The internet, addiction, and me

Sometimes it’s not okay to look down from the world.

Ben Werdmuller

--

I used to have a night-time routine. I would help my mother up the six stairs from the living room to her bedroom, give her a hug, and set her up in bed. Sometimes, if she was feeling particularly weak, I would bring her toothbrush to her with a mug of water, so that she could brush her teeth in bed.

I could hear the rolling stand that held her food pump against the hardwood floor as she moved around at night, to go to the bathroom. My dad had all the carpeting removed when they bought the house — carpets harbor dust and fungus that could inflame her lungs.

Years out from a double lung transplant, it was no longer the pulmonary fibrosis that was causing her pain: it was the anti-rejection drugs. The operation had saved her life, but it was far from a magic bullet. For eight years, she seemed to go from near-death experience to near-death experience: operations to remove scarring on her lungs, fungal infections, feeding tubes, inability to eat, nausea, pain. In 2019, we spent eleven straight weeks by her bedside. In 2020, the silver lining of the pandemic was that I no longer had to go into an office, and could spend most of my time helping to care for her. In 2021, on an awful Sunday evening in June, we lost her.

She fought for over a decade. Even at the end, she said she wasn’t ready to say goodbye. She still had life left. She didn’t want to leave us.

--

--

Ben Werdmuller

Writer: of code, fiction, and strategy. Trying to work for social good.