WeWriWa—The tracheostomy tube

If you’re observing Sukkot, may you have a happy, meaningful holiday!


Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This scene comes a number of pages after last week’s, as Arkadiya has been convinced to return to the Aleksandr Palace to recover from a sudden illness. Just as she feared, she’s been visited by the Strangling Angel, diphtheria.

Her condition has gotten much worse, to the point where the primary palace physician believes she’s dying. Only because Aleksey keeps begging does the doctor finally agree to perform a tracheostomy and insert a breathing tube.

Source http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/obf_images/38/73/d7c3216a583a0abf51b860ae5509.jpg

Dr. Merkulov returned with several other doctors, none of them looking very hopeful.  Since Arkadiya was too far gone to administer any sort of anesthesia, Dr. Merkulov injected her with a numbing agent, cleaned her neck, and put a drape over it.  He then made several surgical cuts to reveal the trachea’s outer wall, as another doctor daubed up the blood which started gushing forth.  Once the bleeding seemed under control, Dr. Merkulov created an opening in the trachea and inserted a sterling silver tracheostomy tube.

“She’ll be able to breathe normally now, won’t she?” Aleksey asked. “No more nearly choking?”

Dr. Merkulov closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and sucked out the choking membrane through the tube.  Almost immediately, Arkadiya began breathing normally again, and the frightening blue color was replaced by her natural pink and cream coloring.  She looked around the room with weak, unsteady eyes and managed a confused smile, though she said nothing.

Would anyone be interested in Halloween-themed snippets during October? It would go well with the overall mood I’m planning for my October posts. I’m spotlighting classic horror films of the silent era with landmark anniversaries this year—The Golem (1920), Frankenstein (1910), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), and of course The Monster (1925), The Penalty (1920), and The Phantom of the Opera (1925) with my belovèd Lon Chaney, Sr. I’d spotlight Lon’s 1925 version of The Unholy Three as well, but since TCM has always shown it at unholy hours, I’ve never had a chance to see it. They’ve never shown the 1930 sound remake at normal hours either, for that matter.

My Halloween-themed snippets could come from the book formerly known as The Very First, Little Ragdoll (which I think only sold two copies since its release last June), its hiatused sequel Green Sunrise, and Journey Through a Dark Forest, though I’d probably most want to share from Dark Forest, my most-recently-completed book.


21 thoughts on “WeWriWa—The tracheostomy tube

  1. Well ok, needed a strong stomach for that excerpt (not a medical professional here) but I’m sure it was extremely accurate to the time period, knowing your expertise in period details, and I’m glad she survived!


  2. Crisis narrowly averted, and seemingly just in the nick of time, too!

    I love the idea of spooky snippets. I’ll be with the ‘murder mystery’ fan fiction for a while, but look forward to reading what you offer.

    Those tracheostomy sets look terrifying.


  3. *Shivers* Okay, I wasn’t ready for that one. Very vivid and precise. This is why I’m not a fan of hospitals, or anything medical related really. Yet I can normally handle blood alright. Odd.


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