July 19, 2016

listening for nothing

I place my stethoscope onto the chest and reflexively bend my head down.  It could be mistaken for supplication.  Maybe it is.  It also pulls the ear buds on the stethoscope snuggly into the ear canal.  Sometimes there are electronic noises from beeping IV pumps to vital sign alarms.  Sometimes there are crying family members.  But what I am listening for is silence.  No heart beat.  So I mentally block out all the noise, as much to give a moment of silence to the recently departed as anything.  A heaviness is present in that silence.  Soon it will be broken by speaking with the grieving family members or speaking with the nurses to fill out the paperwork.  But in that moment, there is nothing but heavy silence.

1 comment:

Jess said...

The thing that always gets me is that you do hear noises. Maybe just noises from my own fingers. Maybe leftover biological noises. Not enough to be clearly a heartbeat, but am I really 100% sure that wasn't a little breath sound? Am I somehow wrong, and they're still there, even though to my eyes they're clearly gone? The moment of hope that I'm wrong is always there, even though clearly it's too late, even if I did hear something.