The Day I Came Out From The ICU

              I’ve stayed in the ICU for a long time that I was excited yet a bit worried about being transferred out from the ICU into the burn ward.

              There were a few nurses in my room that morning, preparing me for the move. A male nurse said, “Eileyn, you are the Assistant Village Chief of the ICU”. I was staring at him in bewilderment, puzzled by his statement. 

            “Huh? What are you talking about?” I asked in my barely audible voice, unsure whether I had misheard him earlier.

He then explained that the longest staying patient at the ICU was more than 4 months whereas I was there for the duration of nearly 4 months only.  Therefore, that makes me the 2nd longest staying patient there. I honestly didn’t know how to react to this. Part of me felt amused by his statement but another part of me had the revelation that I am lucky to be alive.  For me, being in 2nd place was already far too long to be in the ICU.

           Later, another familiar nurse came in to bid me goodbye. She informed me that during the first few weeks when I was at the ICU struggling between life and death, her mother was involved in an accident and was also admitted at the hospital. After seeing me struggling to live, the nurse told me that I had given her hope not to give up easily on life.

“Did your mum survived?”, I asked with my barely audible voice.

She said, “No. Unfortunately, she died not long after the accident”. 

I felt so sad for her. I couldn’t contain my emotions, and neither could she. We both held hands and cried.  

It was afternoon by the time preparation was done to shift me to the burn ward. As they wheeled me out with the bed from my room to the general area of the ICU, I randomly waved farewell to the nurses and doctors. I was quite surprised to see all the doctors and nurses saying their goodbyes in a happy manner and waving back. Some faces were familiar but there were also some unfamiliar faces to me.

I could remember the warm air as they push me out from the ICU. It felt really good as it has been really cold in the ICU. I enjoyed the short journey. Finally, I am out from that room.  

            My place at the burn ward seemed to be brighter with more sunlight. There was a window next to my bed. The nurse station was just on the right side of my bed. I thought to myself, ok, this doesn’t look too bad.  I will be OK here for a while.

Unbeknownst to me, the burn ward would be my home for another year. I would be the longest staying patient there.  In other words, The Village Chief of the burn ward.


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