A short piece about my recent operation, not poetry, more short story!
I’d given up trying to read while waiting on the hospital bed.
I’d been there for about two hours and now the words on the page 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?
Calmly putting down my Kindle and turning onto my side, I stretched my legs out along the full length of the bed and partially closed my eyes. I had no nerves and no fear of the unknown which waited for me just out of sight.
After all, what was the very worst that could happen?
And if it did, I’d never know!
About a quarter past twelve, two female nurses walked across the ward towards my bed. One of the two was slim and dark, the other, slightly shorter and plumper with faded, strawberry blonde hair. It was obvious they were coming in my direction, 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 one with a smile.
“Yes,” I said.
“Good, we just need to make sure we have the right one”.
Just then I thought to myself,
“Good luck finding anyone else with my surname in this 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 slim, dark 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!”.
I gingerly sat up, swung my legs over the side of the bed and slowly stood up, feeling a little light headed. Lying semi-conscious on a hospital bed for any length of time does little for your constitution.
The shorter, plumper of the two nurses then introduced herself.
“I’m Janet and I’ll be staying with you until you go to sleep”, she said in a matter of fact sort of way.
As the three of us walked along the ward, me wearing just a theatre gown and a pair of slippers, it occurred to me how very vulnerable I must appear. 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. Pushing open one of the doors, I found myself in a relatively small, clinical room containing numerous pieces of unfamiliar medical equipment.
I was met by three theatre nurses, one of whom said
“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 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 and introduced himself.“Hello Mr Detheridge, I’m Dr Khan. I’ll be looking after you today. I have a medical student here with me, would you mind if he fits the cannula?”
“Hello Mr Detheridge, I’m Dr Khan. 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 said.
Janet firmly took hold of my right wrist with both hands and instructed me to start flexing my fingers.
“This will bring the veins closer to the surface and make them much easier to find”, she said.
Despite this, 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, 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.
While placing the oxygen mask on my face, a young, male theatre nurse advised 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!
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 and now lost forever.
But during that time, I had no consciousness, no awareness, no dreams, no worry, no fear, no pain, no love, no hate, absolutely nothing!
Call me morbid, but recently I have thought to myself, being dead must be just like that!
Original Dark Poetry.
Copyright © Craig Detheridge.
2015 – 2017.