|My work was driven by a desire to understand the mysteries of the universe. Then I faced loss that defied understanding. Illustration by Shuhua Xiong, The New Yorker magazine.|
GUEST BLOG / A personal history by Sarah Stewart Johnson.
On a leaden afternoon at the end of last August, six months before the pandemic took hold of the country, I found myself in an I.C.U. near Washington, D.C., breathing by way of a ventilator. I was fully conscious, having lost too much blood to risk sedation. I remember gripping the button on the morphine drip. When a nurse changed the position of my bed, my neck wrenched to the side, and saliva began to pool in my throat.
With my index finger, I spelled “C-H-O-K-I-N-G” over and over again on my husband’s hand, until the nurse returned with a suction bulb. For that terror-filled night and into the next day, the machine drew my breaths in and out.
|Sarah Stewart Johnson|
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