August 28, 2001
2:35 PM   Subscribe

If I had my own weblog, I'd write more about what this story of one woman's coma (spotted on World New York) means to me. I'll just say that I love my wife and fear ever facing a crisis such as the one described in this husband's extraordinarily well written story. If you want to think deeply about life and the people you love and have some time and tears for the introspection, take a read.
posted by msacheson (22 comments total)
I have no words. Thanks for linking to such a moving story.
posted by kristin at 3:18 PM on August 28, 2001

Msacheson, if this is the kind of thing you'd write about if you had your own weblog, then I wish you had one. Thanks for a great story.
posted by donnagirl at 3:33 PM on August 28, 2001

Good link!

I hope I never have to find out whether I'd have the courage to make it through that.

posted by marknau at 3:39 PM on August 28, 2001

you could have your own website (blog) but then a reader I think would be more interested in the story you posted rather than your feelings about it. Thus the reader can sort out his or her own feelings. As a favorite writer has said: always go to source rather than commentary upon the original.
posted by Postroad at 3:50 PM on August 28, 2001

not to sound like a cheap tramp here, but if you *really* want to publish an article about this, feel free to submit it to my blatantly plugged site.

matter of fact, i'd be honoured if you did.
posted by jcterminal at 3:55 PM on August 28, 2001

posted by mantid at 4:02 PM on August 28, 2001

millions of these stories happen everyday. everyone has a history, and experiences worth learning about. if we only took the time to stop and find out, we'd all be more appreciative of the value of life and all that we hold dear around us. it's stories such as this one that truly brings out the humanity in us.
posted by dai at 4:32 PM on August 28, 2001

it's not often that the monitor is streaked with tears...
posted by brigita at 4:39 PM on August 28, 2001

Thanks for the great link. It's amazing how a talented writer can not only bring you into his world, but help you make sense of your own as well. We went through a chillingly similar experience with my mother last winter. Three weeks on a respirator in CCU, two months total in the hospital, and a miraculous recovery. After the initial shock and intense emotion, things drag on to the point that numbness sets in and it all becomes a blur. Reading this story has helped cut through some of the haze, and my most prominent memory has to be how wonderful the critical care nurses were. They are truly rare and special people, which makes David Jaqua's suicide that much more tragic.
posted by gimli at 5:02 PM on August 28, 2001

wonderful story..
posted by lotsofno at 5:03 PM on August 28, 2001

Thank you, my love. You're right...I should have read this one at home.
posted by aacheson at 5:22 PM on August 28, 2001

Hi wife :-))))
posted by msacheson at 5:35 PM on August 28, 2001

wow. I am going to wait to get home to read the link, but I am moved just by the comments in this thread. Peace to all.
posted by tenseone at 5:37 PM on August 28, 2001

Find someone you love and hug them tight. Do it now.
posted by Optamystic at 6:44 PM on August 28, 2001

/me runs to hug uncle willie.
posted by jcterminal at 6:52 PM on August 28, 2001

I hate weepy stories about overcoming dismal odds. Inspiration stories always bore me and make me hate "angels"

But this story almost turned me into a quivering pile of weep-jelly. I saw a lot of my relationship with my wife in it, and it will make me think of life in a different way, at least for a day or two.

Content like this is why the Internet is a Good Place. Seriously. Content is King.
posted by fnirt at 8:20 PM on August 28, 2001

I read this via Pop Culture Junk Mail last week, and was both moved and frightened. I mean, you go to the hospital for something as innocuous as a broken ankle, and end up in a coma in ICU? Sheesh. Cherish each moment, hug a loved one.
posted by Oriole Adams at 8:24 PM on August 28, 2001

Small world: I work two cubicles away from the author of this piece.

I'll show him this thread tomorrow.
posted by lileks at 8:40 PM on August 28, 2001

I sat a desk away from Jon at the Strib when he was working on this piece and after it was published. He got literally hundreds of e-mails and phone calls each day from people who were touched by the piece and wanted to share their own stories--sometimes with ARDS, sometimes with other hospital experiences. Some called pleading with him to tell them that Ellen survived (this was, obviously, before all of the segments were published in the paper).

Jon's one of the very coolest reporters I've ever worked with, and I hope he turns this into a book. Claude Peck, who edited the piece, did a masterful job helping him shape the piece, and deserves mention too.

I told Jon that my favorite part of the series was when he came to the hospital waiting room to find one family had stuck Post-It notes bearing their name on all the phones, as if reserving them. Jon stalked around and tore off the notes, and got glared at for his pains.
posted by GaelFC at 9:21 PM on August 28, 2001

i re-read the final chapter of the article, and was once again deeply moved by the last few lines. it shows how deep the roots are of a good marriage, which are becoming more scarce as divorce rates continue to climb. i hope that when i'm married, i can also wake up in the morning in my mid fifties and study my wife's sleeping face, someone that i still love dearly after many years of ups and downs. even without the tribulations of a near-death experience, i think that would still be one of the happiest moments in life.

well, this is certainly against the flow, as i must be the only 19 year old who wishes to grow old.
posted by dai at 9:29 PM on August 28, 2001

Goddamn, he is a fucking good writer, and what a great story. I went though this eight years ago with my dad, but he didn't make it. It would have helped to have read this then.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:53 PM on August 28, 2001

If you're interested in stories like this, I recommend "Where is the Mango Princess?" by Cathy Crimmins. It's written by the wife of a man who suffers a brain injury, and details how his family reacts to his injury, coma and eventual recovery. Lots to think about -- and another terrific account of how people deal with situations like this.
posted by Badmichelle at 7:55 AM on August 29, 2001

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