This is the fourteenth part of a guest serial, in 980 words.
Very early hours one morning, I was woken up by nurses, and saw paramedics around me. I thought something bad had happened. I was moved onto a stretcher by a transfer board and all of my things were either put by the sides of me or near my feet. I had no idea where I was going.
I was wheeled out of a set of automatic doors and the cold air instantly hit me. I was taken into an ambulance and a lady sat near me. It felt like a really long journey and I remember coughing a lot and nodding off.
When I woke up, I assumed I was in another hospital, but there were no signs to say which hospital, well, not large enough for me to be able to read them. The corridors were endless, I started to think I had died because it seemed like I was going nowhere.
I was wheeled into a small room, which had about 3 or 4 bays side by side. I was transferred from the stretcher to a hospital bed, again by a transfer board, and then everybody left me. I was in the bay next to the window.
Nurses came by, later on, and was changing the cannula’s and putting new ones in, and God knows what else.
“Nobody will know I’m here, I’m never going to see anyone ever again” I cried. Dying alone really dawned on me and I’ve never been more scared in my life.
I was pleasantly surprised to wake up and see daylight shining through the blinds. A man came and stood by the side of me, he tried speaking to me via my headset and microphone, but he was speaking so fast that I had no idea what he was saying. Despite feeling groggy, I just kept slowly nodding and shaking my head while he was talking to me. I don’t know what I agreed to but I did understand one word.
While he was still talking to me, I thought, “Where have I heard Addenbrooke’s before? I know it’s a hospital and its somewhere in England. So, I am definitely still in the same country.”
Once he left, I thought, “Well, I don’t know who he was, or what he said but at least I know where I am now! But will everyone still not know where I am?”
A nurse came by, not long after, carrying some towels. She bought some shampoo with her too, and helped me to understand that I was going to be washed, and my hair too. She was very gentle and, despite everything that was happening to me, she made me feel really comfortable which helped to reassure me. Then after she cleaned everything up and changed my sheets, she left.
Some time went by before 2 women came in to see me. One of which wrote on my whiteboard, “We are physio’s and we want to try and put a small tube up your nose”. Despite the fact I still had a breathing tube in, I thought, “Well how are you going to do that with everything else that’s either on me or in me! But they know what they’re doing so let them get on with it”.
That’s until they started to put a tube/pipe up through my nose, I’m going to call them pipe cleaners because at the time, I didn’t know what they were, and kept pushing for it to go up further. “What on earth are they doing?! Am I really awake for this?” I winced as it caused a lot of discomfort. After several attempts, and so much more wincing, they stopped. Thank God!
They then started trying to clear my chest by this weird manoeuvre, it was really bizarre!
Anyway, that wiped me out and I fell asleep soon after they left.
Throughout the day, more people were coming in and out, and I still had no idea what was happening.
I was staring out of the window, when I saw two people walk closer to me. It was Mum and Jill.
They could tell I was surprised to see them, and I bloody well was! “How on earth did they know I was here?” I mumbled, and after many attempts, Mum understood what I was trying to say. “You got here alright then?” she asked. I just shrugged because it felt like I was on a magical mystery tour. I think it’s clear that I was still sedated. “They phoned me this morning to tell me you got here”, Mum added. I kind of forgot at the time that we were in the day and age where technology is used.
Like I said, I was sedated.
I was so relieved to see them! Jill kept trying to make me smile by writing random things on my whiteboard. She has a tendency to come out with random crap a lot of the time.
As daylight faded, doctors were standing around me. A male nurse sat beside me watching the monitors. I didn’t know what was happening. Mum and Jill went out of view, and because they didn’t tell me where they were going, I started to panic. I tried to look at the monitors that the nurse was staring at, I figured they were all my STATS.
A man came in with this heavy object and placed it near my feet. After attaching wires and stickers to me, the machine started to light up. It was a heart monitor. I realised that, from nurses and doctors watching the monitors, for which it felt like forever, this wasn’t good.
I asked the nurse if he knew where Mum and Jill were, if the inevitable was going to happen, then I really didn’t want to be on my own.
I could feel my heart break, I needed Ewan and he wasn’t there.