Is Texting While Driving Worth the Pain?

Ava Vande Corput, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

My job for the day was to shadow a nurse on the surgical floor in order to learn about neurology. It had been a pretty boring and uneventful morning on the floor dealing with patients with migraines or post-op care from a brain surgery that happened a few weeks ago. I sat around following a nurse give medicine or typing vitals into a computer. I kept looking at the clock, watching the seconds tick by, thinking about what I was going to eat for lunch in the cafeteria, or how my blue scrubs were too big or how I could really use a nap. During this experience, I learned I definitely did not want to be a nurse; however, this was not the most valuable experience I learned while at the hospital.

Something changed when I walked into Room 203. I saw a girl about my age. She looked pretty ordinary with dark brown hair that was entangled into a messy bun, a small silver nose ring, long dark black eyelashes and small freckles dotting her face like chocolate sprinkles. However, what stood out to me was her bright blue eyes. They were as blue as the ocean when the sun hits a spot making it look like rhinestones littering the surface. Her eyes were so vivid that one should never want to look away from them, but I did. I had to look away because her eyes were filled with tears from being in so much pain.

She had been in the hospital for 22 days after her car accident. You could tell by the look in her eyes that she had had enough of the smell of bleach, the exposing hospital gowns, bland walls and watching the same reruns of shows on the Disney channel. You could tell from her tear-filled eyes that she was losing hope because it looked as though the life had been sucked out of her. She looked less than human, almost like a corpse lying in the hospital bed. Her brain was firing neurons, heart was pumping blood and oxygen through her body, and stomach was digesting food, but she looked near death.

She was treated like an animal, being poked and prodded at three in the morning or ten o’clock at night. The nurses came in, made small talk with her, gave her medication, took her vitals and then left with a sympathetic smile on their faces. Once out of the room, they discussed her condition among themselves, feeling bad for her but also thinking within their minds that she deserved it, for she had put herself in this situation. They talked about her outside of her room all the while she laid in bed trying to eat a piece of melon or two just to gain some strength for the day. Her eyes were filled with tears because every movement she endured made her feel like her body was on fire. Everything hurt all the time. Her head. Her body. Even her heart.

You think it’s just going to be one text until it’s not. One turns into two which turns into ten which turns into twenty and so on. With every text sent, another one pops up as fast as a gazelle escaping from a lion in the jungle. You look down to answer another text because what’s a few seconds not paying attention? It’s just a few seconds typing a few characters to form a couple words. Until it is not. It’s only a text until it ends up with your life on the line. Surely she realized that when she was lying in a hospital bed, writhing in pain from her life-threatening accident on her 22nd day in the hospital. It might be just a text, but what if those were the words that led you to live days of your life alone in a hospital bed with more visits from the nurses than your family? What if these were the words that made you lose all your hope because it feels like you will never get better? What if those were the last words you ever said? Was it really worth it then?