I was afraid, trembling, cold, and eight-months pregnant as I walked down the hospital hall. A tang of disinfectant was in the air, and I could hear the echo of my footsteps. My senses were so heightened. I walked into my husband’s room and stopped in horror.
It registered in my mind that Jack was sitting up in the bed, but my attention was riveted on the ominous machine in the middle of the room. There was a nurse with scissors in her hand ready to cut at what seemed to be yards of blood-filled plastic tubing.
“My God, what is she doing? Jack is hooked up to those tubes!”
The machine looked like a terrible monster, menacing with blood tubes running everywhere and ending in Jack’s arm. Sitting in the middle of this five-foot-tall thing was a fiber coil filled with his blood that was submerged in a vessel of liquid just like the brains you see in horror films. It was like something from a Frankenstein movie, and I thought all of Jack’s blood was in the kidney dialysis machine.
Once I calmed down, I learned there were only a couple pints of blood in the machine, and the “scissors” were a hemostat that was used to clamp the tubes.
After that moment of terror, I saw that Jack was sitting up and in a pretty good mood, considering. I kissed him and joked that this was a funny way to get my attention. We talked more about what was going on. Then he suddenly threw up and passed out. Alarms sounded everywhere, doctors came running, and a nurse pushed me back into a corner. I hit the wall behind me and stopped breathing…