By Scrubadoo‘s Jen Hankin
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and now more than ever we see how powerful love can be in the healing process. Read Marlene’s touching story about how love truly conquers all, even comatose states.
Home is truly where the heart is. There are times, however, when the heart must leave the home and enter an emergency ward. Such was the case recently when I took my father, a congestive-heart-failure patient to our local hospital. What you see on television about the wildness of emergency rooms is an understatement, compared to the reality of this particular night. Chaos reigned.
Every cubicle was filled and so we were sent to a bed in a corridor, where we waited eight hours. Given the overcrowded situations, we were virtually on top of other patients, separated only by thin fabric which, when pulled along the metal tracks, allowed visual but not oral privacy in the adjoining cubicles.
In a nearby room was an elderly man, apparently comatose. His wife stood beside him, holding his hand, gently stroking his arm. Doctors, nurses, technicians were in and out, asking her the usual litany of questions.
Finally, an authoritative figure and not one of the sleep-deprived interns entered the room and pulled the drapes around the bed. But we could still hear. “Mr. Jones, Mr. Jones,” the head nurse demanded, “Can you tell me where you are?”
The nurse was persistent: “Can you tell me who the President is?”
Again, no reply.
With pauses in-between, the nurse continued, “What day is this?”
“What year is this?”
“Do you know what happened to you?”
“Are you feeling pain?”
“Can you hear me?”
“Can you see my hand in front of your face?”
In an out-of-the-medical-box and in desperation, the nurse finally asked, “What is the name of the woman you love?”
Softly, quivering came a response, “Anna Marie.”
–Story Written by Marlene Caroselli, Ed.D.