If I were to pick a time when my worst nightmare had become reality, it would have been on the 29 January 2017, around 2130 hours. Week three, confined in the facility.
I had been changing medications from one week to the next. The pills were taking a toll and I was a shadow of my former self; a zombie, the undead. I slowly shuffled around the facility, drugged and breathless. I felt nothing but exhaustion. I turned up my headphones and played Rue de Cascades for the fourth time but it was no longer energising me. I walked towards the medication counter and slouched lifelessly into the hard, torn, brown pleather chair.
Then it hit.
Like a thunderbolt striking a live wire, I was paralysed; my vision became dazed and distorted. What was happening? Had my brain finally snapped? Was it the pills? I was shaking uncontrollably.
I blacked out.
I woke on the floor. How long had I been out? I gasped, overwhelmed by confusion and exhaustion. I then realised I’d had a seizure. And yes, damn, I had wet my pants.
I lay on the ground, managing to shout “Help!”
Nurses quickly ran to my side. I continued to shake. I was convinced that this was it. I was going to die here. I was going to die in this hell. But worse, I was going to die in a pool of my own pee.
Nurse Blou stuck a little white pill under my tongue.
“This will help in about thirty minutes” she said.
I glared up at the medication window. There was a sign plastered on the door. I could just make out what it said. ‘Pease wait for assistance patiently’. I cringed at the spelling error, whilst perplexed at the concept of patience when one feels like they are in the midst of dying.
Then, overwhelmed, I zoned out. I remembered an earlier visit from my father. He had given the type of hug that pumped love through my left heart ventricle, filling my body, then pumping love out of the right.
I wasn’t going to die.
The nurses helped me to my feet and then sat me back down on the chair. They searched for a wheelchair. No luck.
Defeated, I was wheeled to my room on a toilet commode, wee dripping down my left leg, just like bread crumbs onto the stark vinyl floor.
I am currently working on a book regarding this topic. Any comments on this piece would be greatly appreciated. I’d love to hear from you.