Story of the Week
It happened so quickly. The next thing I knew was that my throat was sore and I could not find my voice. I tried to open my eyes, but my eyelids had a mind of their own. For some reason, they had conspired against me, to remain superglue tight. I could not get them to listen to me. I tried moving my legs but they dared not budge. Everything was in on the plan to let me remain immovable and I had no control.
Somewhere in the distance, I could hear a faint ‘beep, beep, beep’. Was that my morning alarm reminding me to awake or was it my neighbour’s car disturbing the peace as always? Whatever it was, I needed it to stop. I needed someone to shut it. The only problem was that I could not persuade my body to move.
Suddenly, one hand was touching me, then another, then another. My body became alert now to a sharp pain on my side where the hands were rubbing me ceaselessly. Voices were bouncing against each other. I could not decipher what was being said, and then a male husky voice overpowered all else shouting, “we need to do the surgery immediately.” Surgery? Maybe I was dreaming. Maybe my brother Chad was playing a trick on me for me taking his car out for a drive without his permission. Something was amiss.
“Give her three dozes of anesthesia”, the male voice boomed again. Before I had time to think and to process what was said, I felt a weird coolness on my side and it was instantly followed by a sharp excruciating pain . My attempt to scream was in vain. My voice seemed lost. “Give her ten minutes and then we go in.” This time the voice was more patient and calm. “In? In where? Where am I?” My brain inundated my head with questions that I could not find the answers to.
I just lay there trying to count every second. What was going to happen in ten minutes? What were they going to do to me? My thoughts were disturbed by four hands lifting me. They placed me on a cold sticky plastic bed and wheeled me away. When the wheels under me stopped moving, my clothes were stripped. A wave of cold bitter air battered me. I felt violated. “Leave me alone” I screamed. My voice was still playing hide and seek deep within my throat.
I had heard of hell before but I never thought that I would have reached there so early. I hit the bottom of hell and there was nothing I could do about it. “Pass me the scalpel” said the booming voice. This booming voiced monster placed his cold, angry hands on my waist and without hesitating he slowly penetrated my skin. He cut into me and every muscle, every pore, every cell and every inch of my body screamed and writhed in pain. It felt like a senile, unskilled carpenter was using a blunt knife to carve unnamed shapes into my body. I could not scream anymore. I just gave up and let them mutilate my body.
When I finally came to it, I could hear the beeping sound but it no longer seemed distant. This time, my eyes and legs responded immediately. The smell of roses and perfume surrounded me and when I turned my head, my parents, brother and friends were standing next to me. They all seemed excited to see me. “What happened? I asked. I was told that I was in a vehicular accident and had broken two of my ribs and so had to be surgically operated on. Everything started to make sense to me, except for one thing. Why was I in so much pain during the surgery? Was that normal?
Just then, I heard a familiar voice in the hallway, demanding someone to turn down the television in the waiting room. A head poked into my room’s doorway and what seemed to be a middle aged, well attired man entered briskly. “Hello doctor” everyone greeted anxiously. The booming voice that had been stuck in my head for hours now responded, “hello all.”
I sat up immediately and my voice seemed to have magnified itself a million times. “What did you do to me? Why did you make me feel so much pain? I hate you,” I screamed at him. He stood there in utter shock. Tears were skipping down my face and I had to make the conscious effort to breathe. “What are you speaking about? You had surgery,” he said in the most calming and soothing voice. “I know what I had,” I shouted, “but I felt everything, everything. I felt when you butchered me. I felt when you cut me and when my blood was oozing out of my body. I felt you pulling at my organs. I was in so much pain. You cut me and let me feel it. How could you be so inhumane? How could you?” By then, everybody in the room was crying.
The doctor stormed out of the room, sheer pandemonium registering on his face. Minutes later he returned with a notepad in his hand and I could see that tears were seconds away from his eyes. He knelt beside my bed and began to touch my forehead. “I’m sorry, so sorry,” he whispered. “I told the nurse to give you three dozes of anesthesia. I thought you were in no pain. Your chart says that she only gave you one, which is why you felt what I was doing. I can only imagine what you went through and for this I am truly sorry.”
I could not forgive him. I opened my mouth to say “it’s okay” but the words could not come out. It was not okay. I had been through hell and back and I wanted him to feel exactly what I felt. I wanted him to know what it felt like being in hell. “Get away from me,” I screamed and turned my back. When I turned around he was gone. Everyone was looking at me but nobody said anything. The silence of the room was awakened by the boisterous siren on an ambulance outside. I heard the ambulance door open and close. “Welcome to hell,” I whispered under my breath.
A L Medard