Friday, August 9, 2019

Laura! Laura! Please don't do this!

I was, for the first time ever, a hospital inpatient a couple of weeks ago.  As it turned out, because I knew what angina pectoris is, I went to the docs, and they sent me to the hospital where, to make a long story short, I had bypass surgery.  It's not been easy, but at least I had not waited too long!

I seem to be doing fine, given all that.  I hope so; but not everyone in the hospital is as lucky.

In one part of my odyssey, I shared a room with an older man, annoyingly having Fox "News" at loud volume, though he was relatively insensate and not at all watching that bigoted claptrap.  He moaned a lot, and, in his confusion, repeatedly called for his daughter  "Laura!  Laura!  Don't do this!  Please, oh, please, don't do this!"

In my time sharing that room, I overheard the doctor telling the man's relatives, quietly, that his leukemia was not responding to treatment.  The man himself clearly was not being told this, and/or was far beyond comprehension.  At one point, the ashen old man was wheeled out by a nurse, to another room to leave me some peace and quiet (I think the nurses realized the impact of his relentless moaning on me).  Then, a few hours later, I was off to my own adventures--heart bypass surgery.

These kinds of experiences are, I guess, in store for most of us, as we meander through the savage realities of aging, even if it is because of the medical care system, our well-off lifestyles, hospitals and treatments that we can have those experiences at all.  It is not easy to think about, especially when one's self is involved, not just relatives or neighbors or somebody else, or newspaper stories or science-journal statistics.

I am not sure what to write about in this context.  One wants treatments, and hospitals are fine locations where the treatments can be obtained.  Does one also want to know the whole truth about what the doctors find?  Who should be told?  Who should just be given various sorts of comforting (even when or if false) words?  Who decides?

I hope that, this time at least, I am on the road to some sort of comfort and success, even though at my age (late 70s), it is obvious that the future can't only hold good experiences.  In the hospital, one is forced to see the future, and the approaching end.  This is not a new thought, and we all know life, indeed, life on earth and even the earth itself, are temporary.  But it is a thought to keep in mind, today, and each day.

And the lesson, or my message, for readers of this post is: value today, value those you care about and who care about you.  All are precious!  All are temporary.....

1 comment:

Ken Weiss said...

By the way, names and details have been altered to protect the identity of the individuals in this post.