During the 90s, there were only a few people in our neighborhood in the province who knew how to use the sphygmomanometer, or commonly known as the BP apparatus.
Among such people was my cousin who lives in the house next to ours. One morning, right after breakfast, a neighbor a few houses away, called on him. She asked him to take the blood pressure of her husband who had been very sick for some while. My cousin packed the BP apparatus and taking my brother with him, he went to the neighbor’s house.
At first he had a really difficult time feeling for the patient’s pulse. Then, when he finally felt what he thought was the pulse, he wrapped the pressure cuff around the man’s arm and pressed the bulb repeatedly. He didn’t hear anything. So, he tried again.. Then again.. And yet again.. There was no sound. There was no blood pressure.
He took the earpiece out and said in a troubled tone…
“I’m sorry about this.. but I can’t hear any sound. He doesn’t have any blood pressure…'”
The woman who fetched him rushed towards her husband and put her ear on his chest. Then she looked up and said..
“He doesn’t have any heartbeat either..”
Well, obviously, the patient was already dead but no one realized it right away.
After a few years, when we talk about it, it sounded funny at first, the idea of taking the blood pressure of a dead man was hilarious, but when we think about a dead man lying on the bed without anybody knowing he was dead, well.. that sounds horrible..
We don’t just realize it but things like that really happen in the neighborhood.