Chapter 1: Visiting A Patient

For the southern part of the country, May was the month of disastrous torrential storms. The weather forecast had given early notice and predicted a powerful atmospheric convection for the next several days. The local region was given a heavy rain warning and had advised its citizens it would be unwise to go out during such poor weather conditions. However, Lin Haihai disregarded the warning of her colleagues. She left the house with an umbrella and a bag of medical supplies even though the grey skies looked like they were about to collapse.  

 

Lin Haihai was going to see an old patient of hers. He was 90 years old and had been sent home to die a peaceful death. The patient had been tormented with emphysema for years. At a terminal stage, all his organs were failing and his stomach was bleeding internally. Each time he tried to eat, he would suffer from massive pain. The needles at the hospital had kept him alive. Now that he was home, his children wanted their father to have a satisfying meal before death. So, prior to leaving the hospital, they asked Lin Haihai to inject him with heart-strengthening medicine.

 

The old man was happy his kids had cooked for him. He ate almost a full bowl. After the meal, the old man chatted cheerfully with his children. But approximately an hour later, the old man started to experience severe pain. He frantically asked for Doctor Lin and begged his kids to get her to save him. His kids didn’t know how to deal with the situation and gave Lin Haihai a call to inform her of the situation. 

 

Honestly, Lin Haihai didn’t have to go. She already knew she wouldn’t be able to change the outcome. The children of the old man knew this as well, so they thought it was highly unlikely Lin Haihai would show up. They only called her to soothe the old man, as it gave him hope. Surprisingly, after Lin Haihai got off the phone, she immediately headed out to see him. 

 

When Lin Haihai arrived at the old man’s house, her patient was painfully moaning. The moment he saw Lin Haihai, his cloudy eyes lit up. He was gasping for breath. “Doctor Lin, please save me!” 

 

Lin Haihai placed down her bag of supplies and instantly seized the old man’s hand to calm him. “Don’t worry. Relax.” She knew the old man was very aware of his situation. He knew he was about to die, so he held onto Lin Haihai as if she were his last hope. There were many times he was critically ill, but Lin Haihai managed to bring him back from the brink of death. He was hoping this miracle would happen again. 

 

However, Lin Haihai knew this time was final. Right now, attempting to sustain his life wasn’t what she needed to do. Instead, she had to try to let the old man die as painlessly as possible. 

 

Lin Haihai took a syringe of morphine from her bag and skillfully injected it into the old man. She was clearly violating the rules. Morphine injections required the consent of family members. However, no one would blame her in this situation. As Lin Haihai injected the morphine, she whispered in her patient’s ear, “It’ll be over soon. Slowly, the pain will go away. Take a deep breath and relax your body. I’m keeping an eye on you.” 

 

The old man trustingly gazed at Lin Haihai and gradually relaxed. His tightly clenched hands loosened and he could feel the pain steadily going away. Suddenly, he became silent and saw many people in front of him. He couldn’t believe it. Why are the dead in front of me? Are they ghosts? Dad? Mom? Wife? 

 

He lightly called out, “Dad, mom, wife! You are all here!” Lin Haihai was used to this scene. Humans didn't usually see their loved ones before their death. However, hallucinations were common for patients in the terminal stage of emphysema. Based on her patient’s expression and the look in his eyes, he had already entered the world of hallucinations. Soon, the old man’s breathing began to slow down and weaken. This lasted approximately half an hour until the old man finally took his last breath. 

 

Lin Haihai felt a deep sadness as she turned around and announced, “He’s gone.” 

 

At once, the entire room was filled with cries. A person from the older generation loudly shouted, “Get down on your knees and send the old man on his final journey!” Then, with a heavy heart, everyone knelt before the bed. 

 

Lin Haihai tried to suppress her tears and left the depressing setting with her bag of supplies. Being a doctor for many years, she had experienced countless life and death separations. Despite that, she couldn’t confront death in the face. In the past, her mentor had told her she was too emotional for her own good; it would be a burden to her career. Yet, Lin Haihai couldn’t pretend to be unfazed by death, because she was always fighting against the God of Death. She had a strong passion for life. 

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