I used to work has a Professor of Pain. And not only does this sound like a WWF wrestler, but the incumbent looks like one too.

      Posted by blandwagon on 2006 06 25 at 09:56 PM • permalink


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