from Plate nine

William Blake came up in a Bryan Sentes Facebook post, as good a reason as any to read passages from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

Blake dines with Isiah and Ezekiel

“The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, & breeds reptiles of the mind.”

Conclusion, Plates 22-24

My Left Foot

“You’re pulling my leg!”

I was heard to say in my happy state during my successful below the left knee amputation on April 5th, two days after my 63rd birthday. My 12th appearance in an operating theatre began with very good drugs, achieving a blissful state of relaxation I have yet to reach through meditation. The epidural that followed blocked all sensation from the waist down, a good thing since my left foot was getting the boot at the end of years of misery, with a below the left knee amputation.

Sawbones, I would never call my good surgeon, but a bone saw was among the contemporary tools for a successful amputation. It is too early to comment on the results, except that there is still a great deal of pain, as one would expect. The nature of the pain in my now phantom foot has come on as neuropathic pain, which I had already experienced. Limping in the family I suppose, a birth defect expressing itself now. The surgical pain from the healing wound is in the stump, for sure. But now it itches under the bandages that will be changed tomorrow.

The stay at the Health Sciences Centre was dismal and I insisted I go home less than a week after surgery. Theo and Bronwyn took me home, and Bronwyn stayed to care for me for a couple of days.

I probably could have been released to, even transported to the Johnson Memorial Hospital in Gimli, but none of my projects involves a remake of Tales from the Gimli Hospital. Even with one leg I can prepare better tasting and nutritious food than is now the norm for hospital food.

The best news is I started writing almost the minute I got home, and have three new poems now in revision in the second week after surgery. I am still trying to sort things out and decide what’s for this blog, what’s for the Look, Listen, and Writing on my website and pain room, currently being incubated under 1 2 10, and what’s headed for the Music for Men Over Fifty: Songs of Love and Surgery.

I am happy to be home, and very grateful for the fleet of family, friends, relatives, and community members making it possible!

Victor Enns reads and writes poetry and fiction. Afghanistan Confessions, poems in the voice of Canadian soldiers, was published in 2014, boy in 2012. Lucky Man (2005) was nominated for the McNally Robinson Manitoba Book of the Year award.

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