Bring Anyone Who Wants to Say Goodbye (pt 2)


I always knew my physical body was just a vessel for my soul, carrying it, keeping it safe. I’ve often thought over the years how our consciousness is like an alien being attached to our human host; however, some of the human bodies we inhabit seem to work better than others. We can survive on this planet as an animal, as a human, but what about after our consciousness leaves our body behind? Will we no longer be bound by earthly things? Do we attach ourselves to some new body, or are we something else entirely, something we don’t understand yet? I don’t know for sure, but I think I’ve come closer to understanding than some.

- - -

I woke up again to the sound of my grandmother arriving. She looked worried. That’s right, I came with my grandparents.

I was still sitting up, still trying to will my mind to stay in my body. As odd as I know it may sound to some people, that’s the only way I can of think to describe it. I was in and out of consciousness so frequently I couldn’t tell you how many times I jerked awake feeling my head fall. I couldn’t tell you how many times I dropped my phone. Couldn't tell you all the text messages I sent that night that didn’t make any sense, with random characters thrown in, my thoughts incomplete.

“Don’t let me fall asleep gram. I can’t sleep. Also, don’t let anyone come in here, they just tried to kill me.”

“Whitney, what do you mean? They’re doing everything they can for you. They aren’t trying to hurt you.”

“No gram, they are trying to kill me. I need some water. Can you get me some water? Make sure to get it yourself. I don’t trust them.”

She looked at me confused and a bit horrified. Good, she understands how serious this is. I glanced toward the hallway and could see the doctor and nurses looking in at me. They were being erratic and shifty. They all kept looking at me, and when I looked back, they would look away. They were hoping they could get me. A young woman enters the hospital in the middle of nowhere, and they think they can kill her without anyone knowing? Nope, not this time. I’m onto you.

“Gram, please. Listen to me, I know it sounds crazy, but you have to trust me. I don’t know how I know. I just do. I can’t fall asleep, I can’t take a drink from them. They’re trying to poison me or something.” I glanced beside me, and I could see my heart monitor. I could see my heart rate was through the roof. I couldn’t tell my grandmother why I thought those things, because I wasn’t sure why I thought those things. I just knew that everything leading up to that point was showing me I was correct. This hospital could dispose of my body, call me a Jane Doe, and no one would be the wiser. I was states away from home. I was alone. But you’re not alone. Your grandmother is here. I shook my head trying to clear it. Trying to get some grasp on the situation. “Gram, don’t leave me tonight. Please don’t leave me alone with them.”

“Of course, Whitney. I’ll will stay with you as long as you need.” She looked toward the door, “I’ll be right back.” I watched my grandmother leave my room, she went into the hall and… she betrayed me! She went and talked with the nurses. She was talking to them after they tried to kill me.

They all talked quickly, gesturing toward my room. They all kept glancing toward me. They all looked angry and upset. Why did she go tell them what I was saying? She has never tried to hurt me before. Someone brought her a cup. She took it and brought it to me. My heart sank. Why didn’t she believe me? Why was she listening to them? My gram opened my door and came back into my room.

“I’m not drinking that! I’m finally able to stay awake a little. I don’t want them in here! Don’t let anyone come in here! Just you.” I looked at her with pleading eyes. I felt panicked and scared. My grandmother frowned at me. She explained to me that she didn’t think they were trying to hurt me, but they probably weren’t a qualified enough hospital to take care of someone so sick. It was just a small hospital in the middle of Pennsylvania. That’s right... Pennsylvania! We were driving. We were on Vacation with the boys. Where were the boys? What happened to me?

“They have never had someone so sick before, Whitney." Gram said to me. "The doctor seems very nice. He’s called your doctors in Boston. They’ve been talking back and forth all night about what to do. I think you should get some rest.”

Rest was the last thing I needed, I knew that if I allowed my consciousness to wander in slumber, I may not wake up. “No. I’m not going to sleep gram. You lay down and get some rest.” I’ll keep an eye out. I knew I couldn’t say that part out loud. My gram is pretty adamant when she puts her foot down, and I knew right then wasn’t the time to be battling each other. She would protect me if I guided her in how to do so. Think, Whitney! What is going on. What happened?

Gram laid down. I had no idea what time it was, what day it was. I didn’t know much of anything. It felt late, and it was dark outside. I needed to figure out what was happening to me, what they were planning for me. I needed some time to think. If I didn’t want this to be my last night in the world, I knew that I had to figure some things out.

When my mind is busy on a good puzzle, I can usually solve it. It’s like playing solitaire to think. Your hands and mind are sort of busy, so the rest of your mind can almost subconsciously work on different issues. It’s like when trying to talk to kids, you can play a game with them. That way, both of you are focused on something, and the talking isn’t as awkward or forced.

So there I sat, in the relative darkness, in the relative quiet, listening to my grandmother’s breathing. I knew she wasn’t asleep either. I wondered what she was thinking, and how I was going to fix all of this.

“I need to talk to my doctor gram, I need them to call him. Otherwise even if you’re right and they don’t mean to, they’re going to kill me.” I heard her let out a breath, not a breath of annoyance but one that was tired. I was putting everyone through so much, I had to make sure it didn’t end how they were saying it would. She got up off the cot and went back into the hallway. Well, if I can’t trust medical intervention.. I need to be my own advocate. What had they done to me? Why don’t I trust them?

#chronicillness #cysticfibrosis #death #philosophy #invisibleillness #terminalillness