CODE BLUE! (Or is it red?)

My heart has a curious sense of humor. Every three or four years something strikes it as funny and it chuckles arhythmically in my chest. Maybe it's anticipating how humorous I look when, immediately thereafter, I fall to the floor and come to rest with my face pressed against the carpet. At that moment I usually think two things:


  • I'm having a heart attack.

    And then, of course, there's the ride in the ambulance with the cool flashing lights and the neat siren. By the time I arrive at the hospital, I'm actually feeling much better and don't see why I should stay. But then they do an electrocardiogram (KGB) which shows an abnormal heart beat. I have to take the doctor's word for this, since the print-out just shows a bunch of squiggly little lines. Sort of like the artwork our kids used to make and then we'd have to say what a fine job they did even though it was just a bunch of squiggly little lines. (Sorry kids. But I can't live with the lies any longer.)

    So for the next three hours I'm walking around the emergency room with all these wires coming out of me, not realizing that my movements were sending false signals that I was either having a major cardiac event or was standing in a pool of water being struck repeatedly by lightning. Which caused nurses to come running. "SIR! You can't walk around here like that! Now please get back into your bed!"

    "But I'm not tired. And, by the way, it's NOT a bed, it's a gurney. And why do they call it a gurney, anyway?"

    Nobody ever answered that question, or the other interesting questions I had, except once when I asked, "What's this handle thingie do?"

    "It turns off that man's oxygen, sir, and YOU SHOULD NOT BE TOUCHING STUFF! NOW GET BACK IN YOUR BED!!"

    "You mean my gurney?"


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    Sojourners Magazine March-April 2001
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