Staring at death

My aunt who is in the hospital is small in every way you can think of when you first look at her. She is shorter than me (as all of my aunts and cousins are!); she is incredible thin due to her medical complication. A small example of how she has lost her physical strength with time is that she is incapable of opening a bottle of soda. She cannot carry heavy items. She cannot eat certain foods as they may mess with her digestive system or her medications. She takes 6+ medications a day. She exhausts easily with the smallest tasks we take for granted, such as getting dressed, going up steps [which she no longer does], to cutting vegetables when cooking. Yea, all of that makes her sound like a pitiful old woman.

However, when you talk to her you will immediately know that there is nothing small or weak about her, regardless of her appearance and physical capabilities. She is in every sense of the word, is the strongest most courageous woman I know.

Not going into too greater details of her condition, just yesterday my Mom and I went to the clinic with her since she had a medical procedure to do. With an appointment at 3PM, we thought we’d easily be out by 4:30 at the latest. But the time went by. Another hour passed. Another 2 hours passed. Luckily I had brought a book to read, but I was by myself in the waiting room since my Mom had accompanied my aunt. I tried reading and I honestly think I was skimming. My eyes saw words, my mind heard those words as I read them quickly, but retained absolutely nothing. I was “reading” to pass the time, to not have to just sit there and stare at the same little sign that read, “Agrege sus sujerencias aqui” with a suggestion box below. The pain in the ass 10-year-old kid sitting next to me kept eyeballing what I was reading because let’s be honest, it’s weird to see a girl in the waiting room in Chile reading a book in English for crying out loud, rather than refreshing her phone.

I can’t remember at what time my cousin arrived at the clinic. Maybe 7 or 8 at night. With the entry door to the exam rooms right in front of me, I see one nurse run out.  Run the fuck out, like scared. Something had happened. Before I knew it, an alarm started going off. Emergency lights started flickering. A team of maybe 10 doctors and nurses ran in. Two or three men in suits were farther down to my right of the clinic and I didn’t know what they were for (security?) Then, a medical assistant rushes into the exam rooms carrying oxygen tanks. Part of me wonders if all of these measures had been caused by something related to my aunt. I didn’t want to think it was.

I can’t remember if her doctor came out to talk to us or not. Maybe he did. She had had a cardiac arrest and had been dead for maybe a minute. As the medical team passed by as they rolled her out of the door. She was blue. Blue, like indigo blue. I had never been faced with an almost death experience like that. My aunt was taken upstairs to the ICU where they would try to stabilize her, even though her health was already at such a stake. Her doctor thought that due to the complications, she would not make it until the morning.

My Mom and my aunt are extremely close. They only have a three year age difference and they talk practically every single day. We have not even been in Chile for a week and now we thought we would lose her and take part in her funeral.

Luckily and honestly, no one knows how but she came out of it again. We went to see my aunt today and if you’d seen her, it’s as if she had not even had a cardiac arrest the day before. There she was, sitting up with some difficulty, but with a bright smile on her face.

Mumm-ra the family calls her because she is immortal 🙂

Don’t take anything for granted. Say sorry and mean it. Love and mean it. Live in truth and kindness because you don’t ever know when your last chance may ever be with your loved ones.


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