I’m sitting in Bo’s hospital room by myself while he is taken for a another x-ray. In the bed on the other side of the room is an old man who is having a truly terrible time. A doctor, the third one today, is there trying to ask him questions to which he has absolutely no answers. He doesn’t know where he is, can’t say what day it is, can’t name the days of the week. Can’t say his own name.
All night he was in distress — calling, cursing, moaning. Nurses came in and out of the room constantly. He pulled off all of his clothes and called out, “Let me out of here!” every so often. He gets his legs caught between the side rails and doesn’t have the strength to get them back up. He’s wearing hospital “boxing gloves” so he doesn’t pull out the IV’s.
And he’s hallucinating: “Mary, give me your hand, please.”
From what I’ve overheard, he has, among other things, a broken pelvis/hip. He’s in pain and is incontinent. He’s diabetic, has kidney disease and is on dialysis. And the nurses are confounded because he has an odor that they are unable to cure.
I’m sitting here thinking about what we do to our elderly people. And I ask myself why he is going for dialysis three times a week, and why every measure is being taken to save his life. He has no life. No future. None.