They don’t put dead bodies in the wall anymore. They put them in those walk-in coolers that they use in food service and they stay in there until the funeral home or the autopsy people come in and wheel them out and do whatever it is that they do. But what happens if the cooler fills up and another patient dies—where do they go? Outside of the cooler? In the hall outside the morgue? Left in the hospital room until there is an open space for them in the walk-in? Or are they just not allowed to die in the first place?
Place a check mark next to the option that makes you the most uncomfortable:
• when dead bodies are still warm and growing lukewarm
• when dead bodies are ice cold.
You can survive two weeks on a ventilator before there is an increased risk of illness.
Eula Biss writes that she does not believe that absolutely no pain is possible, that the zero on the pain scale is null and void. I would like to say that I agree with her, but I have this stupid sliver of hope where I believe that towards the end of it all, everything will be everything and everything will be nothing at all. I guess what I’m saying is that I would like to believe that when you are dying, you are a zero on the pain scale, but by that point in time, I supposed it doesn’t really matter anyway.
There is a strange, numb void that occurs when someone you love dies, but I am not sure if this could be rated as a zero or a ten on the pain scale. Getting ****** into a black hole could either hurt very much or not at all.
The medulla oblongata, located as a portion of the brainstem, is the part of the nervous system that controls both cardiac and respiratory mechanisms. If severe damage occurs to this center, death is imminent.
After one minute of not breathing brain cells begin to die.
After three minutes of not breathing, serious brain damage is likely.
Ten minutes: many brain cells will be dead, full patient recovery is unlikely.
Fifteen minutes: patient recovery is virtually impossible.
A “thunderclap headache.” A cerebral aneurysm that has ruptured. A subarachnoid hemorrhage pushing blood and fluid down on my mother’s brain. Grade five: deep coma, rigid decerebration, 10% chance of survival.
In some hospitals, if a loved one has passed, the caregivers cut off several small locks of the patient’s hair, tie them up with a ribbon, and put them in little pink mesh bags for each member of the family as some sort of morbid memento. They take the dead person’s hand, place it on an ink pad, and then stamp it to a piece of paper that has some sort of sappy and sorry poem typed up on it. I do not know where we put the paper, but my little mesh bag is still on my bedside table. Somewhere.
They put dead bodies in white body bags.
I was asked to write a poem somewhat in the style of Maggie Nelson for my poetry class.