The sounds in a hospital are distinct and frightening in their measured “Sh, everything is fine, everything is under control.” muffled dings and beeps. What is supposed to soothe becomes like the carnival sounds in some horrible medical fun house where the fear that lurks and jumps are bacterium, respiration numbers, blood counts and assorted je ne sais quoi of the human medical world.
The hospital is like a fortress during a medical siege. The one safe haven we hunker down in when the enemy is upon us, but sometimes even then it can overrun our walls.
I watch you sleep with your face turned, hoses coming from your mouth, multiple IV lines to multiple bags of chemical cocktails to fix your body that’s trying to mutiny. The soft whoosh-clunk of the ventilator reassure that your lungs are filling with clean, life-giving air so panic is avoided for now. There are soft, almost cartoonish, mittens covering the busy, nervous hands of yours that want to remove these foreign things from your face and arms.
Soft, golden eyelashes screw up to almost cry and your hands move in agitation. Speaking low to you, I croon “It’s okay, honey. It’s Christal, Chrissy. I’m here with you. Try to sleep. Try to rest, sweetheart.” Slowly the fluttering hands rest on your stomach and your body relaxes.
There was a time that hospitals didn’t piss me off. They were buildings full of adrenaline, places where heroes saved people and you went when you needed help desperately. Today they are living coffins, houses of narcissistic madmen and women who leech their self-esteem off the carcasses of the sick, injured and dying in my not-so-subconscious.
It’s probably a little more a bit of both, rather than one or the other; some heroes, some villains, some epic poems of wars won and some of the tragic lives and loves lost to antiquity.
But you are here and it is now and the machine is breathing and so are you and this encapsulated moment is frozen now forever in these words. We have this quiet moment together forever, just the two of us. You resting, me watching and writing.
I love you. Thank you for letting me be here with you.