Monthly Archives: June 2013

“Six Months to Live”

I started volunteering last Friday at the hospital as a Candy Striper.  The tasks they have as do are very little, like give out ice water, change sheets, and do paper work.

All of that seems almost unimportant, compared to what the doctors and nurses do for the patients.  However, there was a time that made all the small things add up, and made me feel like I was being valuable:

 

I saw him.  He was a very frail, skinny old man.  I passed by his room many times but never bothered to go in since he was sleeping.  No one visited him the entire 4 hours that I was at that floor, except for the nurses. (Maybe some went later that day, I’m not sure).  Finally, I passed by one more time and found him awake, looking sad and weary.  I knocked and he let me come in.  I asked if he needed something, and he said that he wanted water, so I got him some.  Trying to break the ice, I asked, “How are you doing today, sir?”

His response was dim, “I’m dying.”

It was a depressing phrase, so I said cheerily, “No you’re not!”  Maybe I should have rephrased that differently.

 I thought that he was just another miserable man, thinking that he was dying.  That was shallow of me,  But everyone will eventually die, right?

His voice was rough, “They said I had 6 months to live.”

Boom.  I didn’t know what to say… I didn’t even say I’m sorry.  I just blanked out. 

Finally, I asked if he wanted a newspaper to read.  That seemed better than sitting down and doing nothing to him, so he said yes please.

I smiled, “I’ll be right back.”  I went downstairs to grab him one and came back up with the promised newspaper.  He seemed so happy to receive that newspaper, and I was glad that something that small could make a patient a little better.  I talked with him a little more.

He said something so small that I’ll never forget. “You’re a good girl.”  He didn’t just say it like that, but he said it in such a thankful, sincere way.  It’s as if the couple of minutes I spent with him was the best thing he got all day. 

Finally, I told him to have a nice day and he said (sincerely again), “I will now, thanks to you.”

 

I know it seems like that was nothing, but to me, it was something. That old man was so sad when I first saw him, and even though he’ll probably still be sad at times, that moment that I could share with him was awesome.  I know that it brightened up his day enough.  And even if he only has six months to live, I hope he knows that people still care about him, even complete strangers. 

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Categories: Hospital Life | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Knowledge Really Everything?

I remember reading a short story during Freshman year, called Flowers for Algernon.  (I might reread it, since I forgot most of what happened).  It was about a mentally challenged man, named Charlie, who worked as a janitor in a factory.  He became the subject of a series of experiments, to see if it was possible to make him more intelligent.  A former experiment was done with a lab rat named Algernon, and it seemed to be working.

Charlie started off with a low IQ of 68.  With the surgical techniques, his intelligence tripled.  It was sad though.  He figured out that his coworkers had been manipulating and making fun of him when he had special needs. Although he became smarter, he also became less happy.  As we read the story in class, my teacher asked us if we would rather have been the happy Charlie or the intelligent Charlie.  The happy Charlie had no idea of what the “real world” was like, just living his days, but again, he was happy. His IQ shot up so high as he his procedures got longer.  So I thought about that, as a little Freshman in high school.  I thought that having his insane knowledge would be better.  He could have been a millionaire, with his mental ability.  Why wouldn’t you want to be smarter, right? But knowledge comes with a price.  For Charlie’s point-of-view, it turned bad.  He became too smart, that it was hard to communicate with the “average” people he was around with.

{It ended up that the rat, Algernon, was declining in his mental abilities, just as Charlie got smarter.  He noticed this and figured that he, too, would soon be like the rat.  Eventually, Algernon died and Charlie dropped down to his normal IQ level again. (There is more to the story, and I suggest reading it).}

Even if Charlie did stay as “smart” as he was, would it have been better than being clueless but happy? Now that I think of it again, I start to wonder.  Of course, knowledge is very important to me.  I think that it is one of the greatest gifts that is given to us in this world. Humans are curious.  We want to know things.  I’m going to school, not only for a career, but also to have more knowledge of the medical field.  I think it is something that I can use to help others out.

However, I think back to the very young me. I was like Charlie in a way.  My head was full of wonder, but I didn’t know much.  The world seemed perfect to my eyes.  I never had a real bad day, I think, until I turned 13.  It was then when people started telling me “facts” about the “real world.” Bad things happen, they say. That’s just life.

That is true to a certain extent.  But what if I didn’t know everything that I know now? I’ve seen and known how awful the world is.  So would it be better if I was happy and didn’t know anything?

Maybe I’m more in the middle now.  I think knowledge isn’t everything. Happiness is more important.  We should use our knowledge smarter, to make us happier.

If you have it, might as well use it for the better, right?

Categories: Psychology | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Fake Feelings

Have you ever felt awful and wondered why you were feeling that way? You try to remember what horrible thing happened to your day, but you can’t remember? It’s just that depressed feeling inside of you that you can’t comprehend. (Is it just me?)

Well, I was feeling like that today. I had no idea why. THEN I REMEMBERED. I was upset about something I read online.
It wasn’t about me, but emotionally, it got me all mad. I forgot about it, but the feeling stayed with me. Now that I realized it, I find it pretty funny. This happens to me all the time.

Weird isn’t it? Does that ever happen to anyone else? Haha.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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