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Hospital Rooms

Written By: Gary on December 21, 2005 One Comment

So I remember having to come home from college one week when my Grandfather was really sick. I was really close to him, my Mom and I lived with him and Grandma until I was six or seven. I don’t even remember what it was for but I know it was a really big deal. I had to get a professor to let me have an extension on a big exam (maybe it was a final) for a “family emergency”. I really liked the Prof but he was a pain in many ways and he asked for a note. I remember saying that “if everything went well there wouldn’t be anything to get a note for”, he said no problem and told me to reschedule the exam later.


We were there for hours, I don’t remember much of the day, I remember reading that damn calculus book but not much else about the day. What I really remember is going into see him after the operation. Someone, maybe my Mom, said he was in bad shape but the operation went well. I went in the room and he had a ventilator tube down his throat and about a dozen IVs in him and a bunch of beeping charting machinery. I had no idea, I had to get out of there and go out in the hall, it was too much for me. I was probably twenty-two or twenty-three at the time and someone followed me out of the room to check on me, one of my uncles maybe, I think they were afraid I was going pass out or something. I don’t remember what they said, something like ‘we knew it was going to be bad’ and I wanted to scream “I’m just a kid. I’ve never seen anyone like that before. How am I supposed to know what’s bad!?!” Before then I probably hadn’t seen anyone with more than an IV or two. Nobody had been really sick since I was younger and they had kept me out of the hospital those times, so I was pretty clueless. I did go back in the room, but was a bit more prepared when I went back in, as I said I had no clue.

It’s funny because I probably never would have referred to myself as a kid at the time but I certainly felt it. But I didn’t have any other frame of reference to put that in. He did fine afterward the surgery, he lived about another decade afterwards…

That whole scene’s been popping into my head a lot lately, not sure why. No one’s in the hospital, no one’s sick. My other grandfather died just about a year ago so I know that’s been in my head. It just keeps coming up. Plus, I always get a little morbid around the holidays from missing “the way it used to be”. Tonight there was a hospital scene on TV that looked too familiar and made me start thinking about it, so here I am…

FYI – the comment about ‘we knew it was going to be bad’ was re-written several times, it was very caring and not condescending. But I can’t get it written the way I want so you get this little disclaimer.

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One Response to “Hospital Rooms”

  1. Dawn (webmiztris) says on: 22 December 2005 at 12:34 pm

    I remember going through something similar to that with my one grandfather. Except I was only about 10 at the time. I was a MESS. Hope you cheer up soon, Gary.

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