The overhead light has a gridded metal cover

that reminds me of the old fashioned ice cube trays my grandmother had

with levers that released the frozen squares

with a satisfying crack

I feel oddly vulnerable waiting alone

wearing nothing but  my panties and bra

under today’s utilitarian hospital gown

with its overly complicated ties

that took me too long to decode

in a way that I didn’t earlier this week

when my breasts were compressed

between inflexible plastic plates

while the fancy 3D camera rotated

in a state of the art 180 degree arc around my body

There is a natural comradery

between women of a certain age

dutifully reporting for their yearly mammogram

that I miss while I wait for my neurologist

and her technologist to take their turns

shooting electricity through my misbehaving limbs

the word electromyography

rolling on my tongue

I stare at the ceiling as the minutes tick by

ruminate about the other patients

who also held introspected vigil in the waiting room

before my name was called discreetly

in accordance with HIPPA

wondering if not so long ago

before their canes

their walkers

their motorized wheelchairs

they were like me


© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved


      1. This is when I just feel like it’s less costly (penny-wise and emotionally) for everyone if we just go ahead with a full body MRI or PET scan. Jesus, the medical world! Oh, I’m sorry… the medic

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Annnnnd it posted before I finished because some buttons jumped under my fingers.

        The last line was going to say “The medical INSURANCE world.” Those fuckers won’t let you breathe (as in get an order for continuous oxygen) until certain criteria are met.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Probably most of the things that keep me away from doctors offices and hospitals when I should go…is the cold and unfeeling nature of it all. I begin to feel like some kind of cattle being moved down a assembly line. I have not found many doctors in my adult life that have been comforting and confidence inspiring people. There was one and she was brilliant at being “human” during the time i had to spend with her. But she was a specialist unfortunately. I desperately wanted to say, do you take people for other problems? And yes, I too notice the people around me and am anxious of whether my condition resembles there’s. I can relate to this, Christine. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Eric. I have worked in hospitals off and on for the last 30 years and speak “medicine” fluently but the last six months has been very surreal as I have been going through many of the same tests and procedures as the population I serve. I generally think of myself as pretty empathetic, but this experience has certainly put me more directly into other’s shoes.


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