Monday, December 16, 2013

Everything is about writing; Or, What do normal people think about?

Today I had an endoscopy. That's where they stick a camera down your throat. It sounds pretty disgusting, and I'm sure it was, but I was unconscious for the entire procedure so I can't verify that. 

Anyway, it got me to thinking as I was sitting in the waiting room, is it always about the writing? 

Yes. 

Yes it is. 

I don't know what anyone else in the waiting room was pondering, but I was looking around and taking mental notes just in case a character of mine ever goes to hospital. Things got really exciting when I was taken into a room and put on a bed, and met the medical team. 

"You'll just feel a tiny pinch," the lying anaesthetist said as he prepared to put the canula in the back of my hand. 

Ouch. 

But also, I watched the whole thing. I've never shied away from needles, because I find them strangely fascinating. And a part of me likes to watch how it's done, while at the same time I'm filing away words  that I will later use to describe the sensation. Pinch was not one I would choose. 

As they wheeled me into the theatre, I was a little disappointed. I'd kind of hoped for a ceiling full of lights and doors that crashed open with a satisfying sense of urgency. But it was much more mundane than that. 

And then I was kind of hoping I'd get the chance to count back from ten. I was betting on making it to at least six...but I didn't get that either. I just had time to ask, "Is it supposed to make my arm ache?" as they hooked up the sedative to the canula, to hear the reassurance that it was perfectly normal, and then I was out. 

I'd also hoped for some freaky anaesthetic-inspired dreams. You know, this sort of thing: 


Nothing. 

All in all, it was nothing like on television. 

But it was still a new experience, and, weird as it sounds, that's exciting to me. And one day I'll recycle every single bit of it for a character. 

Because that's what writers do. Whatever happens to us, and to those around us, we file away for later use. Which makes me wonder again: without that to distract and entertain them, what were the other people in the waiting room thinking about? 

9 comments:

  1. So true. I went to see a nose-throat guy a few months ago, and I had twenty minutes of waiting in the room before he came in, so I was able to collect all sorts of details - the morning sun showing the dust on his equipment, the dead beetle behind his monitor, the dirt under the metal grate by the window, the old farmhouse doors that let you hear every word in the other rooms, and the black marks on a poster where the doctor had tapped his pen a hundred times, just as he did for me when he finally came in.

    And because he was an ass, and didn't even use his endoscope 'cause he was so certain he didn't need to bother, I can now use some of those details when writing a review of his practice. : p

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    1. Those are some great details! Shame your doctor was an ass, though I'm not sure I'd want someone working on me if the equipment was dusty. To say nothing of the dead beetle!

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  2. I had one of those earlier in the year. It was weird, but I was proud of myself for getting past my phobia of it. And yes, I am always thinking of storing my experiences for future writings. :)

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  3. I'm glad it's not just me! I was thinking a little about this last night and decided that maybe this is a handy thing to do when I'm scared of something. That way I can distract myself by pretending it's research, not something that's happening to me!

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  4. I can't imagine what people do if they're not observing everything and wondering how to fit it into their stories. It must be very boring.

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    1. I know, right? One of life's mysteries!

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  5. I had an allergic reaction a few years ago and went into anaphylactic shock (practically dead). I never lost consciousness, and I can remember telling my husband, "Write down what they're saying; if I live, I might want to use it in a story." You know what? HE DIDN'T WRITE IT DOWN. He isn't a writer.

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    1. I've had anaphylactic shock too -- I did lose consciousness, but only briefly. I also turned bright red. At the hospital my mum said, "You look like one of the monsters out of Buffy."

      And the most important question I could think of was, "Oh! Which one?"

      And I'm sure you can forgive your husband for not writing stuff down. He was probably a bit preoccupied!

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