Times Online have just published a brilliantly written and seriously hardcore article by the late Steven Wells, a UK rock journalist who recently died from lymphoma. Steven kept a diary of his time battling cancer in the United States – the article starts like this:
“I’m writing these notes in the ER blitzed off my tits on Vicodin and synthetic heroin. Outside in the corridor some poor bastard who got crushed by a bowling ball stacking machine is screaming like a baby with Tourette’s.
I should be experiencing compassion but instead I’m feeling disappointed. I’ve been brought up by American TV to expect the stabbed, the gut-shot and the Mafia-kneecapped to be fistfighting with the gangbangers, the crack addicts and the self-mutilating anorexic Goth chicks in ER waiting rooms. Instead there’s just lots of very fat people feeding McDonald’s to even fatter children.
Maybe we should start the story here.This is the tale of a smartarse Brit getting lost in the Philadelphia health system.”
And this is what Steven thought of the ICU:
“I wake up in intensive care, and these bastards — there’s no other word for them — are twisting white-hot corkscrews into my neck, chest and arms so they can pump me full of the magic juju juice. They’re just trying to save my life.
Which they do — leaving me to spend all night hallucinating grim-looking Meat Loaf-video death-biker metaphors every time I close my eyes.
Nearly dying sucks. But not as much as being in intensive care.”
On a side note, Wells’ Wikipedia entry was marked for deletion within 48 hours of his death – a bit harsh if you ask me…