Awoken from my sleep to an alarm at three in the morning, is always the start of my day.
Bleary eyed, I get up and get dressed. I head to the kitchen to brew some coffee. I stumble to the bathroom to brush my teeth, shave, whatnot. My black hair is thinning and I noticed I have crows feet around the edges of my eyes. Time is wasting. I go to my bedroom that only consists of a pullout sofa and a table and open a box and put on my watch.
My name is of no importance, for what is in a name right? As I sit and drink my coffee, I read the newspaper only to skim over the important parts. As I am about to turn on the news, my pager goes off and before I know it, I’m out the door heading to my bicycle. I live in the city, and its close to where I work. Besides, it keeps me fit. By four fifteen in the morning, I arrive at Holy Trinity Hospice Center. As I lock my bike, I notice the designated smoking area is crowded with the daily bunch puffing nicotine into their systems before work. I walk past them. Too soon I mutter to myself.
Normally people would ask me why I chose this profession. The pay is low, you have no hope of a social life, and you are constantly at wits end trying to make the patients last days, minutes, seconds happy.
We’ll get to that later. I step into the break room to sit down and try to pick something out of the revolving vending machine wondering which will give me indigestion, nausea, or both. I opt for a package of donuts.
A volunteer that did a 12-hour shift slumps down on a chair and says “you guys can take this job and shove it. I’m done after this shift” I chuckle to myself as I look at the slow spinning arms of the clock. Time to make my rounds. I walk to the desk and see where I’m assigned to.
The whole facility is brightly lit. the smell of antibacterial, cleaning supplies, bodily fluid, and others are palpable. In this line of work, you have to get used to it. Music is only played in certain rooms as last requests of the family. The rest of the rooms are only heard only by the beeping of machines, oxygen tanks, suction machines, and soft conversation of visiting relatives. I continue my rounds checking on patients, only to look at my watch every so often. I like to be on time.
It’s almost the end of my shift and I have one last patient. I look at my watch, sigh and knock on the door. The room is filled with flowers, balloons, and pictures of the patient when she was younger. I look at the chart. Isabelle Jacobs. She laid in her bed connected to her oxygen machine. The Electrocardiography
machine beeps steadily. I change out the bed pans and try to have a small conversation with her. Suddenly her eyes open and look at me accusingly. Certain people at this age notice things more clearly. She panics slightly and the machine peaks. I place my hand on her head and walk out of the door. As I walk up the hall. The faint sound of flatline is heard. As I look at my watch, I scratch a notch on a piece of paper. Like I said, this profession is terrible, but it has to be done.