Pain

It was a few years ago.

I cannot remember her name.

I do recall, she was old. Perhaps 90.

Long, often messy hair, sometimes in pony tails, still dark.

She was thin. As a… rake.

And, intermittently her level of upset would increase;

Whether from fear, pain, anxiety or insight, I do not know.

And, at these times she would cry.

Nothing we would do could console.

And with this, as she wept, wailed, her jaw would dislocate.

Pop-out.

It was horrible.

Jaw dislocation is not that uncommon. Most often, it happens after an extra-large yawn. I remember back in the day, doctor in A&E, this was one of the conditions that were very easy to treat. You do a special manoeuvre and everything is better; pain relief and grateful patient.

My old lady wasn’t amenable to this.

Her jaw, temporo-mandibular joint, we call it, was so worn, so deteriorated (because of malnutrition as a consequence of lost dentures) that the groove was gone; two abutting bones, and slip, mouth locked-open and pain.

Everyone was in despair as to how to treat, how to support;

Were she 50 years younger, had she not dementia, perhaps, but no, the options were limited.

In the end, despite the great and the good of medicine and surgery we couldn’t help and the best we could offer was pain relief.

She died,

Emaciated, tattered hospital gown exposing her rib-cage.

Does this help explain why I sometimes become emotional at work?

Frida_Kahlo_by_Guillermo_Kahlo.jpg

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.