Room 23

A gathering place for those who love the ABC TV show Lost. This blog was started by a group of Fans who kept the Season 3 finale talkback at Ain't It going all the way until the première of the 4th season as a way to share images, news, spoilers, artwork, fan fiction and much more. Please come back often and become part of our community.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Lost: The Remains - chapter 7 - "A Man Who Died"

Napoleon Park
Chapter Seven
“A Man Who Died”

Jesus Esterhaus Chan was a real bastard. Literally, in the traditional sense of the word. It was the first thing he told people about himself after he introduced himself, because people almost always tended to ask about his name. That was in fact often the only thing people knew about him since, once beyond the introductions, he was not generally an outgoing or extroverted person.

His mother, Ling Chan, was a Taiwan hotel maid. His father, who he never met, was Ambassador Jesus Esterhaus, an American of Spanish and German heritage. If this were fiction I might say that he was searching for the father who never knew he existed and that's what brought him to Sydney and put him on a plane to LA. Or would that whole "daddy issues" angle be too clichéd?

He was a heavy-set man. Not as rotund as that friendly fellow Hurley, but 5'1" and stocky.

In the first days after the crash he made the rounds of the encampment and asked everyone if they had found a small nylon packet, which contained his glucometer and a supply of insulin and syringes. No one had seen it so presumably it had fallen into the ocean during the crash. Then he approached both Shephard and Sawyer asking if either of then had any insulin, either his or anyone else’s. He offered to buy it or trade for it, but neither of them had any, though the doctor had a small supply of needles in case he did locate any insulin.

Jesus had been diagnosed with Adult Onset Diabetes five years earlier. He read the pamphlets and attended the health and nutrition classes. He knew that his pancreas had shut down and stopped making natural insulin and without injections to replace that natural and essential chemical component of his system he could not properly utilize the energy in sugars and carbohydrates. He also knew that he could try to control his diabetes with exercise and by carefully limiting his diet. Of course on the island diet was limited anyway; he couldn't overindulge in refined white grains and sugars when the nearest bakery was over a thousand miles away.

Some people claim this Island has magical healing properties but it didn't heal the recurring ache in my shoulder, it didn't heal Fay's face - at least not properly - and it didn't eliminate Jesus’ diabetes.

Through increased physical activity and a healthier diet he did manage to lose over forty pounds in about two months.

Then one day while out for a jog he tripped over some branches and cut his ankle. He wrapped the injury with a bandana to stop the bleeding, then when he returned to his tent at the west end of our settlement he cleaned the wound with water and bandaged it as best as he could. But the cut got infected. Within a matter of days his foot was red and swollen - by the end of the week his toes were blackened, gangrenous and necrotic.

He was unable to walk by this time. Someone offered to fetch the doctor but Jesus declined. His pain grew, his foot darkened, his leg became mottled and green. He was dying and he knew it and he didn't want a doctor torturing him while he did it. If Shephard took one foot now he'd want the other one in a month or so. Or a leg up to the knee. Or a hand or an arm or his eyes. He did not want to be parceled out in nickel and dime segments. If he were going to die at least he'd die whole. Diabetics take a long time to heal even a simple cat scratch or insect bite. Take his leg off above the knee and he'd have a wound that would never heal and would be impossible to keep clean and avoid re-infection.

If he had been a friendly helpful or outgoing person, perhaps someone would have defied his wishes and brought the doctor to him. Instead, he said no doctor and they shrugged and went about their business. He had always spent much of his time in his tent, so no one missed him when he became confined to bed. Department store assistant manager wasn't really a usable survival skill, anyway. Within days his leg was blackened to above the knee and red, swollen and hard to the hip. Then the infection got into his blood stream and he advanced quickly through delirium, unconsciousness and death. One morning someone looked in on him and rigor had set in and he was taken into the jungle and buried deep enough that the wild boars couldn't dig him up.

After his burial there was a brief discussion. Was he a coward for choosing suicide by refusing medical help? Was he a hero for cho0sing to perish on his own terms rather than becoming a burden on our little microcosm of a community? He was a man who died.

No comments: