Today I will share one of the nonfiction tales in my book. This event actually happened, but you will notice the piece is written much like a fiction short story. The action builds to a climax and then resolves to a conclusion. I hope you will enjoy it.
By Madelyn F. Young
Does life with your spouse seem rather hum-drum—not bad, mind you, but not very exciting, either—just sort of borderline? That’s how it was for Robin and me. Then things changed. I guess you could say we each had an “eye-opening” experience.
My husband was due for a colonoscopy. Two days before the procedure, he started that unpleasant cleaning-out process. They say all the preliminary stuff is the worst part. They’re right. Neither one of us got much sleep the night before, but we rolled out early Tuesday morning and headed for the hospital.
He felt weak and a little swimmy-headed, but we made it up to the third floor okay. Soon they had us in a private room. He changed into his hospital gown, crawled into bed, and settled back against the pillow. Several folks came in to get his personal information, make copies of his insurance cards and have him sign papers. They clamped a plastic ID bracelet around his wrist and then started an IV. We waited another thirty minutes before they wheeled him away.
I stayed in the room and read a paperback to pass the time. Later, I strolled down the hall to get coffee. When I returned, the big clock on the wall said 9:32. At 9:45 they rolled him back in.
Robin was really out of it. His eyes were open and glazed over, and his mouth hung open. He looked terrible!
The nurse patted him on his legs and then lifted one of his arms and shook it, but it fell limply back across his stomach. She looked up at me. “What’s his first name again?”
“Robin,” I said.
She leaned down and hollered into his ear. “Robin! Robin! You can wake up now.”
My husband lay there not moving a muscle.
She shook him a little harder. “Robin! It’s time to wake up.”
I watched to see if he would move. The fluorescent light above the bed cast an eerie glow on his face.
My God, he looks dead!
The nurse reached up and brushed her fingertips across his lids to close his glassy eyes. “Robin!” she shouted into his ear again. Still no response.
“Honey, wake up!” I grabbed his leg through the covers and shook it. He was limp as a dishrag.
The nurse spun around and stepped out to get the blood pressure stand. Then she hooked him up and took a reading. His pressure was normal and his pulse was fine. But he still wouldn’t respond.
An attendant walked in. “We may need to take him back over to the procedure room,” she said.
“Please, you need to get him to wake up.” I moved closer to the bed. Tears brimmed in my eyes.
The nurse tried once more. “Robin! Robin! It’s time to wake up now.” She pounded him hard on his chest and legs.
My husband jerked his head to one side. “Huh?”
“There he is!” She smiled, and I let out a deep breath. “It’s wake-up time.” Robin struggled to open his eyes.
The nurse continued talking, and he kept dropping off. At least now she was able to startle him enough to keep him coming back.
A few hours later, he managed to get dressed. We were discharged, and I drove us home. He slept like a baby the rest of the afternoon.
The report from the colonoscopy was good. But this little episode has made me do some serious thinking. Seeing my husband lying up there lifeless as a corpse was a shock, but it was a good reminder too. Someday he won’t just be sleeping.
Right now both of us are in good health. My husband plays golf three or four times a week. We have our club and church activities. We both like to get together with friends. We still enjoy traveling. Last year, we celebrated our fiftieth anniversary. You know, all of that is way more than borderline. It’s great!
I’m thankful Robin isn’t the only one who woke up.