Whose Death Has Affected Your Life?
At about 3AM last Wednesday morning the nurse told me to “go home”.
A few hours earlier a friend and I had carried someone I loved into the emergency room.
Dead-weight, eyes rolled back, limp. We yelled his name and slapped his face and he didn’t respond. The white faces in the room all read the same thing, “I’ve never seen him this bad”.
The nurse calls for a stretcher and we are ushered through the doors. Something about hearing the nurse yell his name, into his face, receiving no response, chilled me. This wasn’t another-drunk-kid, this wasn’t a funny-hospital-bracelet-story, this was wake-up-I-need-you-to-open-your-eyes-now.
We were told to wait outside and within minutes there were wires, tubes and oxygen masks. To have a BAC of .48 is a level which one impairs their breathing and heart rate, where unconsciousness and death is common.
He’s very bad, they tell us.
How could he get to this, they ask us.
He is lucky you bought him in, they tell us.
When it comes to hospitals, I’m a pessimist, and I hate them. I have been fortunate enough to have never been admitted into a hospital or visit an emergency room. So my last memories in hospitals involve spending Thanksgiving in a recovery unit, and later saying last goodbyes to my grandfather.
I am not looking to have any more goodbyes. I didn’t even cry, I couldn’t even cry. If I cried it was real, and he’d be gone. If I didn’t cry, this would pass.
The machines blip, my hands shake. My friend reassures me and makes jokes to ease tension, he noticed the effect my surroundings had on me immediately.
All we could do was wait. At the request of the nurses, we grudgingly went home and slept a few hours. I woke up and called the hospital to check for a room change so I could visit, maybe bring him lunch.
“Oh, he’s been moved to ICU, please hold.”
“Hello, this is his doctor. You can visit, but he hasn’t woken up, or spoke, and he probably won’t be able to hear you, he got worse last night.”
“His BAC levels weren’t dropping, he almost lost his ability to breathe, minutes away from life support. ”
I am unsure many could fathom the effect of such small words like, ICU, won’t, worse and life support can have on someone’s heart and sanity.
If I was asked on Tuesday whose death has affected your life, I would have no answer. Today I know that if this person hadn’t made it, my life wouldn’t be the same.
What is One Eye-Opening Experience Everyone Should Have?
College can be an amazing time. I can’t count the nights I’ve spent with people I love, finding so much fun in such little pleasures. One would be naïve to think that alcohol is not a huge part of the college experience: we drink, we get drunk, we talk about drinking and being drunk. Our weekdays revolve around getting work done so that our social lives remain unhindered come happy hour.
If you read this, please don’t ever let the name of anyone you love be yelled behind a hospital curtain.You do not want to be waiting on the other side helplessly wishing, hoping, and praying for a whine, a gargle, a moan, a curse, anything.
Take care of yourself.
Take care of your friends.
Not to be the biggest downer ever, but PLEASE be smart party people.