From the archives …
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I was scared. I was in the ICU and just beginning to grasp exactly how sick I was. I heard people talking all around me, just not to me.
The medical staff was doing rounds. They were just outside the curtain that surrounded me. I couldn’t hear much of what was being said around me. I did hear things like “not sure we can do that,” “maybe we ought to transfer,” “his labs are a lot worse this morning,” and, my favorite, “we’re just going to have to see how he comes out of this.”
After their discussion, one of the practitioners caring for me and came to my bedside, did the usual exam things, and said, “How are you?” This was the first time of a few that I was going to ask this question: “Am I going to die?” Now, I’ve known this person for a while. She is actually closer to Sandra, but as someone working with my primary physician, she new me well, including what I did professionally.
My question clearly caused her some discomfort – she looked around, maybe wondering where that group of medical folk had gone or, maybe looking for an answer. After a couple of moments of silence, she took my hand, looked caringly into my eyes, and said, “Dave, we’re all going to die”. My immediate response was, “Great, you go first – I follow you later!”