Monthly Archives: October 2011

Near Death Experience

Near Death Experience
by Scott Lew 10/4/11

There was no alarm
 only the faint hiss of air escaping
 from a disconnected cord
I lay there
Suffocating
 wondering why
 no alarm
My wife and the nurse
 couldn’t hear my silent pleas
 or see my fear
 because I have so little ability
 to make sounds
 or facial expressions
My wife left the room
I made clicks with my tongue
 but the nurse was busy dressing me
 didn’t pay attention
Then came the grey fuzz
This is it
 I thought
This is how I die
I thought
 about my kids
 my wife finding me
 burdened with
 breaking the news
 of my death
The nurse putting pants
 on a dead guy
He wouldn’t even notice
 I was gone
 until it was too late
 because my body
 is already so lifeless
I could let go
I thought
Get lost in the flashes
 of my life that was
 riffing in my mind’s eye
Then Ann came back in the room
 realized something was wrong
I was grey turning purple
But there was no alarm
That’s when the nurse noticed
 the disconnected cord
Plugged it in
I heard a pop
The pow of things coming back
The fuzz was gone
I could feel my heart
 which was pounding
 start to slow
My emergency
 was over

It was a wake up call
I live so near death
 dependent on
 these fallible vents
 and flimsy plastic cords
 to breathe
I’d gotten so comfortable
 living so close
 to the edge
I forgot I was
 there

The next day
I stayed in bed
Relaxed
Let my kids jump all over me
Tried to give Ann
 room
 to de-stress
She had been to the edge
 with me
It was a good day
 there were no alarms

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Filed under ALS Poetry, Lou Gehrig's Disease, PALS, Poetry, Scott Lew