On a personal note...

For those that want to see what's up with me and who are not all that enamored with Peak Oil.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

"There are no answers, only choices."

Saturday, December 17, 2005


[cross-posted at Nightingale]

I have experienced death in the Emergency Department before….

Things happen quickly in the E.D. and unfortunately, I was upstairs orienting a new volunteer when this patient arrived. My clinical instructor had apparently been calling me on the intercom to assist with chest compressions. By the time I returned, however, the patient was already in one of the little suture rooms, waiting to be bagged.

I entered the lonely room. The walls, the gurney, the sheet seemed so white, in retrospect. I pulled back the sheet.

…but not yet of someone younger then myself.

She is pretty, even with her cold grey skin and her drying half-opened eyes. It seems inappropriate that she not be breathing; that tube in her mouth does not belong there. She had died of a drug overdose but she does not have the look of the habitual user. I see no marks on her arms; she has all her teeth; her eyes do not have the look of one tired of life. This is a mistake. She is too young. She was not yet finished.

To think, just yesterday she had been walking, talking and maybe even laughing. Could she have known it was for the last time? Can any of us?

And how strange it feels to know of her demise before those that love her do. How lonely, lying here, no one yet aware of her absence. Imagining the faces of her family, standing where I am now, is difficult.

But her sweet face will stay with me for a while.


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