After Open Heart Surgery
"How's your father?" I overheard a co-worker ask another in the next cubicle. His father recently had open heart surgery and was still hospitalized.
"He's doing fine," was the answer. "Except the night after the surgery. He was extremely agitated, he tossed and turned like he something was very wrong. He had this tube down his throat so he couldn't talk, he couldn't tell us what was bothering him."
I knew about that tube. My mother had had one, but they had to slice a hole in her throat to keep it in place.
The conversation continued. "Later I asked what upset him so much. 'It was the tube,' my father said. 'Nothing hurt quite like that damn tube.'"</em>
As I listened, air burst from my lungs and I slunk in my chair, my heart pounding like a warped jackhammer. I remembered agitation, I remembered she tried pulling it from her throat. I had considered many things during the five-and-a-half months that tube remained in my mother's throat, but I hadn't considered if the tube was painful. And now I would never know because my mother died before she could tell me how it felt to her.
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