Not poetry, more short story based on a recent medical procedure!
I gave up trying to read while waiting on the hospital bed.
I’d been there for about two hours and now the words on the screen seemed intent on sealing my eyes shut. Some might say that my choice of reading material was a little inappropriate given the surroundings.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula – A celebration of blood!
What could be more fitting?
Carefully putting down my Kindle on the small table next to the bed and turning onto my side, I stretched my legs out along the full length of the bed and partially closed my eyes.
The sounds around me softened and my head began to swim as I took a few deep breaths, though I felt no anxiety or fear of the procedure I was soon to undergo.
After all, what was the very worst that could happen?
And if it did, I’d never know!
I opened my eyes a little and squinted at the plain, white-faced clock perched high on the wall opposite my bed. The narrow black hands showed it to be a little after a quarter past twelve.
“Wonder how much longer I’ll have to wait?” I thought to myself.
It was then I noticed two female nurses talking quietly as they slowly walked across the small ward towards the bed on which I was lying. One of the two, in her crisp blue and white ward uniform, was tall, slim and dark, the other, in her green theatre scrubs, slightly shorter and plumper with faded, strawberry blonde hair. It was patently obvious they were coming to talk to me, I could tell by the way they carried themselves and the look on their faces as they scanned the notes on the clipboard that one of them held.
“Mr Detheridge?” said the taller with a smile.
“That’s right” I replied.
“Good, we just need to make sure we have the right one!” she said in a jolly tone.
Just then I thought to myself,
“Good luck finding anyone else with this surname in the entire hospital, let alone this one small ward.”
As she leant over to read the details on the white, plastic band secured to my right wrist, the ward nurse asked my name and date of birth, seemingly checking that I knew who I was.
“Well, it seems we are ready for you Mr Detheridge. If you’d like to follow us, we’ll take you down to the anaesthesia room. Be careful how you get off the bed, you might feel a little light-headed!”
I gingerly sat up, gently dangled my legs over the side of the bed and felt around on the floor for my slippers. I pushed my feet into the comforting, soft suede of the slippers and slowly stood up, feeling a little dizzy. Lying semi-conscious on a hospital bed while trying to pass the time does little for your constitution.
The shorter of the two nurses who wore the green theatre scrubs then introduced herself.
“I’m Janet and I’ll be staying with you until you go to sleep, so don’t worry, I’m here to look after you.” she said in a matter of fact but not unfriendly sort of way.
As the three of us walked down the ward, me wearing just a theatre gown and a pair of slippers, it occurred to me how very vulnerable I must appear as I shuffled along. With this in mind, I pushed back my shoulders and drew myself to my full height such as it is.
“Please follow me.” said Janet as she walked towards the double doors ahead of us.
She pushed one of the doors partially open and indicated for me to go through. I pushed on through the door and found myself in a relatively small, clinical room containing numerous pieces of unfamiliar medical equipment. Inside the room, I was met by three theatre nurses, one of whom said to me.
“We’ll just drop this bed down for you, it’s a little narrow so be careful when you get on.”
I climbed onto the narrow, minimalist theatre bed and lay down, doing my best to make myself feel comfortable.
After a short period of time, a dark-skinned, middle-aged man entered the room through another door, reading notes as he introduced himself.
“Hello Mr Detheridge, I’m Dr Khan and I’ll be looking after you today. I have a medical student here with me, would you mind if he fits the cannula?”
“No, carry on.” I replied.
Janet firmly took hold of my right wrist with both hands and instructed me to start flexing my fingers vigorously.
“This will bring the veins closer to the surface and make them much easier to find.” she said.
Despite this, the young medical student seemed to have trouble inserting the cannula and as he persisted, Janet rolled her eyes at him in a disapproving manner. It was then Dr Kahn took charge again, seemingly to spare the young medical student any more embarrassment.
“You must make sure that the veins are easily visible, otherwise you will find it very difficult to properly insert the cannula.” he said, mildly reprimanding the young student.
As he placed the oxygen mask on my face, the young, male theatre nurse said to me.
“Now just lie back, breathe deeply and try to relax.”
As I did so, I thought I felt the icy touch of the anaesthetic enter through the cannula and slowly creep up my right arm until the darkness took me!
The all-encompassing darkness fell like a shroud upon my fragile consciousness, extinguishing each and every single point of light in turn!
That was the very last thing I remember until I woke up again on the same hospital bed, where earlier, I had been reading Bram Stoker’s finest.
A small section of my life, completely blank just as though it had never been written and now, lost forever. But during that time, I had no awareness, no dreams, no worry, no fear, no pain, no suffering, no love, no hate, absolutely nothing!
Call me morbid, but recently I have considered that being dead must be just like that!
Original Dark Poetry.
Copyright © Craig Detheridge.
2015 – 2017.
Watch the video version here!