I do not know how I arrived here in the hallway, on the gurney. My angel is telling me they are trying to find a doctor for me. It's just crazy here tonight. Tonight. Where did day go, I wonder. I am able to wonder. The morphine has both anchored me and allowed me to be free again. I am also aware. My gurney is opposite the doorway of a room. I can hear and see the elderly wife of an elderly man berate him. She hits him with something. Her purse I think. The morphine does not let me feel shock but I feel Eric behind me shift uncomfortably. Security is called and the wife screams obscenities as she is pulled from the room. This is more than I can fathom at this moment.
My angel is telling me that the orthopaedic surgeon on duty is in the clinic. My gurney starts moving in that direction. I know this hallway well - the "clinic" is where I have had my arm casted no less than 5 times in the last 12 months. The clinic is almost like a second home. And who should be there but John, my left- and right-hand man.
Beside John is Michael. I think. I'm pretty sure it's Michael. I'm certain he is an orthopaedic surgeon. I'm doubly certain he has just returned from Afghanistan. The pieces of his life trickle through the morphine. But who is reporting them? And why?
Michael looks so tired, already. He is reading my file. John is filling in the bits he knows. Michael leans close to me and asks me: what happened? I talk about the coming of the pain. I talk about the onslaught of the pain. He asks me what I feel now. I say numbness. He looks confused. But you can feel this, right? Yes, but it is numb. He stares at me. If it's numb then you can't feel it. I feel anger build in me. How can this be happening? It is like I am arguing with my 4-year old instead of talking to a doctor. The veil of morphine is lifting. Numb does not mean without feeling, I want to shout. Anyway, I feel fine now. I refuse to look at him.
Michael shifts some paperwork, talks into his computer mike, and instructs John to cast me again. The danger has passed. I seem ok.
John is so gentle with the gauze - my eyes thank him. Michael is talking to Eric as John lays the first strip of hot plaster on my arm. My angel has left me. There is only ice-blue and blood-red and black. The whimper comes before the scream. The scream comes from someone outside my body - I am suspended - begging Eric to help me, to make it stop. I am begging and screaming at John, at Michael, at Eric. I lose feeling in my left arm. Then my right arm, then my right leg. I can't feel either of my feet. I am going into shock. I don't comprehend this logical chain of events. I am beyond logic.
Michael calls emerg across the hall - but we discharged her from emerg to orthopaedics. Shit, I hear him say. I can't have morphine unless I've been admitted or am in Emergency. John is pushing my gurney to emerg, fast. Michael is dialing St. Paul's hospital as we cross the hallway. Incredibly, I hear him laughing. He and Dr. G are sharing some joke. Michael has just come back from Afghanistan - my little drama must pale in significance.
I catch sight of Eric's face - there is a surprising degree of control there. I am another plane now, moaning low and deeply. When my angel reappears and rushes me back into emerg, I know relief is close. I just need to be inside the emerg doors and she can give me morphine. She stops in the nearest hallway and injects me quickly. It takes no more than 30 seconds to
flood my body. I breathe.
Michael is suddenly back and, beside him, Dr. D. Dr. D speaks in the softest of voices, Hi, Fiona. how are you feeling now? My tongue is thick and slow. Tired, I reply. Dr. D is holding my arm and chatting with Eric as he gently wraps it in gauze and padding and a soft sling. This can happen sometimes, Dr. D is telling Eric. There is some talk of opening my hand up for what sounds like bloodletting, to relieve the pressure. She doesn't need a plaster cast - we'll leave it like this. Dr. D has been summoned from dinner. He is not on call.
Something is happening in this moment between me and Dr. D and Eric. It has been almost exactly a year since he refused to treat me. There is a strange reparation taking place. There is more than morphine spreading peace and light through me. Perhaps.
We arrive home some time after dinner. The house is dark. An entire day has passed. Only a single day has passed. Eric walks me to bed and the boys quietly watch me ascend the stairs. I am fine, completely and totally fine, and will only continue to get better. My pain is manageable and within a day or two requires no management at all. My cast had simply been too tight. My skin and flesh squeezed to bursting - my nerve endings raw from surgery and my pain receptors on super-charge. Small things.
|Rare Earth - I just want to Celebrate .mp3|
|Found at bee mp3 search engine|