I was in the ICU last night.
I’ve been bleeding in my gut and my kidney stones are on the move.
There are quiet people in hospitals that stare at monitors.
They wanted to watch me lie on their magic bed and make the machines beep.
I was the reason they hustled around on squeaky shoes under dim lights, talking quietly and serving as the sacrificial calf for practicing their blood-letting dark art upon.
I don’t like needles.
I don’t like hospitals.
I don’t like beeping machines.
I don’t like squeaky shoes in the dark.
I don’t like smiles that hide secrets about my life.
I appreciate them and support them.
They serve a need.
They are a necessary evil.
I was complaining.
I was hurting.
I was not happy to be back in the hospital for the 3rd time in a week trying to get ahold of the smorgasbord of ailments that decided to blossom for me this week.
I moaned, I groaned, I damned their eyes….
I heard a moan from behind curtain #4.
Although there was lots of the machines, blinking lights, dropping drips, breathing bags and shadowy curtains…..I did keep my wits about me long enough to look for a floating head and a wizard.
All I heard behind curtain #4 was an old woman gasping for breath and moaning.
All I heard behind curtain #4 was a family mumbling and talking about stopping….something.
All I heard behind curtain #4 was a doctor telling the mumbles that he didn’t care what they wanted, he cared what SHE wanted.
I felt his finger jab in the dark….
I felt them flinch…
The nurses stood back, poised for attack.
Should she stay or should she go?
Regardless of the verdict, they would fall upon the patient.
Letting Death step around curtain #4.
Dr.Ceasar raised his arm…
The crowd mumbled.
My breath breathed.
The nurses looked at me and grinned thru the dim light.
My BP was good.
My kidneys were bad.
Dr. Ceasar raised his thumb.
The old lady gasped.
Death stepped back behind the curtain.
The mumbles turned silent.
The nurses fell upon the hapless woman.
Jerking tubes, snatching lines, pushing plungers, raising beds, fluffing pillows, drawing blood….
They were diligent in their fervour.
The old lady would live whether she wanted to or not.
All I heard behind curtain #4 last night was an old woman gasp for air and fight for her life.
All I heard behind curtain #4 was a family planning for a future without her in it; while she was only 4 feet away.
All I could see behind curtain #4 was vultures flapping and waiting, Ceasar waving a sword, standing over an old lady fighting them off.
All I heard behind curtain #4 is a dying person.
A mom, aunt, grandma, sister…
A suffocating old woman…
I decided that I didn’t want to complain anymore.
I decided I was wasting breath 6 feet from a lady that was dying for it.
I decided that, I’m good….
No…I’m better than good.
A lot better than most.
One poor lady, for example.
So many, many more….
No, I think I’ll quit bitching, now.
I’m better than good.