I woke up with the familiar feeling of heavy emptiness in my chest. Sitting up slowly from my bed I glace around the dark room and realize that the house is very silent. ‘Nobody’s awake yet.’ I think to myself, ‘Here’s the chance you’ve been waiting for, go downstairs and get them.’ Mechanically I walk down the stairs, tip-toeing past the open bedroom doors and down the stairs to the kitchen. Quietly I open the medicine cabinet and fine a pill bottle that has everything I need. “May cause drowsiness” it says, “Take one pill at night.” ‘If it says just take one, then surly a handful will do me in.’ I get a glass of water and then I head back to my room. In one swift move I uncap the pill bottle and dump about sixteen into my open palm. One after the other I swallow all but four of the bitter pills and place the remaining back into the orange bottle.
Lying down on the bed I covered myself up and snuggled in next to my full body pillow, waiting patiently for the end. After about ten minutes the sleepiness begins to set in, and I’m feeling dizzy and confused. I’m calm the entire time though; I’m ready for this to happen. I can feel my heart start to pick up speed, and now it’s slamming in my chest at an unhealthy pace, like I’ve just run a mile. Now I’m a little worried, though not exactly scared, I’m supposed to be asleep by now, and it feels like I’m going to have a heart attack. Heart attacks hurt don’t they?
Now before I even register what I’m doing I have my cell phone in my hand and I’m trying desperately to focus so I can dial 911. Finally the phone rings and a man answers the phone, his voice is calm and professional and now I’m explaining that, “I took a bunch of pills…. sleeping pills I think…starts with a T….” The phone operator is asking questions rapidly now, ‘what kind of pills? When did you take them? Where are you? Where do you live? What’s your name?’ And on and on the questions come, ‘Keep talking to me Kaitlynn!’ He says in that calm phone operator voice. “I’m going to… go get my step dad.” “Okay but stay on the phone with me! Kaitlynn? Kaitlynn?”
“I was… I’m getting Chad…” I stumble into his room and call out his name loudly, but as I look into the room I don’t see anyone and summarize that he is already awake and taking the dog out. “He’s not there…” “The ambulance will be there soon, keep talking to be Kaitlynn! Tell me your name.” “I already told you…” Now I’m stumbling into the bathroom, because I know I’m about to throw up. Opening the door up I walk forward and then double over, the bitter pills spilling onto the floor in an ugly yellow mess. “Kaitlynn? Kaitlynn?!” I try to speak around the vomit, but with each deep breath more is coming up. ‘I’m still here’ I want to tell him. Now my mind clears for a moment before I fall back into the haze, “I’m dying! Dying!” I yell into the phone, and now I don’t hear him, the phone is screaming at me, the sounds of a car crash come through the speakers grating metal, and so many screams. Finally I realize the medicine I took is probably just making me hallucinate and I toss the phone to the side.
I can still hear the phone operator, he keeps repeating my name, and now it’s just annoying. I hear my dog bark and then the sound of foot steps. The door opens and my step dad is talking to me, “Kaitlynn? What happened girl? The police are here saying you called…” I remain silent, much to tired to actually reply. A police officer is bending in front of me now and Chad is behind me, sitting me up right. “Come one Kaitlynn, let’s get your shoes on and wait for the ambulance to pull up.” Says the Police officer, his round face is coming in and out of focus, but in another moment of clarity I stumble to my feet and turn towards the door, with the help of my step dad. His hand clutches painfully onto my arm and moving around so much I feel sick to my stomach again. I hold up my hands and pull away from Chad, then I bend at the waist and try to vomit, but it doesn’t work. Before they can stop me I’m shoving two fingers down my throat and coughing gently, just as I’ve practiced, but nothing comes up and fleetingly I think that this is the worst time for my gag reflex to stop working. With a sigh I slur, “It didn’t work…”
Clumsily I’m half carried have walking down the short flight of stairs and being set onto the couch. Chad is handing me my slippers and they tell me to put them on myself. I shove the blue knit shoes on roughly and then lay back against the couch. Finally the ambulance pulls up and the police officer tells me it might be cold outside but that I need to walk out to the ambulance with him. We push through the front door and the next thing I know I’m on a stretcher with my legs strapped down. Imminently the police officer steps in and begins to ask me questions, just like the phone operator. Whenever I take to long to respond or close my eyes he says in the same annoying voice as the phone operator “Kaitlynn? Kaitlynn?” Over and over in the same way until he get a response. Finally I say, “You’re the phone guy!” “No I’m not!” He argues, we go back and forth like this for a while finally I just give in. “Can I go to sleep now?” I ask for what seems the hundredth time. “No not yet.” The same answer over and over again for every time I ask. And then I black out.
I wake up at the hospital and their telling me to get off the stretcher. I stand on shaking legs and then there’s a woman in from of me holding up a sheet and telling me to get undressed. “Panties to?” I ask, and she tells me I can leave them on. Finally after the struggle with my clothing she helps me into a hospital gown and tells me to lie down on the bed. Taking a seat on the grey bed I ask the lady doctor if I can go to sleep yet, “Not yet.” She says. “How long has it been since I’ve called 911?” “Ten minutes.” Now I realize that time has been moving incredibly slow for me, as it seems like I’ve been waiting hours. I lay for an uncertain amount of time, and then I hear sobbing. I look up and my mother and father walk into the room.
Mom cries and cries and I c an barley understand her but it doesn’t matter because its dads words that get me. “You can’t leave me baby, I need you to much.” I give a weak smile and now I’m apologizing and asking if I can sleep yet, and all they say is it’s not my fault and, no dear you can’t sleep just yet. “I’m so tired…” “It’s just the medicine you took sweetie.” The lady doctor walks into the room and speaks to my parents, telling them that she’s going to have to pump my stomach, she already talked to me about this, but here she is asking me again if I understand what this means. I nod dumbly and just stare at her. He pushed an IV into my left hand and draws blood from my right, then she put a white block in my mouth, to keep me from biting she says. Then she brings in a clear tube and the stomach pumping begins. ‘Deep breaths.’ She tells me, and I do as I’m told with out thought. The tube is placed in my mouth and slowly begins to travel past the threshold of my throat. I gag a little, but I’m used to this so it’s no big deal, but as the tube travels further the gagging worsens and then I’m throwing up and I have the bitter taste of the pills back on my tongue.
Now I’m finished puking and the doctor pushes onward, the tube scratching my throat oddly, and it’s very hard to breath, the heart monitor I didn’t see them attach beeps next to me, signaling my troubled breathing and increased heart rate. Finally the tube is at the proper place, after several minutes of my deep breathing, doing just as she says, she has figured out were the tube is supposed to go. Tears roll down my face and mingle with the consumptions amount of drool and vomit sliding down my chin, but I couldn’t care less, I barely notice the tube in my throat. She turns on the water and I see little pieces of food slide back up the tube with each suck of the machine. At last she tells me I’m done and she tells me to take one last deep breath, and expecting the slow process to reverse itself I do as I’m told. She rips the tube out fast and before I know what’s happening I’m throwing up the rest of the water in my stomach and a small amount of blood.
I question my mother, the registered nurse, why there is blood in the tub that holds my vomit, and she tells me not to worry, that it’s normal for that to happen. I turn to the doctor, “Can I go to sleep now?” She tells me no, I still need to drink something. She leaves the room and then returns shortly after with what looks like a large paint tube. She explains to me that it is a charcoal drink, and that I must drink the entire tube to coat my stomach, to be sure the pills don’t absorb. She dumps the black mess into a Styrofoam cup and puts a straw in it, then hands it to my mother who holds it to my face. Taking a deep breath I rap my lips around the straw and suck up the thick liquid. It coats my tongue thurouly and it tastes smoky, but not nearly as bad as I anticipated. I drink the entire cup quickly and my mother wipes the black mess from my lips, rubbing the wet cloth over my tear stained cheeks and my drool soaked chin like a professional.
Finally I’m clean and the questions have stopped for the time being. I look around the small room and hold my fathers hand. Finally I turn to the doctor once more, “Can I go to sleep now?” I ask exasperated. “Yes Kaitlynn,” says the brown haired doctor woman, “you can go to sleep now.”