I look at her notes:

End stage renal failure. Diabetes. Congestive Heart Failure. Hypertension.

Bag of Meds. Distraught family. Three flights of stairs.

Why do the sickest live on the third floor?

Desperation fills the room. It has it’s own scent.

Adult diapers. More medications spilled on the floor

Two teens, tired and scared. Their mother. Their parent. Their patient, saddness

barely breathing. Unresponsive, life nearly over.

She’s thirty-seven.

She won’t be thirty-eight.

IV failed, no pressure in the veins.

Blood glucose 11. Glucagon in the triceps.

No flinch, cold, dead flesh.

Minutes pass, a flicker of the eyes, an opening

“Hi Mom.”

Eyes closed.

Tears flow

We transported to the ER.

I don’t even know why.

All around us people are living lives in quiet desperation. Try and be kind. At some time or another it will be our turn, if it already isn’t.

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