One thing I am beginning to understand is that my concept of time has disappeared. I can’t tell a minute from an hour, an hour from a day. At times I think that I must have just woken up from a sleep because I can feel that heavy, laden and groggy veil on my mind that one feels when first waking up. I then feel like I should yawn, but of course, my mouth does not move. My sense of hearing is all I can rely on and never before have I listened so hard for anything. Sometimes I can hear soft voices from what I presume is a nurses station. I often hear the faint ringing of a phone, papers being shuffled, and the occasional laughter in conversation. I have surmised that this is when the door to my room is open. When all else is quiet I cling to these voices as a sign that things are still the same. It’s when there is total silence that I start to wonder if something has changed, if I have gone somewhere else. Yes, death has crossed my mind. I am a logical person and realize the peril of being in a comatose state. I realize that I might just slip away at any moment and float somewhere else in this darkness. I don’t mind saying that the thought of that scares the hell out of me, especially if I were to stay in this darkness. I don’t pretend to know what happens when we die, I only know what I hope happens. And I hope being able to see – something – is part of it. So when it is completely quiet all around me I begin to wonder if I have slipped off my life raft in this ocean and am sinking towards the sea floor. I strain my ears for a voice, a squeaky wheel on a gurney being pushed, soft tennis shoe footsteps on the vinyl floor. But all I get is the steady, soft beep of the machine close to me, which I have become so accustomed to that I barely notice it anymore. And as the silence presses in, becoming almost an oxymoronic roar, I struggle not to panic and lose my mind. Instead I try to focus and revisit past events of my life in order to calm myself.

Article by Katie Matthews

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