July 2007

An annoying and deafening noise wakes me up.
I try to open my eyes but a light blinded me.

In my mouth a painful sensation that burns me inside. My cheeks feel adjusted to the pressure of something which fastened me around my face. I open my eyes with a huge effort. The noise does not stop. I try to move and I can not. My hands glued to the bed fastened on my wrists. And I react…

My existence lyes naked and vulnerable in a bed, adorned with cables, machines and devices everywhere. Faraway, I hear a voice that shouts: “The bed three has woke up”, and someone from another side responds “Keep doing your work, she is tied”.

Someone is coming, look at me, touches my foot and said “Be quiet”. That ironic word I heard over a hundred times while I was there.And there I am, in that corner, hour by hour trying to keep contact with each person passing beside my bed. Looking at the ceiling and around me. Alone, absent for the world, absorbing the apathy, the numbness of emotions and the feeling of you don´t matter for anyone.

Every day that passed, my mind and my whole being clutches to an image of the majestic sky, in dark nights, in the warmth of a blanket on the floor, watching the brightness of the stars and you by my side.

I knew that you were behind that door. Tall woman, fair skin, dark hair, with dark and beautiful eyes I saw the day I was born. I imagined you sat at one of the banks in that cold corridor, waiting to come into. With face of sadness, bright eyes but full of hope, your smile away of the reality, your hands restless passing with your soul each bead of the Rosary that you prayed for my and for all my “companions of room” of that ICU.

The admission of visits were the two hours of the day I counted since I woke up until I felt asleep. It was the magical moment of feeling that life was running through my veins when you took my hand and you made me feel your true love. Listen to your voice, your song and see you smile were the antidote for all my evils.

Was so hard to allow her to stay a few more minutes? Was so difficult to explain with simple words my current situation? So many patients to attend? So hard to console? So difficult to feel compassion?.

From the experiences we live, we make changes within ourselves, towards people and circumstances. Nothing costs less than alliviate a suffering.

“Love and compassion are necessities, are not luxuries. Without them the humanity cannot survive”(Dalai Lama).

Natalia Figueroa
ICU Nurse
Instructor of Nursing Critical Care at SATI