Thursday, 17 April 2014

Fright Night

When the nurse gave me the shot that night, I knew what was coming next. I already had tears in my eyes. Please not again. I can't go through this again. Maybe this nurse will be different. Maybe.
I opened my eyes. The decorations were already up. I had an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach as my eyes moved around the room. There was blood. Sheets had been hung in between patients beds. Plastic sheets. Torn and dripping blood. Bright red blood. It was everywhere. Giant plastic spiders hung in cotton webs.  It was like the best halloween party you've ever been to.
The drugs had kicked in. I could only see when I had my eyes almost closed. I squinted in the semi-dark hospital ward. From my bed I saw almost every type of monster milling around. Mingling with scantily clad witches and vampires. Dread filled my heart and somehow I knew tonight was going to be worse than last.
I winced as a group of men headed towards me. As they approached, a mixture of smells invaded my nostrils. Sweat, beer, testosterone. They were talking loudly, their speech slurred. Big hands started touching me. I could see it, but felt nothing. I silently screamed as one man pulled down his zipper, cheered on by his comrades. He was standing at the end of the bed, ready. I closed my eyes as hard as I could and screamed. I screamed until I ran out of breath. I screamed until my throat was raw. I screamed until it hurt.
Suddenly lights came on over my bed. Slowly, very slowly I opened my eyes. My nurse was next to me. Dressed in her uniform. I couldn't see the monsters. The witches were gone. Somehow, I realized, the bright lights were preventing me from seeing the truth. Preventing me from seeing the monsters waiting in the dark. In my mind I knew if the nurse tucked me in tightly, the men wouldn't be able to reach me. If I was tucked in, I would be safe. I pleaded with the nurse to tuck in my feet. To tuck the blanket tightly underneath my legs.
The nurse obliged and lightly tucked the thin blue hospital issue blanket under me.
No, I said, Tuck in the blanket tightly. Under both of my feet.
She stood to my left and tightly tucked the blanket under my foot. Then walked to the right side and tucked the blanket in, but it didn't feel as tight. Realization dawned on me. She was in on it. She wanted those men to be able to get to me. She didn't want to tuck the blanket in all the way.
No, no, no. Tuck the blanket in tightly! On BOTH sides. I demanded.
Again, she walked to my left, and tightly tucked the blanket in under my foot. Again, she walked to the right and I couldn't even feel her tucking the blanket.
I was so scared. She didn't understand. I was getting angry. A wave of emotions took over as I yelled at her.
Stand in the middle, and tuck both feet in at the same time!!!!
She stood at the base of the bed, in the middle, and tucked the blanket in. Finally.
She wouldn't look me in the eyes. I didn't understand the distant almost resigned look on her face.
A meek, detached thank you passed grudgingly from my lips as she left. And turned off the lights.
Slowly, blurred shapes started to reappear.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Disco Dancing Dream

It was dark, and the nurse gave me medicine through my IV. It was quiet as people started filling the room. Putting up decorations and setting up trays of food and drinks. All of the other patients in the room were sleeping. Soundly. Barely moving. No one else noticed the goings on all around. The nurse whispered with a girl. "A few more minutes and they'll all be out cold"
The other girl giggled and started changing into the 70's disco outfit she had brought in with her.
"This is my first party; are you sure this will work?" asked a man as he entered the room.
"Of course," my nurse replied.
What the hell? I tried to lift my arm and it wouldn't move. Neither would my legs. I was completely paralyzed.  I tried to speak and no words came out. I screamed. Nothing. My eyes felt so tired and my eyelids weighed a ton. slowly, very slowly I let me eyes close. I woke with a start and looked around. It was too dark to see details. only dark shapes moving around. As I closed my eyes to think, to figure out what was happening,everything became clear. Fuzzy shapes became bell bottoms and hot pants.
The party was in full swing now with people all dressed up. Glitter sparkling. A giant disco ball hung in the middle of the room reflecting flashes of light onto me and all the other patients. None of us moved. None of us spoke. We couldn't. What medicine did she give me? I started to get scared.
There were more bright flashes. Cameras. People dressed up in fake afros and polyester shirts. Music played. Kung Fu Fighting echoed in the ward as I looked around. There were people getting thier picture taken; crouched down next to a male patient while he slept with tubes all around him. I saw a couple having sex against another patient's bed. I felt nauseous when a woman started walking towards me. She was laughing with a guy dressed like Saturday Night Fever John Travolta and carrying a camera.
I winced as the two of them took turns taking pictures next to me. I felt like a freak show as they laughed at me and when the girl flicked my hair I felt nothing. John Travolta came over. "Hey, this one is kinda young," he slurred and poked me in the cheek. Again, I felt nothing. I watched his hands move over me. Why couldn't I feel?!? I started to cry but no tears came out.
I opened my eyes and all of a sudden it was morning. My mom was next to me. I had no idea how to explain what had happened the night before, and not sure anyone would believe me anyway.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

An Introduction to Maddness

I'm not sure where to start here. I have put off continuing with my story because the next few posts are really hard for me to relive. what felt like days, weeks even, were really only hours. At first it sounds silly, but you have to bear with me because things got really dark really quick.
I'm talking about my hallucinations while I was on morphine. Imagine your worst fears. Then imagine living out those fears every time you closed your eyes. Each hallucination is a story within itself. Yet they are all intertwined, each hallucination carried over to the next. I remembered where I was and what was happening. I tried to be strong. I tried to keep my sense of humor. Everything was a joke. I tried not to show how hard it was for me to just be there. To just be present, in the moment. Act like everything would be ok. Partially for myself, partially for the numbers of visitors, my family my friends. They did not need to worry. I had no idea the severity of the situation. I tried to suffer through each night (or what I thought was night) on my own.
I was not fully aware of myself or what had happened. I knew there had been an accident. I knew I was in the hospital. I knew what was waiting for me every night when visitors weren't allowed.
What I now know were dreams, haunted me when I wasn't sleeping. They sound strange. Impossible. But at the time I thought they were very real.
Please read the next series of dreams knowing I was surrounded by the fog of drugs. Medicines were keeping me alive, but the last hallucination left me almost dead.

Monday, 12 August 2013

in the blink of an eye

Life can change in the blink of an eye.
One minute you're a happy family. You blink, and all of a sudden it's a broken home.
Blink and you're 3,000 miles away from everything. Your comfort zone.
Blink again and you have a new baby and overwhelming joy.
Blink and it's the 'C' word. Blink and it's gone.
I'm amazed at all the times I have blinked and life has changed so drastically.
All the times I have opened and closed my eyes I never imagined being stuck in a chair.
Can't walk. Hell, can't move. Pain is everywhere. Ribs, arms, back, knee, leg.
I have experienced pain before.
I've experienced loss.
I've had my life turned upside down so many times I have forgotten which way is up.
But I still never imagined being stuck in a wheelchair. Can't stand up, can't roll over, can't breathe, can't go home.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Morphine Dreams

The next few days all blur together, a time I like to call 'The Morphine Dream'. Only they weren't really dreams, were they? More like nightmares. Night Terrors.
The morphine dreams are what everybody laughs about. There were so many funny stories. All the people that visit me talk about the morphine dreams.
There was turtle sex. When I cried out, "Oh my God, that man is having sex with a turtle!!!"
I called my sister and my cousin 'drunken bitches' as they walked in to visit me.
The time I thought I was in a Chinese restaurant and my brother was the waiter.
I could only drink water through a sponge, and referred to the nurses as 'my sponge bitches'. I was so thirsty that I told my sister i would french kiss her just for the water in her mouth.
Through the haze of morphine I was still able to tell my cousin not to get the heebee-jeebies from being in a hospital while I was being wheeled past him in my bed.
Every time I laugh along listening to people recall the stories and morphine dreams, a part of me shuts down. Inwardly I shudder as memories I have suppressed resurface. The morphine dreams were funny thoughts and silly hallucinations. The nightmares though, they were different. They weren't funny. No one knows the extent of those nightmares. I try not to think about those days, never mind talk about them. The nightmares were hallucinations from the morphine too, and some of the worst memories I'll ever have.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Water Gate 2013

Anyone that knows me knows my love for water. Glorious clear liquid that I carry with me at all times. Have a headache and need to take a tablet? No worries, I've got some water. An itch in your throat or choking on a pretzel? I have you covered. That's what made the water situation so much worse.
There were a couple of days I had a tube down my throat. It was terrible! It felt like, well, it felt like having a tube down your throat. I remember trying to pull it out. I was on so much morphine I don't think my hands got close to the tube. Heck, I don't think my hands got more than a few inches off the bed!
I had just had the tube removed from my throat and the burning pain was on par with my overwhelming thirst.
I asked the nurse for some water.
She returned with a sponge. A sponge. A tiny cube atop a small stick. "This is all I can give you," she said. What?! The miniscule droplets of water I had to suck out of the tiny sponge did nothing to put out the flames of pain or satiate the thirst I had. Instead of helping relieve the Sahara like dryness in my mouth all the droplets did was turn the inside of my mouth into a glue factory. The resulting stickiness was so unbearable I had to ask for another sponge of water to 'drink' immediately.
"I'm not sure if I can give you another one so soon," said the nurse without even cracking a smile, "Let me go check with the doctor."
While she was gone my sister and my cousin came in. "Give me your water" I said. They claimed they had no water. "I know you have some, just let me have a sip, please." I begged. I pleaded. Nothing. Water water water. My mouth and throat were so dry.
"Please give me some of your water. The doctor said it was ok. Don't ask the nurse though. She knows nothing." Still no water touched my dry cracked lips. Finally, the nurse came back with another sponge.
Ok, no big deal you may be thinking, but this didnt last for hours. It lasted DAYS. Maybe it was one day. I'm not sure. I'm not very good with time. Regardless, it felt like an eternity.
I probably asked for water a few hundred times. I'm sure the nurses were tired of my constant requests. I began to feel like these nurses were around to do nothing more than bring me glasses of water one teeny tiny sponge at a time.    

Friday, 12 April 2013

Prove It

I opened my eyes.  Instead of darkness everything was white and fuzzy. I remembered I was in a hospital. There had been an accident.
I had snapshots of memories. My mom was with me. People coming in to see me. I remembered giving a thumbs up to people not allowed in the room.
As the blurriness cleared I saw strangers were milling about not paying me much attention. This place looked different. The people looked different.
Two of the people started talking. What were they saying. Why couldn't I understand? One of these strangers walked over to me, stuck a needle into my arm.
Instantly everything changed. There was a frenzy as the strangers rushed around the room. At first I couldn't see what they were doing, then I realized the couple were moving the walls. Changing the layout of the room. What was going on?
Suddenly it became clear.
This was not a hospital. These people were not helping me. Everything was pretend. The IVs in my arm weren't hooked up to anything. The tubes all stuck in different parts of my body were fake.  It was all for show. Why would they do this to me? The realization smacked me in the face. These people had tricked us. They pretended to be a hospital so my mom would pay them to take care of me!!
Just then My mom walked in.
I told her what I had discovered.
"This isnt a real hospital, mom!" I shouted.
"Yes, honey, you are in James' Hospital"
"Prove it," I told her. "Prove it. Show me a piece of paper with James' letterhead on it, show me something that says that this is James' Hospital!"
My mom held up a clipboard, "The papers on here say 'St. James' Hospital, sweetheart"
Then, everything slowly faded into darkness; the complete blackness that I knew lead to unspeakable horror. At least I was breathing this time as I let the darkness take over.