Yesterday while writing about the Giant fan in the coma, I couldn’t help but think about my good buddy Brian who this site is dedicated to. The year before he died he too lapsed into a coma. His too was medically induced, but he induced it, the result of an accidental overdose. At least we believe it was an accident. I remember getting the phone call and going over to Foothill Presbyterian Hospital to see him. Bri was on a ventilator and looked pretty bad. I really didn’t think he was going to make it.
For the next six weeks he remained in the intensive care unit at Foothill Presb. I’d go by after work to visit at least 3 or 4 times a week. Sometimes I’d stay for nearly an hour, other times I would only be there for fifteen or twenty minutes. I remember the first few times I was there visiting were very strange. Me sitting there listening to the venilator, talking to Bri about whatever came to mind, wondering if he had any idea that I was even there. I felt sort of awkward, but Id heard that sometimes people in comas can hear what’s going on around them so I figured what the heck. When I’d run out of things to say I’d just sit there with him, remembering the good old days. I have to admit I spent a lot of quiet time with him. Sad, but I spent more time with Brian over that six week period than I had since we were in our twenties! Funny how life circumstances can cause even the best of friends to drift apart.
Sometimes Raylene would meet me at the hospital. Visits were so different when she was there. She was so upbeat around Brian and talked and laughed as if he were conscious. She’s such a cheerleader. I remember on one particular visit she noticed that Bri’s toe nails were getting long and his feet were very dry. The next day she brought her lotions and manicure set and took care of Brian’s feet and nails! I remember joking with her that she wouldn’t even do that for me. She replied that if I were ever laid up like Brian she would probably do the same for me, but as long as I was able I could do it myself.
After six weeks with no change in his condition Brian was transferred to a convalesant hospital in Upland. Ray and I continued our visits, then about a couple of months he awoke from his coma! In no time at all he was breathing on his own again and was soon talking. Iasked if he remembered any of the things I had talked to him about when he was out, but he didn’t. After a more months of convalescence and physical therapy, he was finally released from the hospital. Eight months later he did it to himself again. This time he never woke up.
I can only hope that the paramedic injured at the Dodger game last week will survive his injuries without too many long term effects and will one day be able to walk out of the hopital and resume his life. Let’s all keep him in our thoughts and prayers…