Tuesday, July 16, 2013

overly embellished anthem; miracles of modern medicine


+ IV hydration

+narcotics = Alexis feeling better

I'm expressing an opinion that may be mine alone, but that hasn't shut me up in the past, so I'll speak my mind, true to form. "The Star-Spangled Banner" has a specific and recognized melody, as adapted by Francis Scott Key from "To Anacreon in Heaven," which was something of an English drinking song. The melody may not be the most beautiful one in the world; it may not even be the most beautiful national anthem in the world. It is, however, what it is.

With due respect to Candice Glover for her obvious talent, vocal gymnastics have yet, in my opinion, to improve anyone's overall performance  of our national anthem. Simply because one possesses the physical ability to manipulate one's voice at will does not mean one should do so at every available opportunity. Just because one can embellish with ease doesn't mean one should, especially when performing the national anthem.  Trills, turns, mordents, and other forms of ornamentation have their places, but not for the most part, in my opinion, in our national anthem.  I've finally given in on the practice of raising the high note on free, as in "and the la-and of the free-ee" an interval of a perfect fourth, after which the audience applauds even if the key in which the song is being sung is so low that there is nothing whatsoever impressive in the height of the note that has been reached.  It seems that all singers other than pure classicists will use this deviation in performing the song, and I've gotten over it.  In terms of the other embellishments, however, I have not gotten over them and still have hope that it eventually will become common for  singers to return to singing the song in the standard manner in which it was originally adapted.

I will say that, to Ms. Glover's credit, she did sing the song in the original time signature of 3/4. It has become popular to extend the song to the time signature of 4/4, making an already long song 25% longer. I commend Ms. Glover for resisting this popular trend.

My point, if I can find one in my current state of  drug-induced haze, is that Candice Glover has a lovely voice that could have been showcased quite nicely by singing the national anthem as originally adapted, and she did herself and her audience no favors with what I considered to be over-embellishment of an already sufficiently elaborate melody.

Today I have been suffering from digestive upset. Ordinarily a relative would have taken care of this, but since Dr. Kent and I have become BFFs, he stopped by our home on his way back to the hospital after going home for lunch. He goes home for lunch almost every day because he actually likes his wife and children, which is a trait I find admirable. The youngest three of his children are apparently quite excited to see him at lunch each day, and kneel or stand at their living room window watching for the approach of his car. I've seen it myself, and it's terribly  sweet.

Anyway, he pronounced my gastric distress to be"very uncomfortable but not a huge disaster in medical terms" and nothing that couldn't be cured by PeptoBismol, which we have on hand, narcotics, which he provided, and IV hydration, which he also brought. He hooked me up with an IV of Ringer's Solution, into which he injected a shot of Dilaudid.  (He took blood "just in case," but he took it from the iV so I wouldn't need an extra needle poke.) He left an extra bag of Ringer's solution, which my mom is capable of changing, and an extra shot of Dilaudid, which she can inject. He even taught my brother how to change the IV bottle. He might have liked to teach my brother how to insert an IV using me as a crash test dummy, but I was having none of it. Experienced doctors and nurses have trouble finding my little veins with their IV needles, and often have to resort to using literal baby IVs in order to successfully connect with my veins.. At my hospital, they have what's known as a four-poke rule. If a particular health practitioner cannot successfully insert an IV in four tries, another person takes over. One one occasion I went through three RNs, and the last one was on his fourth and final try when he got it right.  Adding to the problem is that if  I'm either  sick enough to need an IV or have had to abstain from eating or drinking anything for X amount of hours prior to scheduled surgery, my veins are in a state if dehydration, which complicates IV insertion all the more.  In any event, my brother was not going to learn the finer points of inserting an IV at my expense. Dr. Kent's a pro (he has six kids), and he brought an infant IV needle with him, so he got it on the first try.

Dr. Kent told my mom to disconnect my IV when the second bag was empty.  I made him say my brother couldn't be the one to disconnect it.  Red, as in blood-red, does not match the color scheme of my room, and God only knows what kind of a mess could be made if Matthew were to be the one to disconnect my IV. Dr. Kent told my mom to give me Ondansetron (an anti-emetic that dissolves in your mouth), then  Vicodin every four hours after that. I did not object. Vicodin and other opiates can be constipating, but at the moment, and at most times in general for me, that is not a bad thing. I have an active and fast-moving gastric system. I had Ondansetron/ Vicodin  at 5:00, and so will have them again at 9:00. if I'm in enough pain that it interferes with sleep, my dad will shoot me up with Dilaudid at 1:00a.m. It's a pain-killer but not one that induces sleep in me.

I won't take a benzo or sleep-inducing medication on the Confucius principle, the one that states, "He is a fool who takes a laxative and a sleeping pill on the same night." I didn't take a laxative, but the same principle applies.

Good night to all, and remember not to take any laxatives if you're planning on taking sleeping pills as well.


1 comment:

  1. I must say your last line made me laugh out loud!

    I agree that too much embellishment in songs is not that awesome. In fact, it can be annoying. I don't do a lot of it myself.