I just spent most of last week in N**s Hospital. My diabetes had gone crazy. After a couple of days in the coronary care unit, I was transferred to one of the usual wards. One of the first visuals which registered, was the haunting sight of a woman with arms lifeless by her side, encased in a GAA type helmet, who’s purpose was to keep her breathing tubes and mask in place (not that she was going anywhere).
I think in the two days I was opposite her, I only saw her open her eyes twice. Her tiny emaciated body, with two collapsed lungs and no hope for any future, was just so shocking to me. Another example of the often horrible joke, of what they call living in this country. It turned out that she was an old family acquaintance, responsible for many happy childhood memories.
Sleep of any kind, was an impossibility. While the man in the corner climbed onto his bed, or prowled angrily up and down the ward cursing and shouting. His daughter told me the next day, that two weeks before he had been driving and conquering crosswords.
The elderly woman beside me’ night time mantra was “I want to go”
“And where do you want to go”, the nurse dumbly asked.
I felt if she had the faculties and the time, that she would certainly have said “anywhere bar here”
To hear the gravelly voiced, “pro life” brigade out trying to use their tired old pressure tactics on the laws of this country, makes me so mad. If only they had as much concern for the living!
As I stared around at the human debris, ( wondered if any of them could ever have imagined that they would end their once noble lives this way. In an alien environment, at the mercy of barking strangers, commodes and hoists. But in the eyes of the law, the most important thing is that their hearts are still beating….even if just barely.