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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1 Comment

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

One response to “Near Death Experience

  1. Erica

    Scott,
    I have tears running down my face, minutes after watching your documentary then stumbling upon your blog. Sometimes it’s easier to be honest with a stranger then it is with yourself. I am a healthy 37 year old woman and terrified of ALS. I’m terrified of my parents getting it, my siblings, son , partner or myself. It’s absolutely asinine to me how crippling the fear can be when I have no reason to suspect ever being diagnosed of this. It was a massive wake-up call…a Bick style epiphany…how SELFISH and cowardly I’m being when I am taking so much for granted. In the past 90 minutes+, you have shown me what living is and what courage and acceptance and humility and humor and everything I thought I had…SHOULD be. The fact that you are blogging about life and still using your creativity and keeping your mind alive, emotionally, is amazing to me. This all sounds so cliche and random and i don’t even know if I expressed what I’m feeling for you and your family. You honestly touched me tonight, first thru the movie and then through the blog and will keep you close in my thoughts. i envy your strength and admire your dignity. I’m making a personal promise to you, to get involved with ALS cure foundations/charities and to do all I can, with my abilities as a healthy adult to heighten awareness and support finding a cure. i wish you the best..Thank you so much.

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