What is the meaning of malady?
April 13, 2012 4:13 AM   Subscribe

"As a career patient, I’ve learned one thing at least: the importance of clinging to the rag-end of your sense of self, however you define it—intellect, sense of humor, generosity of spirit, a stoicism worthy of Seneca or Mr. Spock, or, in a writer’s case, the mind that makes sense of itself as a reflection in the mirror of language. In the M.A.S.H.-unit chaos of the E.R.; in the nowhere, notime of the hospital room; in the O.R., where the euphoria of oncoming anesthesia and the doting attentions of apparitions in scrubs make you understand, in an instant, the perverse seductions of Munchausen’s Syndrome as you ride into the stage-light radiance on your gurney like the Son of Heaven in his sedan chair, feeling for all the world like a pathological celebrity—in these moments of inescapable embodiment, I’ve learned to float free in my head, a thought balloon untethered from the body on the sickbed or the operating table."
-A Season in Hell by (Mefite) Mark Dery [Previously]
posted by lemuring (10 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
That was amazing.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 4:38 AM on April 13, 2012

man, why'd i read this first thing in the morning
posted by fetamelter at 4:58 AM on April 13, 2012

Very compelling. Having had several surgeries after being hit by a car, one being 22 hours of brain surgery to remove bone fragments from my brain, this really speaks to me.
posted by Splunge at 5:56 AM on April 13, 2012

I was no where near that sick, thank God, but 8 days from a C-Section, 3 from a normal birth following the C-Section, and 5 days for pneumonia almost a year ago, and yeah for the writer, the threat of total removal of an organ, man how horrible! Stay healthy!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:43 AM on April 13, 2012

Eerrrr, not sure he'd enjoy being known as Mefi's Own

"And then there's this thread, whose dung heap has brought up a bumper crop of toadstools: aspiring hermenauts whose hamfisted attempts at deconstructing my prose style founder on a weirdly Asperger's-y tone-deafness to metaphor; hilariously punctilious grammar geeks; and the usual compliment of snark monkeys, George Costanza-like Masters of Their Own Domain, wannabe writers who after Long Years of Bitter Struggle have attained the dizzy heights of the MeFi comment thread, and trolls who missed the offramp for 4Chan."

This dude is Lewis Black level entertaining when he's mad.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:01 PM on April 13, 2012

I very much appreciated that. I work with cancer patients in the hospital, and after a series of overly taxing shifts that push me close to burn out, it's really nice to have a reminder of why I do what I do. Despite all the frustrations of my job, I want do to everything I can to help ease the unfair journey these people are going through.
posted by vytae at 1:43 PM on April 13, 2012

Fantastically well-written.
posted by kjh at 2:08 PM on April 13, 2012

Beautifully written, insightful and moving. I'm in my last semester of nursing school. I'm going to print this and put it somewhere I can stumble into it regularly - so I remember.
posted by latkes at 7:38 PM on April 13, 2012

I am always amazed and humbled by people who can write insightful, cogent, beautifully phrased memoirs of illness, because I am pretty much reduced to "fuck, fuck, ow" by my own illness experiences. My hat is off to Mark Dery, and I wish him many long and healthy years ahead.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:10 PM on April 13, 2012

Dery was interviewed on Erik Davis' internet radio show yesterday. Link.

(It is more '70's California teenage nostalgia than cancer.)
posted by bukvich at 4:48 PM on April 27, 2012

« Older Rubbery, processed, salty, smoky, filthy, and...   |   It's not called a shout for nothing Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments