Monday, June 19, 2006

Nursing is a fascinating field.
It is not for the faint of heart, nor for underachievers. It requires mental discipline, a sense of purpose and a good imagination. I think I have a penchant for discovering the absurd within the imaginative. The next 5 poems have to do with the little known science of "Phantomology". You may have heard of the phantom pain that persons who have lost a limb, report feeling. This concept fired up my imagination indeed. It will keep this blog going for a couple of days.

Phantom Body Weight

What’s the phantom body weight
Of your dismembered clients,
Do you guestimate or utilize
Some fancy new appliance,
That measures aura waveforms
In the realm of the unseen,
It must take into account
If they’re fat if they’re lean.

Now, this may seem insignificant
To the man out on the street,
But up here in the ICU
The concept has us beat,
Because we’re always fascinated
By the elements we can measure,
The collection of meaningless data
Is something that we treasure.

Now consider, just for instance
There’s a diabetic man,
His right leg is ischemic
And we’re doing all we can,
To preserve his viability
And maintain his self esteem,
With the increasing probability
He’ll become a phantom dream.

So what we get excited about
Are trends we can’t control,
From a pathologic process
Or halving something whole,
A fractionated human
Is never quite the same,
There’s a whole new set of rules
In the phantom body game.


Let's say you claim an ailment
But it isn't really there,
Or if you lose a body part
And would like to have a spare,
Perhaps you lost your mind
And you'd like the sponge replaced,
You should hire a consultant
Before you're totally erased.

Problems such as these
That are invisible to most,
Have been treated quite successfully
By a guy named, Dr. Ghost,
He has written several books
On the phantomistic theme,
And has tons of valid data
To prove it's more than just a dream.

To treat a phantom sufferer
You must get an understanding,
Of forces in the ether
And an occasional martian landing,
In other words, an open mind
A flexible sense of being,
It's hard to treat an ailment
That no one else is seeing.

You must treat the phantom client
Cautiously indeed,
They could die before you know it
If they have a phantom bleed,
Because you might not see the symptoms
Nor hear their phantom cries,
And whoops, before you know it
They disappear before your eyes.

It's a whole new branch of medicine
Says our expert, Dr. Ghost,
And it's a well established fact
That this fellow knows the most,
He will gladly share his knowledge
To anyone who asks,
It is one of his commitments
When it comes to phantom tasks.

I'll end this on the note
That phantomology exists,
It may be in its infancy
But I've started making lists,
A record keeping effort
To document the history,
So there's hope for understanding
To solve the phantom mystery.

Fibril_late; 8/92

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