A 48 hour experience | Teen Ink

A 48 hour experience

July 6, 2009
By Anonymous

Before I entered room number fourteen, I made sure my red collared shirt was neatly tucked in my pants, and that I entered with a smile on my face. “Good afternoon sir, would you like any assistance with anything?” The man to whom I was speaking was in his late sixties. His face was pail, his five o’clock shadow had grown and his hair was messy. He had an IV in him that looked quite painful because of the irritation it produced. The dull dim room in which he was laying smelled like urine as well. Yet he had a certain glow in his eyes, a charming smile, like everything was just fine and he hadn’t a pain in the world. “No sweetie, I’m fine” he humbly said. “Well I can at least tidy up the place” I insisted. As I refill his glass of water he says to me,” I really appreciate what you volunteers provide to us patents; you give us something doctors don’t have time for”. “It’s understandable they have a certain task to do and so do you”. I shake my head as I say, “I really don’t think I do anything here, I mean I don’t help the doctors save a lives or anything.” He had a reassured gleam in him, “but you do... you really do make a difference... you are the one that makes these patents leave with a smile on...

I come back the next day walk around all the rooms and notice that room number fourteen’s door is locked. I ask why this is to a registered nurse and he tells me, “We usually leave patents alone for a day until their soul has left their body”.

This was my first time I had an interaction with death, and it wasn’t how I expected it to feel at all. Although this thought of how sad it was that a wonderful, living, breathing, communicative man was now no longer, it really wasn’t his death that had the most impact on me. The fact that I, yes I, was the last person he influenced in this world before leaving had amazed me, and had almost brought tears to my eyes. The last thing he did, the final accomplishment he achieved, was send me a message that will shape my choices for the rest of my life. “You really do make a difference...” if I go by his words then maybe I do change something in patents lives even if I just make them smile for a brief moment in time. No matter what I do I will always make a difference. This simple thought was the one and only thing that reassured me into what I really want to do in my life. Sure, volunteers do help out, but I want to make an even bigger difference. I realized that having more of an education would help me into this process. It really influenced me that furthering my education will help me to achieve my goal. All in all my education, my hard work, one day will not just benefit me, but the people in my community, those that I will help.

I feel as if that man’s final impact on this world were his influential words to me, and helping me to realize that I too had an impact; I made him (a patient) leave with a smile on his face. My only regrets about that day is that he did not leave home, but to heaven. This experience didn’t make me realize who I want to be, but who I am becoming.

The author's comments:
a real experience

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