Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Dumber than "success"

kw: local events, human nature

I visited a friend today, in the hospital. He'd first been in a coma for three weeks, and at the time nobody knew why for certain; then he began to wake up, but took another couple of weeks to regain some semblance of rationality. I saw him during that period, and he recognized me, but could not say my whole name, just one syllable.

Today he was much more clear, but very depressed. With good reason: he failed to commit suicide. Six weeks ago he went to a hotel, drank a fifth of vodka, then followed up with about 200 Benadryl tablets. That is known to induce coma, but is a very unreliable method of inducing death. Now, having spent a month in intensive care, with more weeks or months of physical therapy and psychological counseling (he is still suicidal), the main thing he has accomplished is saddling himself and his family with about a half million dollars in medical debt. Oh yeah, I didn't mention they don't have medical insurance.

I reckon there is a whole bunch of us that will have to help them out of this financial hole. But even more, we are trying to find ways to convince him that his life is valuable to us, and to his family, even if he doesn't value it so much right now. That is what I told him today. He still has a young child to raise, a kid who needs a father not a grave marker to lay flowers on. Though the grave might be a cheaper commodity, we're glad he is still with us, in spite of the high cost. (This I'm telling you, not him; I didn't mention money to him at all)

Sometimes a body feels pretty helpless. The best I could do at the moment was to sit and talk with him for a while.

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