I don’t know if it’s in my head or if it actually happens to other folks. Sometimes when I walk down the streets I see people who look like him, talk like him or walk like him. I normally don’t dream of dead people so most of the things I see or imagine happen at my conscious state. I can’t get over him. Whenever a song he used to like comes along, an old picture or when I recall his stupid jokes the memories just come back. There’s no day that passes without thinking about him. I don’t think anyone ever gets over the loss of a loved one. The best you can do, is reduce the pain to a tolerable level that doesn’t destroy you.
But wherever he is now is way better than Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) where he spent the last six months of his life. I still get goosebumps just thinking about it. That place makes me sick not only because of the hygiene but also because of the negligence and rot of its workers that sees the premature death of masses.
I don’t believe people pass because their day has reached. I think that’s a phrase people use to convince themselves their loved ones are no more. Because places like MTRH ‘force’ your day to come early. I know this how? I was there for about four months. I used to wonder what people in the ICU looked like because the patients at the wards are the ones you’d say were supposed to be in the ICU.
I do not wish to spoil your day by describing how bad that place is but I can tell you for sure at least one person died daily. They neglect you and then when you’re about to or already passed you see nurses running around with gloves, trays, syringes etc pretending to care. Afterwards a man or woman whom am assuming is a doctor walks to that patients bed checks the heartbeat and pronounce him/her dead and they proceed to call the morgue guys to come for your remains.
I’ve never wished dreamt or hoped to be a doctor or a medical practitioner in my life. I have no idea what they teach in medical schools but saying ‘this one has gone’ is not the best way to tell a family they’ve lost someone. It’s usually one person to collect your body, but in any case your caretaker was emotionally unstable, an extra guy would tag along so you don’t interfere with ‘their work.’ A work that involved being heartless. They rarely talked. They came, pushed everyone away, put you in trolley-like metal coffin and take you to the morgue with your file hanging on its side.
My blood used to freeze whenever I met that thing in the corridors or whenever the file was the same colour as my brother’s. And I used to fear the guy pushing it even more. He must have driven thousands in that thing and became so acquainted that he had no feelings whatsoever what people thought or how they looked at him.
Tony’s kidneys failed. He was supposed to be dialyzed at least twice per week. Something that only happened when someone was around to follow up. And even when you’re there, they’d take you in circles and sometimes end up missing the dialysis. The hospital as I was made to understand provided all requirements. But then nurses and doctors collided and told patients they we’re unavailable only to sell for you at a higher price or transport to their chemists and mini-dispensaries.
Weird things used to happen. Patients missing food or being served food that they’re not supposed to. Nurses forgetting to give medications. Doctors showing up late among other nitty-gritties and you want me to say people die because their time has come? Am not saying MTRH killed my brother. People die even in the best of hospitals around the world. I’d like to say God calls His children, especially when sees it’s too much to handle. But maybe, just maybe, they can do better than make the last moments of your life a living hell.
How we miss you big brother!
All the same, I love how bad situations mould us in to stronger beings. You know how to deal with certain scenarios. You realize not everyone who call themselves your friends can stick around when shit gets real. And relatives who never called to check up or visited will be scrambling for spaces to come and collect what has remained of you or speak at your funeral. Very funny. But I guess the biggest lesson you learn is not to be like them.