October 24, 2012
It was almost 4 pm. My fellow volunteer nurses and I were just sitting on a table where we usually welcome patients in the Out Patient Department. There were no patients that time and we were just waiting for time to pass until we close at 4 pm. As we waited there, we entertained ourselves by playing a song on my colleague’s phone.
All of a sudden, the security guard of the hospital was running from the outside going to the emergency room. He was yelling things that I really didn’t understand. All I know was that something terrible has just happened. On my mind, I was thinking of a motor vehicular accident and there are patients that coming. And it was what was happening.
We ran towards the emergency room from the OPD just to satisfy our curiosity. As I ran on the hall, a man was running towards me looking for a stretcher. I think he was asking me, but he didn’t get an answer because I was like a deer in the headlights that moment. I was already in shock of the thought that I was going to see an actual bloody emergency situation for the first time. I didn’t even notice that there were two stretchers beside me from where I stopped. He grabbed one and ran as fast as he could and another man came and grabbed the other one. I just stood there. I just looked at them running with the stretcher.
From where I stood, I saw three people carrying a woman. Another vehicle came. The next person they carried was soaked in blood. From that moment I didn’t know if I should continue going into the ER. I looked back at my fellow volunteer nurses and I saw them standing with no hint of moving forward. Maybe they also felt the same way as I did. We came there just because we were just curious about what happened. That’s all. It was never my intention of helping my fellow nurses and the doctors in that emergency situation since our duty time was over and I am not assigned in the ER but in the OPD since I am still new there. That was so selfish of me, I thought. No, I think it was not about being selfish. I think I was just scared. The instant I realized that, I ran inside the ER.
When I got to the door, I saw two patients; a woman and an adolescent boy. I heard the boy is her son. The beds are placed beside each other with only 2 feet distance. There were three other patients but they were just fine compared to the two. The boy was the one soaked in blood. His yellow T-shirt turned into a red one. The woman had no wounds. I think I never saw a blood on her clothing, but you can tell that there is something wrong. Judging from her manifestations, anyone with knowledge on diseases and stuff like that can tell that she has traumatic brain injury. She was managed with Mannitol and Dexamethasone, to relieve her increasing intracranial pressure.
The nurses and doctors were quick in their managements. The emergency room looked like those that you see on the medical dramas on TV, except that those medical dramas had more sophisticated and fancy equipments. But I am sure, it felt the same as you are watching Dr. Grey trying to revive a patient. Intravenous fluids were infused into the boy’s circulation hoping that they will save him from hypovolemic shock. He has lost a lot of blood. I looked at him lying there. His eyes were half open. His mouth was also slightly open and you can see his teeth stained in his own blood. I was thinking of his chances of survival. As much as I don’t want to think of it at that point, but it was just not looking good.
I interviewed the man who accompanied the patients and who was standing beside the woman as I filled up the ER form. I was writing the information I got. At the same time I was also looking at the patient. Searching for wounds they might have missed . I noticed that the woman was wearing a clothing that looked like pajamas. It was a pajama. A pajama with prints of little stars and flowers and it really looked familiar.
And then it hit me. “ I saw this woman earlier today!!!!”. I yelled in my mind. I recognized the pajama just like how I noticed it hours ago in the OPD. This was the woman I talked to moments ago. The woman who sought consultation in the OPD. The woman who had a fever. The woman who complained of pain in the hips. The woman who complained of pain upon urination. It all came back to me like I was experiencing it all over again.
Then I looked at the boy beside her. Bathed in his own blood. Who was just pronounced dead. I saw this kid hours ago when he was still alive, walking, and healthy. I can still remember the image of him standing there against the white wall, with no signs of impending death. They asked him to get his mother’s record on the records section. He stood there watching as I interviewed his mother. And now he is dead. It was just unbelievable.
I felt dizzy as I looked at him lifeless. No pulse, no heartbeat, blood pressure of 0/0 mmHg and still soaked. I prayed for his soul. I wish I talked to him, connected or did something. I really didn’t know that he was going to die that day. Nobody did. He was just a stranger to me but I still feel very sorry.
Life is very unpredictable. Life, as what they say, is just borrowed from God. Anytime could be the time we go “home” and rejoin our creator. Nobody knows who goes first and who goes last. Nobody knows what time of the day, one will expire the last air that has filled ones lungs. Nobody.
What I realized on this very incident is that we should make use of our time. Share our borrowed lives in meaningful ways. In ways that would impact others positively. For we will not know what deed we will be doing just right before we die. Just like that 17-year-old boy. That boy who died spent his last day accompanying his sick mother to the hospital, when he could have just said “no” and did something else. May he rest in peace.
i hope not.;(