July 18, 2012

Staying Alive With Loved Ones

Your spouse lays on the hospital bed unconscious with the life support system jacked in to keep the fluids going. Eyes are closed and not even moving in REM sleep. You wonder if he or she will ever wake up. As tears fall from your eyes thinking about the many days you’ve spent in the room sleeping on the chairs and getting visits from countless nurses and other doctors checking, you’re constantly looking for any sign of life. Countless minutes pass as you have conversations with him or her as if he or she is listening. But you don’t know for sure. Days pass. You want to lose hope, but you can’t. You won’t.

Then you reach in, bottom lip trembling, and you put your hand on your spouse’s hand. As you whisper your sweet nothings, saying you’re “not going to give up”, suddenly you feel a squeeze. It’s a squeeze on your hand! Your heart jumping, you look down to where his or her hand is, and you see those fingers moving as if they recognize something. They recognize you. Your spouse recognizes you. Immediately, you frantically reach for the call button to get the nurses in. As you scream, your spouse is actually grasping your hand a little tighter; but his or her eyes aren’t opening. As the nurses rush in, they look at the monitors to see a jump in brain activity and vital functioning–a sign that he or she is actually coming out of the coma!

It sounds like a miracle, but the truth is it actually might not be. Medical statistics show that even though the brain might be inactive, it still can process outer stimuli–such as a voice or a touch–and even moreso if it’s something the brain recognizes! Keep this in mind–a big part of healing resides in the presence of friends and family. Keep holding onto that person’s hand. They just might wake up.