Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Emergency Room at China Medical

A BIG THANKS to all of you who sent notes to me while I was in the hospital, believe me, avoid the Emergency Room at China Medical at all costs. It’s basically a crypt of the dead.
Retching, bleeding, vomiting, groaning cast of zombies laid out on slabs. The bed sheets stained with human filth, mold in the tubes and dust on the equipment, soiled tissues and left over food trays… I can’t think of a more morose place.
Worse than the patients (and believe me, there were dead people all around me) were the families… weeping and wailing and rushing here and there… and eating… yes, this is a picture of a woman slurping up a box of noodles. She’d eaten a big sandwich before this with green lettuce and white mayonnaise all over her lips. I know this as I was slipping in and out of consciousness while the woman behind me was barfing violently into this clear plastic bag… her wretched cough filling the long hallway full of occupied beds.
During all of this I was lucid. The body might betray and fail you, but the mind stays clear. I knew what was happening. I kept thinking, in the end, this is what happens to everyone. The most you can hope for is to have someone by your side.
So… thank you for being at mine.

1 comment: