I had the strangest dream..
Often I overlook these things and not pay any attention but this one was different. In it I revisited the hospital my uncle had been in while he was in critical condition, he was there for what seemed such an eternity.. Becoming familiar with an Intensive Care Unit setting and recognizing all of the nurses is by far the worst thing to ever happen to a person, at least in my experience.
In this dream though, I walked towards the ICU room and upon entering I immediately looked at the bed my uncle had once been laying on before. I remember for a minute and I have the clearest image in my head of the vital signs monitor placed to the right of his bed, his heart rate usually elevated side by side with his blood pressure, the medicine lines running from the IV to his veins, at the very least: a sedative, antibiotics, pain reliever, supplemental food, blood thinners.. On the opposite side of the bed, the respiratory machine leading into his trachea, at ease because a sedative would mean his numbers would remain normal for a bit. Just thinking of what was going on on the outside made me afraid of his ongoing state on the inside. I recall having to wear a mask, gloves, and a yellow gown to prevent the possibility of spreading any more infections as his body was becoming resistant to the antibiotics.
As I finished staring at the empty sheets, I walked past his bed and I saw a familiar face at the end of the room, a friend’s mom. I had known who was in ICU but I had to see for myself. Getting closer I could hear far cries become more prominent and I noticed they were all wearing gowns and masks. I gathered my set and put it on as I walked closely to the bed. I had grown apart from this friend due to circumstances and I felt an immense guilt as I saw their body laying on the bed motionless… With the same vitals machine and the respirator on their face, It brought back familiar feelings.
And I realized I had forgotten.. Just how easy it is to unintentionally ignore important people in our lives, unwilling to take a spare moment to ask how their day is going, it might not seem of higher significance but it makes all the difference. You may as well be the person to give them life altering advice, if anyone had asked or pushed my uncle to get those headaches checked at the doctor, his story might have been different with given medication. Ultimately who knows really? But I did want to share this, because once you see a loved one laying on a bed, vulnerable weak and fragile, connected to several machines……It becomes a situation out of your hands, out of your reach, a moment where you wish if only you had taken a different action beforehand. -K