An offer for a piece of chewing gum.
From a packet of mostly already finished gums.
As a matter of fact, this was the very last piece left in the old packet.
Stored in a purse.
Of a nurse.
In a nurses’ break room.
That she brought it from.
After she was very scared that she could potentially loose her job.
Because somebody would complain about her.
Because she accidentally mixed up medicine that were not supposed to be combined.
To give to a patient.
The patient, upon administering the un-prescribed cocktail, threw up instantly.
The patient who had been getting worse for the last two weeks.
Day by day.
Hour by hour.
Losing his strength,
The function of his organs,
The concept for the meaning of his life
Completely going by the way side.
Almost out of the blue.
Staying in that place called a “hospital”.
Only because he still had the full hope that somewhere
In this great land of the United States of America,
A hospital with billions of Dollars of
Technical, medical, personnel experience
Would be able to offer him a
So he sucked it up and stayed in this jail of a hospital.
Next to him, his wife,
Hoping just the same,
That one of these hospitals would give him the liver transplant approval.
So, she struggled to keep count of the number of pills and injections and drinks
That He was being administered on a daily basis.
Of probably around 30 or 40 or higher.
And the nurses coming in,
Almost every 2 hours,
To administer one more.
Just saying “I’m here to give your medicine”.
As if that’s all a nurse is supposed to do.
Talk in a tone of recorded voice, with no display of feeling or care.
Impatiently waiting for the patient to take all the drugs.
So that she can get to her next patient.
And one of them, with a broken English, as most of the others were,
Just made her daily mistake, probably.
And gave him the two drugs that were not supposed to be mixed together.
And when the wife called her right back,
To say “My husband threw up. What have you done?”
After her nervous reshuffling of papers and things first, to collect her thoughts,
Sweat on her forehead of her worry, that
Yes, she may possibly loose her job.
Which she barely makes enough money from.
To support her family.
In this ‘grandest’ city of the world.
In this jungle of buildings and mesmerizing suffering of humanity.
In this tower of prison.
Overlooking another tower of prison.
Working like clockwork, like a robot.
Without even knowing, feeling, what this work is really for.
What it’s about.
Without knowing at all, who is this person she is supporting,
Whom she is pushing the drugs, of the pharmaceutical companies,
Drugs with complicated names she struggles to pronounce,
Into his throat,
Into his veins.
They cannot even find, any more, a piece of vein to inject to, to welcome the 10th needle of the day.
His veins are saying “Stop the needles”.
Oh, she came head to head,
With the thought that she may loose her job.
So, all she could do was:
To say “Don’t worry he will be OK. It’s no problem. It’s no big deal”.
Then to go to the break room.
Grab her purse.
And literally give to her patient
The very last piece of chewing gum out of her many many days old,
Stored up, crumbled,
Chewing gum packet.
Welcome to one of the world’s greatest hospitals.
Where The Patient matters the most.
In the year 2014, to save humanity.