Welcome To St. Elsewhere
I'm in charge!!!! is anyone
listening!!!? I am and don't forget that
one now, I'd hate for me to have to make
you learn the hard way.
I say to the nurse when she comes to
talk to me about some medication that is
supposed to reverse damage to the heart
when you've had a heart attack, that no,
I won't take it, why should I, huh? that
medication is an enzyme that goes
straight to the place in the heart where
if there is a blood clot the enzyme eats
at it till the damage is reversed, but
you see, I lost my life partner, Fred, on
September the 3rd, 1998, to this
medication after his own heart attack,
oh, I remember that day, what a black
day, I felt like a shell, all empty
inside, I can go back to it and
That day started just like any other, it was the tail end of summer and fairly hot out there. at around 10 pm he was sitting there watching wrestlers on tv, I was just sitting a few feet away from him, rolling cigarettes, yes, what a simple act, huh? I never thought he'd be dead the next week, had I thought I would have taken him for coffee and a muffin that he wanted to go and have...but no, let's not think of that. That night I asked him if he wanted to freshen up for bed, he was in a wheel chair and I did all his care for thirteen years, yes, it was my privilege to do it! he told me that maybe it would be better to go and get freshened up, so, I just looked at him and I said, "are you okay?" "yeah, just fine, it's just that I feel tired and want to go to bed" "okay then, let's go" I say. "No Fred, I'll push you, it's hard on you, the carpets are thick and it's hard for you to move the wheel chair" "yeah, I know" he says to me.
I'm looking at him and thinking that in one more month he's going to be 68 years old and doesn't look it, he looks so young yet, no white hair, just a few silver strings here and there and still as handsome as ever.
"Okay Fred, let's get you in the tub, okay? and then after we can have a nice orange while we watch I love Lucy," I am saying.
He's now sitted on the bench in the tub, and I start washing him down, and all of a sudden he says that he doesn't feel right, how so Fred? I ask anxiously, he says that he is dizzy and he turns pale, I say that maybe it's a gas bubble, we'll be alright. Next thing I know he's saying, "Now I've this pain in my chest, can we stop please and sit out in the front room please?" "yes Fred, we sure can"
I'm terrified by now, I want to start screaming for the angel of death to stay away from here, no one here has an appointment with death yet, don't you see angel, we are all still much too young?
We are back in the living room and after a few minutes, no more than one, I phone the ambulance, I start saying to myself, no this cannot be happening again to me, I just lost my dad the year before, how can this be happening? it can't be! I'm dying too!! The ambulance and fire department arrive and we go pronto to the ER at St. Mary's hospital. I enter into the cubicle that he's placed in, the doctor comes after a while and tell us that Fred is having a heart attack, a chill goes through me as if someone has just poured a whole bucket of ice inside of me, and a knife pierces my heart. The doctor says that he's going to give Fred a medication that reverses the damage of a heart attack, we both say yes at the same time! but, the doctor says this particular medication has one possible side effect and that is the danger that it can provoke a cerebral hemorrage, but still we say to go for it, Fred is too young to die!
Continued on the next page...