The Things He Shattered

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 22 (v.1)

Submitted: April 12, 2013

Reads: 447

Comments: 12

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Submitted: April 12, 2013




In the morning I am woken up by a nurse who I haven’t seen before.She tells me she will need to hook me up to a device. A needle with a long tube is attached to my arm, and the other end is attached to a bag with liquid that is hanging from a mobile hanger. I ask her what this is, and she tells me that this is to keep me hydrated since I can no longer drink anything. I tell her I feel pain, and she tells me she will administer a ‘shot’ for that. I will soon be taken into surgery. I am hungry, but I wait. I am also a little thirsty. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. I know I cannot drink the water in the pitcher. I wait in anticipation for my surgery. I know that once I have it, the pain will dissipate, and I will finally be able to go back to being the way I was before, with no set backs. God willing.

God isn’t willing. I do not know this.

The nurse from yesterday comes by. Her name is Shawna, and she tells me that in a bit, within the hour, she will take me to surgery. She leaves. I wait. I’m thirsty. I remember back, when I was in rehabilitation, my roommate Mary was thirsty before surgery, so she chewed gum, because drinking anything isn’t allowed. I reach for my purse and pull out half a stick of gum. It’s almost breakfast and I’m very hungry. Shawna comes back to my room, and says it is time. She helps transport me on to a mobile bed, and rolls me into the waiting area. There are several patients in this area. There is also a TV. I lie in bed and watch TV. It’s a very boring show, but at least it gives me something to think about besides my surgery. It is a long wait.

Finally a Doctor comes by to take a quick look at me, and tells me that the others are ready for the operation. I tell him that’s great. I ask him where I can spit out my gum since I don’t want to keep it in my mouth while I’m ‘knocked out’, because I don’t want to choke on it.

"You have gum!?" I may as well have told him that I just consumed and entire steak and chased it down with 10 bottles of beer just now... while I was waiting for surgery.


He sighs deeply and leaves without telling me what is happening. He comes back very annoyed.

"You were not supposed to chew gum. You were told not to eat or drink anything before your surgery." He speaks to me as if I am incredibly stupid, and have very rudely and thoughtlessly taken up his precious time.

"I know that. Technically I did not ‘drink’ nor did I ‘eat’ my gum."

He sighs and walks away. I lie in bed. After some time Dr. Hill comes to see me. He tells me he knows what happened. He himself doesn’t blame me. He would have never guessed that chewing gum was not allowed before surgery. He tries to be sympathetic. The surgery will have to be postponed. He tells me to not eat, drink, or in this case chew any more gum and smiles. It’s comforting. I ask him when the surgery will be, and he tells me that they will try to schedule it for today. So it is now possible I will remain without food or water for the rest of the day and well into tomorrow. I long for these two things and I want to cry because I feel very helpless.

Shawna takes me back to my room and tells me that she is sorry. She should have told me about not chewing gum. She didn’t even notice I had it in my mouth. No one ever does. It is a talent I’ve developed in my school days, when students were not permitted to chew gum in school, yet I insisted on it, and perfected having gum in my mouth without it being noticed.

I am transported back into my bed, and I feel angry. Shawna tells me she can give me something for my pain if I have any, and I tell her that I always do. She gives me a ‘shot’. She leaves, and out of habit I pour myself a glass of water from the pitcher. As I begin to pour I quickly realize I am no longer allowed to do this. I also realize that I am no longer alone in my room. I turn my head and see a woman walk out the door. This leaves me slightly uncomfortable. I just relax in bed, and in a minute Shawna comes into my room.

"Karina, you’re not supposed to be drinking water."

Along with Shawna, is a lady who is responsible for cleaning my room. I realize that it was her who had made a quick exit just now, based on her sweater and brown hair.

"I wasn’t drinking water."

Shawna gestures to the cleaning woman and says,

"Well she saw you drinking water."

"Well that’s amazing considering I was doing no such thing. I poured myself a glass of water and realized I wasn’t allowed to have any. Drinking water and pouring water are two very different things." I turn to the woman who told on me.

"If you are going to convey a story, don’t make it up next time. Please attempt to not let your imagination run wild, because all you managed to do is tell a lie about me for some reason."

"Karina! There is no need to be rude," Shawna snaps at me, and takes my pitcher of water away. She proceeds to pour it out into the bathroom sink. I look at the woman who ratted me out, and she is smiling. I know she’s doing this because she feels very uncomfortable. Everyone leaves my room and I begin to feel sleepy. I know it must be the pain medication that is responsible for this, and I’m grateful. I make myself comfortable and fall asleep.

I think a few hours go by, and Shawna gently wakes me up, telling me they are ready for the surgery now. I apologize about my behavior from earlier, and she replies,

"Don’t even worry about that Karina. If I was deprived of food like you are, I would have said something a lot worse. A lot worse." We smile at each other and it lifts my mood to know that she understands me. She wheels my bed back to the waiting area, and I watch TV, but not for long this time. Everyone involved is ready to start the surgery.

In the surgery room I am given something to knock me unconscious. A liquid is inserted into the tube that is already attached to my vein. I can hear it being dispensed. I can actually feel it going into my arm, and this is quite painful. And finally everything goes dark.


I wake up and I guess I have already had the surgery. I do not know how much time has elapsed, but I am still in the operating room. I am just lying in a different bed. A mobile one. Someone must have moved me. I look at my left foot, and I’m in complete shock to see that it is now in a cast. I’m covered by a light blanket and I quickly throw it off, only to discover the cast extends all the way up to my kneecap. I do not understand why I have this. No one ever told me this is what I would wake up to, and I would have never even imagined to ask. I feel like I have taken a huge leap back. Figuratively, not literally. I remember when my last cast was removed, and how happy I was to finally be rid of it. And now this. This hits me so hard I burst into tears. What the hell was Dr. Hill doing?The thing is huge! I in no way expected a cast, let alone one large enough to encompass half of my leg. I cry bitterly. I am rolled into what appears to be a recovery room. There are many other patients. I have gotten the sorrowful crying out of my system. I lie in bed. Two nurses come to check on me. They say nothing to me, just talk amongst themselves. The male nurse looks at me and says,

"Wow... her eyes are really red." He turns to the female nurse, "Do you know if they were this red before the surgery?"

I snap. "Do you really not realize that I am right here? Really? You are standing like a foot away from me, so I can hear you talking about me, and to answer your question, no, my eyes were not this red before the surgery. Granted, I am not a medical professional like yourself, but I’m gonna venture a guess and say that my eyes are red because I was just crying, pretty bitterly." He stands speechless. "Can you please tell me when this cast will be removed."

"Well... it will be removed when your leg heals and no longer needs a cast."

"Yes... thank you for that. I meant, can you give me a time frame? Am I looking at days? Weeks?"

"The Doctor will have to decide. I don’t know."

"Of course not."

I decide to shut up. I’m angry and I’m taking it out on him. I do not understand how the hell a cast is necessary. A cast this size. Did both my leg and foot manage to break while I was in surgery?

I am not held long in the recovery room. I am wheeled back into my room by someone, and Shawna comes to see me. She has a small box of cereal she hands to me.

"I couldn’t find much, but here. I know you’re hungry. You can chew on this while you wait for them to deliver dinner. Also, I brought you a menu, so just put a checkmark next to everything you’d like to eat for dinner."

"I’m probably going to check off everything." She smiles.

"How did the surgery go? Are you in pain?" I am actually in a lot of pain. Usually I experience this kind of pain when I am walking and put all of my weight on my left foot. But now, I am not doing anything. I’m just lying in bed, and I feel a sharp throbbing pain. I tell this to Shawna and she tells me she will take care of it. She leaves and comes back quickly with 4 pills. She tells me that they are very strong pain killers. Two pills will last 4 hours, the other 2 will last 8 hours. She tells me she will continue to bring them until I tell her I no longer need them. Basically I do not have to keep asking. I thank her but I do not know how grateful I will be to her. I take the 4 pills. The pain throbs. I need to go to the washroom so I get up and walk. The pain is almost excruciating, but I get there. I know right there and then that I will not let Dr. Hill preform another surgery on me. I’m done with this. I walk out of the washroom and a male nurse spots me.

"What are you doing!? You’re not supposed to be walking!"

"I had to pee."

"I’ll bring you a bed pan. Never do this again!"

"Okay." He comes in to assist me get my butt back into bed.

"Oh look! You’re bleeding through the cast! Quite a bit." I can see he is not pleased with me. He leaves and comes back into my room with a bed pan.

"Please use this from now on. Okay? And call us for any assistance. Any at all."

He looks at me and I nod and thank him. I will still use the actual washroom when I need to, but it is best he is not aware of my intentions.

I continue to read "The Dark Light", and all of a sudden I realize the narcotics are working. The thing is they really do nothing for the pain. My ankle still hurts like hell, but I’m now so high out of my face, I simply don’t care what hurts, where it hurts, how bad it hurts, etc...I feel really good. I look at the time, then continue to read my book, or at least try to. An hour goes by, and I’ve managed to read and entire page. At this rate it will take me 70 years to read the entire book. I cannot believe that I once read it in one day. I don’t care. I feel extremely content. I also feel sleepy. I fall asleep for a few hours, and when I wake up I find more pills waiting for me on the table beside my bed. Whoever brought them, made sure not to wake me. My ankle hurts badly, and throbs, and I don’t care. I’m just very happy that I got the surgery over and done with. In this moment I am sure I have gotten the worst out of the way. You see, I am sure the surgery was the worst part. But I’m also stupid. It is in no way the ‘worst’ part. But I do not know this right now. I don’t even know that I don’t even know what I have to look forward to. I just think things will get better from now on. I take half of the medication, and save the other pills to take home. This stuff is pretty awesome. I fall asleep again. In this drugged up state I would not mind if I was forced to stay in the hospital for the rest of my life.





I wake up the next day, and I am not sure what has woken me up, but I can hear someone tapping away in high heels in the hallway. They are very loud. It is actually the man in the alligator skin shoes. He clicks his way into my room. I really don’t like him. He tells me that tomorrow I will be given antibiotics for my infection. It has to be injected into the blood stream. I remember Dr. Hill telling me that antibiotic pills will be useless to me, so I do not think twice about the idea of having it injected. Again, I jump to my own bright side conclusions, and assume that I will be given a shot of antibiotics for however long I am kept in St .Frances’ hospital. Ignorance is bliss.

I sleep for the majority of the day. I wake up and take more pills. I save one for later. I fall asleep again. I wake up in the evening and try to read. The male nurse brings me more pain relief medication and sleeping pills. I put aside whatever I do not need now into my purse, and take the rest. I fall asleep.

Time progresses, and it is the next day. I attempt to read my book... again. A nurse comes into my room, and tells me she now needs to take me to another floor to have the antibiotics administered. I ask her why she can’t just do it here and now, and she tells me that it is a complicated procedure. This puzzles me a little, but I know I am about to find out why what they are about to do is ‘complicated.’

My bed is wheeled to another floor, and I am kept in the hallway to wait. I forget for a while what I am waiting for. I’m pretty drugged up and I feel good.

Finally whoever I was waiting for is ready for me. I am rolled into a room and placed under a scanner. I am asked what arm I would like the apparatus to be inserted in. I say my right arm, since I’m a lefty and intend to be using my left hand and arm more often. I am still convinced they will simply insert a small needle into my arm, attach it to a baggy filled with antibiotics, and hang it on a mobile hanger like they have done with a great majority of my medication.

The Doctor in charge pulls out a very long clear tube, and asks me to move my arm so it is placed under the scanner. She needs to see if she is inserting the tube into the proper place. I estimate that it is about 2 feet long. Maybe just over half a meter.

"What do you mean you need to see if it’s going in the right place? Are you planning to insert the entire tube into my arm?"

She looks very surprised.

"Well yes... you need to be given antibiotics."

"Yes, I was told they needed to be injected, so I thought I was going to get a needle. A shot."

"Oh no, this is a picc line. The tube has to go through your arm. It goes through the vein. The antibiotics that Dr. Hill has prescribed are very strong. If you were given a regular injection, your vein would just collapse because they are so strong. So the tube we insert into your vein will prevent that from happening." All of a sudden I feel my intuition begin to scream that this is wrong. Nothing good will come from this. Only bad. The prophetic feeling is so intense I begin to hyperventilate. The Doctor may as well have been holding a machete and was preparing to cut my right arm off. At least I was allowed to choose which arm.

Something about this moment is very wrong. I had been losing my faith in modern day Doctors already. I do not believe that what they are doing is what I need. Sirens in me are going off. They are telling me to stop this now, and go back home. This is wrong. I’m panicking, and crying, and hyperventilating. I am asked if I would like to be given something to calm me down. I nod and sob. I am given some sort of pill, that obviously won’t calm me down for at least another half an hour, but I am becoming hysterical. I’ll take anything. The Doctor tries to put me at ease and tells me that this will not hurt. Really. I will not feel it go in.

"It is a picc line. Did no one tell you we were going to insert a picc line?"

"No!" Even if they had told me, I have no idea what a picc line is. I have never in my life come across this thing before. And no one even bothered to tell me. After all, I’m a patient, therefore I am no longer seen as a person. I am an object that needs to be fixed.

I am not sure what I am concerned about, or what to expect, but whatever it is, I know it is wrong.

I am told that I will feel a poke, and then it won’t hurt as it goes in. I feel it being inserted on the opposite side of my right elbow, and I turn my head to look. I see the tube go into my arm. Inch by inch. It is long. The Doctor doesn’t stop, just looks up at a scanned image of my arm, to make sure she is inserting it into the right place. I’m still crying. She is done. I am wheeled back to my room. The tube in my arm is attached to a bag of antibiotics. It is not a very small one. 500ml. So 2 cups. My pain medication is brought to me by a nurse. Shawna has the day off. I take it and fall asleep. I feel a little dizzy, but that’s okay. I’m not planning to walk anywhere. More pain medication is delivered. I take some, I save some, and fall asleep. In the evening the male nurse wakes me up. He has brought me my sleeping pills, and pain medication. I take some, I save some, and I fall asleep.

"Have you ever been really thirsty?

And you open a carton of milk

and you pour it in your mouth... and it's... sour.

That happened.

Inside me.


-from 'Lost and Delirious'-



I wake up in the morning, and the antibiotics bag is now empty. I’m happy that’s over with. But it’s not. A new bag is brought and attached to the tube in my arm. I ask the nurse if this will be the last one. She tells me no. I will be getting a new bag every day I am kept in the hospital. This is really not what I expected. This is a very strong antibiotic, and I would think a 500ml bag would have been more than enough to kill whatever infection I have. But I guess I have to go through a couple more. I conclude that’s done just to make sure the infection is killed. But it kinda seems like an overkill. I take my pain medication and I sleep.

My food is brought to me, and I feel dizzy and nauseated. I poke away at it. It does look good, but I know I cannot stomach anything right now. In any case, I can’t taste much like I could before. I pick away at the dessert. I can tell it is sweet, and I like it.

My parents come by to visit. They have now become zombie-like. I know, in the end it is my fault. I had to go out that one night. That August 13th. If I didn’t, none of this would have happened. They did nothing wrong, but they have to live through this as well. I wish they had not bothered to come by to visit me. I just want to sleep. I’m high as a kite anyways. They are sober. I’m shit faced. They ask me when I’ll be let go. I tell them I have no idea, plus I have a huge cast on my leg, and I hope that it will be removed soon. I’m sure I will not be sent home with this monstrosity .

They leave, and I hear that man clicking his way down the hall. I brace myself. He comes into my room. I try not to give him a dirty look. He asks me how the pain is. I tell him it is horrible. He asks me if the pain medication is helping. I tell him that it is the only thing that is helping.

"Oh... so you would like to continue taking it?"

"Yes I would like to continue taking it."

He looks a little displeased, as if I have rifled through his purse, taking what is his. I can picture him with a purse. I can totally picture him with one that matches those ridiculous shoes. I can just tell this man spends much of his time looking into a mirror. He reminds me of a very snobby high school girl.

"I guess we will also have to write you a prescription for the pain medication?"

"Yes, that would be very nice. Thank you."

I ask him when the horrid cast will come off (not in those words). He tells me it will be taken off on the day of my discharge. He says nothing else and clicks away. At least I have something to look forward to. I fall asleep.

A nurse comes into my room and wakes me up. She tells me I have an important phone call. It’s a bit of an ordeal to sit me in the wheelchair and wheel me into the hall where the telephone is, considering I have a whole contraption attached to my right arm. I’m sleepy, and I’m dazed, and I pick up the phone. It is another nurse. She tells me she has been requested to visit me at home, and would like to know what time would be good. She says that she has me down for 10pm. I tell her that that is really late. My parents would never encourage that. I ask her if it can be changed to 10am instead, and she tells me that it would be much better for her actually. She checks to see if my address is correct. I say yes, and she tells me she will call again when I am returned home, and we end our conversation. I do not think much of it. I recall the men who visited me in rehabilitation and offered me help getting around my tiny apartment. I decide that when she calls me at home, I will deal with it then. I’ll tell her then that I am not interested in anything. I do not want to deal with it now. I am in no frame of mind to deal with it now. I’m pretty drugged up. I’m taken back to my room, take pain relief medication and fall asleep.

I wake up when a woman Doctor comes into my room.

"I wanted to tell you that we will remove the picc line out of your arm today. Samples were taken from your ankle when the surgery was performed and then kept in a lab. There are no signs of infection."

"Really? Dr. Hill had taken a sample from my ankle back in December, and then found that almost a week later an ‘unknown’ bug began to grow."

"Oh really? I didn’t know that. I’m going to speak to him about this."

She leaves. I will not see her again.

I fall in and out of sleep. A woman and a young man come into my room. They tell me that they know about my surgery, and have brought crutches with them, in case I need to use them. If I do not have a pair already, I can purchase them.

"I don’t have a pair at home. How much are they?"

"They’re only $30"

"Oh thank you, but I won’t be able to afford them."

"Well we have a foundation to help out patients who are unable to afford equipment that is necessary, so you won’t have to worry about it. We’ll give them to you. We’ll just make a note of it." She writes down a note on the receipt that reads ‘compassionate care please,’ and asks me to sign. She gives me a copy.

At this moment I do not realize how much I will need them. I am just grateful that someone was thoughtful enough to bring me these.

I get through the weekend in the same state. I eat narcotics gratefully, remain high, and sleep for about 20 hours a day. It is the happiest I’ve been in months. If I could, I would stay like this forever. I no longer have to face reality, and I am insanely content with this.

I do however begin to experience itching. When I tell a nurse, I am told that it is a side effect of the antibiotics. It will get better. My body is just getting used to it. I save a fork that is brought with my food, and try to scratch my skin that is covered up with the cast. The fork helps only a little, and I know I would never be able to get to the itchy parts with my fingers so I’ll use whatever I can get my hands on. The cast covers a large area, so I am not able to scratch what I want to, and this is pretty horrible, because the itching becomes extreme. But I can take it because I am pretty high, and I have all the faith in the world that the cast will soon be removed along with these dreadful antibiotics. I just sleep through the pain and itching.




Monday comes around, and the clicking in the hallway returns. My least favorite person in this hospital comes into my room. He tells me that on Wednesday I will be sent home. He spoke with Dr. Hill, and the hospital will take care of my transportation home. He feels it is important to point out that this is an unusual procedure. I tell him that I am very thankful. I ask him if my cast will be taken off soon.

"Oh... well I spoke to Dr. Hill, and it’s best to keep in on. You will have to be careful when you are taking a shower. You have to put a plastic cover over it, and just make sure you don’t get it wet. Dr. Hill has arranged for an appointment in three weeks, so he will decide then if it will be time for the cast to be removed.

I sit speechless. I am in shock. I did not expect this.

"What about the antibiotics? When will they be taken out of my arm?"

I would have gladly taken a swift punch to the face over what I have to hear next.

"Well Dr. Hill gave instructions to have it in for 5 more weeks. You have spoken to the nurse who will visit you at home. She will come by every day, and change the antibiotics bag."

"What?! I’m going home with this?!"

"Well you have to. You have to realize that if you do not go through with the treatment, you will lose your foot."

He clicks himself out of my room, and I am so disappointed, I feel that something in me has died. I have no options. One option is bad. The other option is worse. There is no third option. I do not even know how I will be able to put a pair of pants on, considering I have a huge cast monstrosity happening here on my left leg and foot. It’s a cold Canadian winter, with a lovely wind chill on top of that, so I may get cold attempting to get through winter in a hospital gown, until I find a pair of pants that can stretch over the cast. I take my medication as soon as it’s given to me, and I fall asleep. For a few hours I do not have to feel the complete shit that my life has become.

It is Wednesday morning, and I wake up to 2 people coming into my room. One is a nurse who needs to change the dressing on my arm, and tape everything up to hold the tube in place so that it does not escape my vein. That would be horrible. If it slips out I will have to go to the hospital again and have a new one put in. Of course there is a possibility I could just bleed to death before an ambulance can get me in time, she warns me. In any case, if there are any setbacks, I may very likely lose my foot. I am already scared shitless. The other man who came in, doesn’t say a word. He just pulls out a huge pair of scissors and begins to cut my cast. I ask him what he’s doing and he tells me the obvious,

"I’m removing your cast." I am extremely happy. Both people are finishing up, and the nurse removes the bag of antibiotics from me. A nurse will come to my home tomorrow and attach a new one to the tube coming out of my arm. The man peels away my cast, and it is blood soaked. I have bled through the cast. I study the scar. It is a couple of inches long. The thing that surprises me is that the scar doesn’t really touch my ankle where I thought the surgery would be performed. It is located on the right side of my foot, even though it was the left side of my ankle that had been swollen for months now. I guess this somehow makes sense. Not to me though. After all, I am not a Doctor, and have no desire to be one. I trust Dr. Hill. I do not want to lose my foot, and I am very grateful that he has caught the infection on time. I am still kicking myself for waiting so long to have the operation. Maybe if I had gone through with the surgery a week after he had found the infection, like I should have, like he had told me to, I would not have been placed on such a strong antibiotic for an entire 6 weeks.

I hear clicking approaching. He comes into my room. He tells me he brought some plastic bags so I can use them to take home whatever I need. I thank him. I am very happy that that horrible cast has finally been removed, so I am in better spirits, and I tell him that I am sorry if I was ever rude to him. He says I wasn’t. I have also been given a ‘boot’ to wear. Basically it is a removable cast. About the same size, but this one has velcro, so I can take it off when I shower, or put on pants. He tells me to take it off only when I really, really need to. He tells me he will now call a cab to take me home. I thank him, and begin to pack.

A nurse comes into my room. She tells me she knows I will be leaving soon, so she will help me pack. I tell her that I only have a couple of things and I am able to ‘pack’ them away myself. She tells me she will just help me do this quicker, and takes the book I have been attempting to read and puts it away in the plastic bag. She opens the drawer and begins rummaging through my things. I ask her if I will be leaving now. She says that it will be a bit of a wait, because the proper taxi needs to be secured first. It has to be a taxi company that the hospital already has arrangements with to cover the cost. I tell her that I can really pack up my things by myself, and that I would really like to read the book she has thoughtfully put away, while I wait for the taxi. But I am kidding myself. After all I am no longer seen as a person. I am merely a patient, and I’m defective. I guess I am no longer seen as being capable of putting 5 small things away into a plastic bag all by myself. I do not look forward to going home. I dread my parents’ reaction at having a stranger come into our home, everyday.

I go to my closet, and pull out my foldable wheelchair. I place it near my bed, and decide to take a nap while I wait. I start to drift off, and a nurse comes into my room to tell me it is time to go. The cab is on it’s way. I get up, and transport myself into the wheelchair. It is not difficult to do when I do not have my arm attached to the antibiotics bag. I hang everything on the handles of the chair, and the nurse wheels me out into the hallway. I hear clicking and see him rolling an empty wheelchair towards me. No one knew I had one because it was kept in the closet, so I appreciate his gesture, yet at the same time I do not want to see his face.

He sees me, so he stops to speak to somebody, making it look like he is busy doing something, and I can tell he is avoiding me. This may be the most pleasant thing he has done for me in the week I have been in St. Frances’.

I am rolled down to the ground floor, and the taxi is waiting. It is cold outside, but bearable. I can finally wear jeans because the cast has been removed, so I am happy about this. I am very uneasy about the antibiotics. I try to convince myself that I will get used to them in time. I try to look on the bright side. I’m battling an infection that could make me lose my foot. People care enough to provide help and come by to see me every day. I need something positive to hold on to.

When I am in the cab, I call my parents to let them know I will be home in an hour or so. I will call ten minutes before I arrive.

The taxi driver begins to drive, and about 15 minutes into the ride I begin to feel nauseated. I hadn’t been able to eat very much this morning because I have been feeling queasy from what I’m pretty sure are the antibiotics. I couldn’t eat much, so at least I won’t have much to throw up. I also notice the itching is becoming worse. It never goes away. It’s bearable and then it becomes hellish.

The ride home is torture. The taxi driver attempts to carry on a conversation with me, and soon realizes that I am not being responsive. I know I am being rude, but at the moment this is not my main concern. I feel horrid.

We drive down the streets, and I remember them well. The bus I used to take to work would drive down the same streets. 6 days a week, for a year and a half I would pass these buildings that stand there. I was recently told that the store I worked for, no longer exists. A year ago, when I used to work there, I would have never thought in a million years that so much would change in such a short time. That I would go from being able to demonstrate to clients how to use a treadmill, to having incredible difficulty walking. And the store that I had dedicated so much of my time to, would be closed. Just over half a year has passed since I walked out of the store. Now all of this is only a memory. This saddens me. I feel nauseated and sad.

I throw up in my mouth, and the taxi driver does not seem to notice as he continues without comment. We finally pull into the back of my apartment. My father is waiting there. The driver goes out to retrieve my wheelchair from the trunk, and my father helps. I fill out the small receipt the hospital has given me to cover the cost of the taxi. My father holds on to me as I struggle my way out of the vehicle.



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