Friday, July 27, 2012


Endure the pain
You know my name
I am your soul insane

I am no one
No one who cares
I am your soul despair

The other day I sat in a Hospital waiting room chair staring at her face. I could only take my eyes off of her for a nano moment, then some mysterious magnetic feeling forced me to look at her over and over again for what seemed an eternity.

I was in a "prestigious" Hospital as an outpatient waiting for a diagnostic test to be performed on me, but this particular Department also uses the same Unit for inpatients who are hospitalized in need of the same test.

She was lying down, gaunt, covered with a thin blanket on a hospital stretcher, you know the kind, the ones that have wheels. The woman couldn't have been older than in her mid 40's but it was difficult to determine her actual age by looking at her. She was semi-conscious, extremely pale, and gasping for air as her chest heaved furiously trying to capture oxygen.

Her stretcher was parked alone in the hall of the waiting room where I sat with my having a direct view of her face. I couldn't help but notice her lips twitching, and there was also something eerily strange about her face. I studied her features and it was clear that she had been an attractive woman who was now in some kind of terrible agony. 

Abandoned by the Nurses who had left her alone, lying in the hall on her stretcher, she stayed there heaving, twitching, her eyes closed for what seemed like an hour.

I wondered who she was, why she was here, what kind of illness had struck her down, what was her life like before entering this dark place.

I watched her every move and felt deep compassion, sadness in what I saw. I wanted to get up and comfort her, say that everything would be all right, that a Nurse would be with her shortly. 

But no one came, I didn't get up to speak my words, and time just passed by. Interesting that they never put clocks in Hospital waiting rooms as time becomes meaningless, human identity is lost, you become a "patient" who is at the mercy of the Dr's., Nurses, Technicians, and hordes of other Staff strutting "peacocks" who now own your every movement.

The woman suddenly woke up and she grabbed the arm of a "Patient Transporter " who was walking by. It said that on the back of his shirt so people would know what his job was. I read her lips as she slowly, painfully, faintly told him that she "needed to see a Nurse because she couldn't breathe,was scared, and felt very sick". Her face still mesmerizing me from taking my eyes off of her, that strange feeling that I could not understand why it wouldn't allow me to look away.

A Nurse soon arrived and said rather coldly to the woman, " if you feel sick, do you want to go back to your hospital room or stay here to take the test"? How odd it seemed to me, one of the "professional peacocks" was suddenly allowing the "patient" to make a decision that she wasn't quite lucid enough to decide due to her medical condition as to what was the right thing for her to do. 

Instead of the Nurse taking 30 seconds to hold this woman's  hands, comfort her, and say that they would be ready for her test in just a few minutes, she simply waited for this ill human being, to make the decision of what should be done. Such a strange but predictable time for the powerless, sedated patient to suddenly be given her freedom to make a decision that she was not really capable of doing in her present condition. 

Very quickly, the woman somehow realized that since she had already endured all this time being dumped in the hallway to wait, that she needed to get this test done, so she decided to wait, but her face was contorted in the shape of fear, pain, confusion of  the hell she now was in. Thankfully after a few more long minutes, someone came to wheel her into a testing room, and I never saw her again.

I keep thinking of this poor soul while I am awake, dreaming nightmares about her within my own regular demons, she has now joined up with the kaleidoscope of horrors that infect my night time hours. 

What was so special about her to get that deeply into my head, to affect me this way, a total stranger and yet I felt something oddly familiar about her. Sure she was a victim that I could identify with, there was so much pain, agony coming from her, but it was more than that.

I wonder if she has children, people who care about her, someone to protect her from being dumped again in the hall on a stretcher, all alone, suffering.

I no longer wonder about what I saw in her face that wouldn't allow me to stop looking at her. I now know what it is about her that seized my attention. I figured it out later that day what I saw in her was the face of gray, black death, her impending death, she was dying and I couldn't see that at the time, but I had sensed it.

The Hospital Staff knew it, they see this kind of face all of the time, perhaps that it why they ignored her, left alone as if she did not exist, because no-one wanted to take the time to comfort a dying person. That could have been them, any one of us lying on that stretcher, too close to reality for them to allow into their feelings.

Strangely, sadly, of all places, a Hospital, and no one cared enough to spend 30 seconds with her. So young, innocent looking, another victim of indifference, defenseless.

Will someone weep for her, mourn when she is gone?

So Sad.