I Died Last Night

Copyright ©2022 John Wm Beckner - All Rights Reserved

I tried so hard to open my eyes,
All thoughts to do so, my brain denies.
I fell again into a fitful sleep,
In the distance was an incessant beep.

A confusion of voices ebb and flow,
Consciousness came, but oh so slow.
My eyes fluttered open, way too much light,
To maintain awareness was a difficult fight.

I was in a very large, antiseptic room,
Death was waiting, I felt my doom.
"Sir, can you hear me?" came a voice,
I must answer, there was no other choice.

But no answer came, try as I might,
She said, "Don't struggle or fight.
Don't worry, you will be fine."
I knew it was a lie, a placating line.

Drifting in and out was my plight,
Hungry darkness, then too white light.
Finally, winning the struggle to stay awake,
Feeling, though, a throbbing headache.

So many questions, just leave me alone!
Why was there burning pain in my breastbone?
"We had to shock you to bring you back,
Your breastbone may have a crack."

The oddest question, "Do you know your name?"
What a silly question, what is their game?
"Of course I know my name," I vehemently spat.
My answer though, "I'll get back to you on that."

My uncontrollable shivering was finally subsiding,
But my jumbled thoughts into a pit kept sliding. 
She finally answered a question I forgot to ask,
"It's time to stay awake and get on task."

"You are in the Trauma Center," she simply stated,
For answers to other unasked questions, I waited.
Hypothermia was the immediate concern, 
My cheek had been frozen to concrete, as a burn.

Most fearful of all was the swelling of my brain,
A decade of mental anguish would be my bane.
I was covered in a plastic blanket, glowing red,
Warm fluid via catheter and IV, they said.

They were pleased so much more,
When 92 degrees was my body's core.
Stabilized and transported to ICU,
My mind continued wavering, I was askew.

The paramedic visited me the day after that,
To let me know of my heroic cat.
Though I died on the ice before they brought me back, 
She kept my face warm as I faded to black.

As the ambulance was racing away with me,
They had to stop to set my cat free.
She hugs me tightly with claws and all,
When a visitor is with me, she's ready to brawl.

Three days later I remembered my name,
Reading and writing were my next aim.
Speech pathology helped a lot,
And trying hard to remember any thought.

A decade later, and just last year,
My brain finally returned to a state of all clear.
I'm thankful to many since my head went splat,
And I truly love my heroine, my cat.


I had a fall off my porch in the dead of winter, landing 3 steps down onto my concrete patio, frozen
in ice with snow falling at a blizzard rate. The real problem is that I landed headfirst. I lost
consciousness. The diagnosis was TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury. The paramedics estimated that I had
lain in the snow and ice for about 5 hours. When they found me, I was unresponsive with no pulse or
respiration. My core temperature was in the low 80’s. A paramedic later told me that Dax, my cat,
was rubbing her body against the part of my face that wasn’t frozen to the ground. He said that Dax
probably saved my life. It took several weeks to learn to speak properly again and over a month
before I could write. But it was over 10 years before my brain suddenly awoke, back to a semblance
of normalcy.