End of an Old Life, beginning of a New One


There I was laying on a bed I did not knew or even recognized, I did not even knew how or when I had been placed there, and I had this weird thing on my mouth going through my throat. I was afraid to even open my eyes to find out where I was, I took my chances and opened my eyes little by little to let light come in softly.

I looked around as much as I could, I watched a few people with white or green coats, I wanted to know what these tubes were doing in my face, a nurse appeared by my side.

  • Do you need something? - she asked.

I did not know what to answer, I had so many questions, my mouth felt so dry and awfully in general I did not know if it was caused by the tubing or the time I had been there.

After waiting a bit for my answer she finally said

  • Well if you need me I will be around, and she left.

I still did not know. How long I had been there? The question started being annoying even if I was the only person listening to it. It was more than a day or two the foul taste in my mouth could not be mistaken, but less than 2 weeks, my hair and nails were still in good shape. Then, again:

  • Do you need something? - A second nurse asked, more than a question, this is like some sort of greetings, they had their own schedule, I would find soon enough.
  • No - waving my head, the tube did not allow me to really speak, or so I thought.
  • OK then, I need to “aspire” you, it will take fluids from your lungs, is necessary, but a bit annoying - so “you” meant your lungs. A ”bit annoying” from doctors and nurses is ALWAYS bad news, it means pain you have not experienced before, I am not saying it is unbearable, it is just you did not know you could have pain there, I was prepared, or so I thought.

Aspiration procedure: a plastic pipette with a rubber tube attached goes down your throat, they are very careful, yet every move is a bit painful, then few hundred milliliters of saline solution go through the tube which makes you feel drowning, the liquid is then aspired and a really nice and fresh feeling comes, then, if everything goes well, a little bit of pain when the tube and the pipette are removed, that is it, you feel freshness in your mouth and breathe for a few minutes or hours.

Sometimes the nurse asks you to move the head which usually yields better results on the procedure, usually it is painful too.

  • I am done - she said after a few seconds which felt like hours.
  • If you have the respirator 1) - she continued - you cannot expel the fluids yourself and I have to do this. - later I would learn there are some exceptions to that, but we will get to that, at this point the important thing is, the respirator helps me to breathe, basically it kept me alive.
  • Raised my hand and waved in thanks. - she understood.
  • You are welcome, do you need anything? - mmmmm where to start?……………

After waiting few seconds for an answer which did not come she added.

  • Ok, try to sleep then. - We are at night then, how can I sleep if I just awoke?

About an hour has passed since I was awakened and I had a painful procedure already. Not a good sign.

  • Quickly!!! Move him over there. Is that bed free? - I heard a doctor say half sleep.
  • That bed, move it away quickly! He has lost much blood! - A second doctor, a new patient was arriving.
  • Gee!!! this person is dying; I hope he saves his life. - I was thinking about the new patient, when another started talking. I had not noticed her before.
  • Please!!!!!! doctor I am in too much pain. Can you do something?

During that night the patients kept physicians and nurses busy, they had all sorts of crises

  • Gee! - I started worrying less for the other patients, and more about myself, I know is selfish, but is also instinctive - so here is where they bring people to die.
  • Am I that bad? Would this be the last time I am able to open my eyes? - at this point those were the only questions in my head, later I would learn that I had my own crises, they had passed by that time, even though, at the moment I did not know it.

Again a nurse came to check on me, this time she is in a hurry, I had sooooooo many questions, not able to speak I can only move my body, but she had no patience by then, finally she said.

  • I have other people who really need assistance, so if you do not mind, I will be going. - She left.

She was rude, I felt sad, yet I thanked her for giving me a crucial bit of information, so I am not that bad since I do not really need her, well this allowed me to sleep that night. But I arrived to a decision “I have to get out of this room as soon as possible”. Something else, this “new” me was more vulnerable to emotions, especially sadness, and I had trouble dealing with those.

A big machine by my side, with the tube going through my throat not allowing me to speak

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