Page Two

Publisher’s Note: The names and places have been changed to protect those involved. While the story is based on true events, parts of the story have been fictionalized.

“Welcome back.  How are you feeling?”  the nurse asked.  

The man stared straight up from his hospital bed at the white ceiling without so much as a blink from his eyes.  His 6-foot 7-inch, 270-pound body did not move.  He showed no emotion.  He heard nothing.

“You’ll be resting here for a while, and soon we can take you back to your room.  It’s almost dinner time, so hopefully you’re hungry,” the nurse said as she raised the man’s hospital bed to a sitting position.  “Here, take a drink of water…I’ll get you a straw.”

The nurse put one end of the straw in the glass of water and put the other end by his mouth, but he didn’t open his mouth to drink any of the water.  He just stared straight ahead.

Seeing that he was unresponsive, the nurse said, “OK, then, you just let me know if you need anything.  I’ll be back in about 10 minutes to take you to your room.”  Most patients reacted this way after treatment, this wasn’t unusual.  The patient would regain his senses within a couple of hours, she thought.

The man sat in the bed.  He had no thoughts.  He didn’t know who he was or where he was. He had no concept of time.

After about 10 minutes, the nurse came with a wheelchair to take the man from the recovery room to his hospital room where he would stay for the next two weeks. He couldn’t move.  He didn’t know how to get himself from the bed to the wheelchair.  The nurse needed to call four orderlies to help lift him from his bed into the wheelchair.

“There we go,” the nurse said with a sigh of relief.  “Now, we’re going to go for a little ride to your room.  And…you have someone waiting there to see you!”  The nurse spoke to him as if he was a little child.  But he didn’t know, because what he heard, he didn’t understand.

As the nurse rolled the wheelchair into his room, a woman in her mid-sixties cautiously said, “Joe?”  After no response, she asked again, “Joe, Joey?”  It’s Momma!” 
For the first time, he moved on his own, turning his head and looking at the woman, but he did not recognize her.
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