SHORT SHRIFT DEMENTIA. riginal.
Sat slumped. Head on chest. Halfhearted arthritic shaking remnant of a skilled surgeon's hand fused by scrambled cognitive. A random action, a dying reversal of fortune. Fortune earned now beside the point. Accolades from patients he saved through steady hands, somewhat gifted above the ordinary surgeon. God given surely? So he sat. The dribble down his chin unchecked.Visits from grateful people he saved, scant, almost none-existent. Had no family left to speak of...to speak to. You know, the book says, "don't patronize or overly fuss." Don't overload an already unloaded lifetime. His shaking hand picked at nothing...nothing to pick. The fingers sighed along his flannels...bedtime soon. What difference would it make anyway.
Try to give the impression it'll be okay, no tears or too much stroking of hands and whispering. Sometimes just on occasion there's a spark of recognition. Flat lining now. All this scene ensconced in dawdling cheap fragrance...the type death brings.
"Doc...you're dribbling." The nurse smelt pristine, slightly turned heads-aching bewildered awareness from several. Pristine smell a rare treat. She wiped his chin carefully. She was new,she wondered at that instant if she would be able to cope with the hopelessness wallpapered invisibly throughout the nursing home. Smiled. Training kicked in. No tears. Tears can upset already teary relations, mums and dads, brothers and sisters, mates, trying their best to compose their own answer to the unheard orchestra of death punctuated only by the accompanying coughing, out of harmony- groaning verses. She brushed an uncaring hair fallen across his eyebrow. "There now Doctor...good as new..." She turned to leave, startled at the coagulated attempted retort and the hand that brushed the side of her regulation uniform. The surgeon raised his weary head. "...good as new" sparked a long time oft repeated saying all doctors who operated, and saved successfully, said, with beaming pride to those God spared? perhaps through their combined talent enabling a second chance. Brushed,impregnated, with overwhelming prayer to something, someone, even as a last resort for believers/non believers pleading. The relieved "There now...you're as good as new...we can both get some some sleep." The successful outcome chorused. Rejoiced.
She bent down slowly her head close to the wavering dying numb lips."what was that Doctor? Didn't catch that." She held the straining feeble hand softly. Waited patiently. No hurry...she was new. A spark of rhetorical recognition. "i said my love..." he whispered,"there now...you're as good as new...we can both get some sleep..."
She couldn't sleep. Left the job a month later. Day after the doc died. The top surgeon it did happen to as related by his former secretary. I filled in the scene, but the blanks were real. The surgeon just didn't take time out for himself apparently. A lot of people don't. Too busy. And the way it was related to me he didn't have a great deal of family.
Fiction with intrusive fact. Smashed mate they thought would never live let alone walk again told me this true part of his horrendous recovery.
He was wheeled into a traumatic trauma ward where the majority didn't make it. Wheelchair bound. Drugged. He saw across the other side of the ward even through his own pain the suffering vegetative expression on the face of a young guy involved in a write off car accident...himself written off by the doctors who did their best. Kelvin told me though unable to move the poor chap had his full faculties of brain response trapped in an inert body. He wheeled himself over to the young bloke and blurted out of compassion, "you poor bastard!" A tear rolled out the corner of the guy's eye. The only thing that had any animation. My mate broke down.
Had a similar experience with my mum. Despite her mental derange that left an indelible mark on us all...some coped better than others...we survived. Hadn't seen her for eight years for reasons. Sister and i visited her. She was bedridden. Couldn't talk. She saw us and her dull eyes lit up, Tears started rolling down her cheeks. And ours. We just held her hand...she looked at just me...i can't read tears. But i felt her anguish. I think she felt mine...at least i prayed to God she did. I'm not real religious but where else do you turn in a sad moment. I remember mum saying on a bad day, "not scared of death...i'm scared of living." Aren't we all at times? Time we all forgave someone or something to bring a bit of focus in the time you've got left? I don't know...i'm no expert. But it doesn't take much expertise to engage in a mutual forgiveness before it's too late...how late? Have a great day and or weekend, with reconcile? The two compliment each other don't they,or am i wrong again? God blast as opposed to God bless...your choice. Bye.