On Tuesday morning at work, I suffered a minor but excruciatingly painful, no, make that EXCRUCIATINGLY painful medical issue that ended in the ER, with approximately 20 electrodes glued to me, an IV drip administering both an extremely powerful painkiller plus a second drug to counteract the side effects of that painkiller, a barf bag full of goodies, and various and sundry medical implements attached to me or close at hand.
And that was after they had diagnosed and solved the problem.
Which meant that they needed my room for the next ER patient, but they couldn’t discharge me quite yet, so they had to wheel me out of the room and deposit me against a wall in the hallway so they accommodate the next individual.
He was at least 90 years old, well over six feet tall, and he had even more things attached to himself than I had. I did not have two IV drips going at the same time, an oxygen mask, or electrical paddles by my side, and I had never slipped into unconsciousness as he had.
His wife was also attached to him.
Also at least 90 years old, with equally white hair, she was much shorter than him. She sat in a wheelchair to his right, somehow leaning onto his gurney, clutching his right shoulder with both hands, her head next to his, her lips close to his ear. I heard her speaking quite faintly.
“I hope you can hear me.
I’m here for you.
You know I’m here.”
“If you can hear me,
I won’t leave you,
I will never leave you.”
“I know you can’t hear me,
But I always loved you.
I will love you forever.”
Then she grew silent and closed her eyes, still clinging to him.
Vonn Scott Bair