Life's snippets

What happened?

In the past couple of weeks anyone I’ve met looked at me with utter shock and dismay, not to mention the pity in their eyes, and immediately blurted out, ‘what happened?’ As if everyone was reading from a script. The response would result in a back and forth, explaining my demise then the person would blurt out an ‘I’m sorry’ and be on their way, which I found weird especially from lecturers. You just wanted to know what happened, then walk away? It was rather unusual but part of me was just happy they left, until someone else popped up and the cycle continued.

I always thought the worst part of being unwell was the pain, and the medical bill, especially the medical bill. What they don’t tell you however is what to do after the pain is gone and the insurance has paid but your body seemingly doesn’t jolt back into action. I never thought I’d miss drafting long emails or doing chores. I know, its weird but it happens.

Throughout this experience there’s a reader who kept asking me to write about it. I mean a writer is meant to write right? I may have entertained the idea but I can’t stomach a tincture of pity from my readers. My reality has elevated pity to an unimaginable level.

So what did I imagine being unwell would be?

We’ve all watched Grey’s Anatomy, Strong Medicine, Chicago Med, Scrubs, ER and whatever other medical series, and that’s the action I thought would kick in when I got into my incident. I thought there’d be someone dialing 911 and sirens would fill the field where I was lying lifelessly. Only I was fully awake and the pain hadn’t even kicked in yet and there’s no 911 in Kenya. I got the part where everyone realizes something has gone terribly wrong and I’m being pulled to the side of the field, but after that things moved. A car was picked out, and I’m at the nearest hospital.

Next thing I thought is they will definitely put me in one of those beds with wheels and I’d be taken to a ward and some doctor would be hurling orders and they put a breathing mask over my nose. I got a wheelchair, and I was put into a ward with two other people who looked like they needed more help than I did. One was lying in sheets drenched in blood and no one seemingly cared and the other one looked like they were on life support. I felt terrible and it hit me ‘it’s not that bad, the pain hasn’t even kicked in yet.’ I should just go home and sleep it out, and they’ll patch me up later.

Then the mean Doctor showed up, it’s usually a nurse on a normal day right? I mean unless all the stories were wrong. He comes to me and asks my parents to leave and I’m left in the ward alongside a nurse who has no idea what is happening. I expected a scene which happened, one moment I’m getting an injection that I didn’t want, then blood trickling from my arm followed with some discussion of moving to another hospital and lastly audible sneers from the doctors. Maybe not so Strong Medicine ish but it was drama.

Fast forward to another hospital, still no ambulance, just a drive and ‘you’ll be okays’ from my parents and what would be {indistinct chatter}. We pulled up at the emergency section. (That’s more like) Problem is the pain is kicking in, not headache pain, more like all your bones are breaking at the same time. If mitochondria went on strike, that’s probably what it would feel like. I’m wheeled to the x-ray room and the doctor on call is with another patient.

On my wheelchair I’m dancing in pain and I’m just thinking ‘I need morphine!!’ (Only at the back of my brain) ‘They always give morphine to the patients in the movies.’ I mean how can you be sick and not be given morphine. The doctor finally arrives. I’m thinking one it would be a cute male doctor, (if Tiffany Haddish could get one then I’m definitely getting one) two, I’m expecting the question, ‘on a scale of one to ten how bad is it.’

It was a female doctor and she didn’t seem to want to give me morphine.

With my dissatisfactory experience all I want is to go home, maybe watch a real episode of how things happen on ER. Then I hear ‘we’re preparing her bed and she’ll go into surgery tomorrow.’

‘Me, surgery?’

‘I’ve never even fainted or nose bled’

‘I just need morphine and be on my way guys’

‘I haven’t even cried I’m not a hysterical patient!’

I genuinely didn’t think I’d go under the knife (it echoes weirdly in my brain, like being vegan). My parents left into the night, I ate nice hospital food, thinking I’d be up all night worried sick about being cut open. I was knocked out, five minutes after they gave me pain meds, maybe it was morphine, I don’t know I slept like a charm (sleep is always bae).

Next morning, I got my Grey’s Anatomy episode, I was given a gown and I ditched my clothes. I was put on those movable beds and covered up halfway, my drip had been plugged into my left hand the previous night and the lights were definitely burning my eyes. There was this sweet nurse who kept saying everything would be fine as she checked a list of requirements I needed before surgery. The male nurse was pushing me through the halls (in what I made believe was supersonic speed) and I could feel people moving away and standing on the side looking at me. Honestly, all that was missing was dramatic music in the background.

The room was definitely cold, when I was a couple of floors down, there was an army of surgeons (read 10) getting ready and when I thought I’d start freaking out, they started cracking jokes, like a funny episode of scrubs. You get comfortable, until you see the injections that is the size of a baby’s arm will make its way through your spine, twice.

That’s the part they don’t warn you about. They also don’t tell you it’s only half your body that will be numb until you’re in there and you’ll hear them drill something in it.

I got the oxygen mask of course, which I didn’t really need. Kumbe oxygen has a taste, then I got the all the fancy tubes that monitor your heart rate and blood pressure. It definitely makes you feel like you’re on the verge of death and they are trying to save you even though you are numb halfway and can’t see the operated section. Funny enough know how there’s always a kid crying their lungs out in the background? And it always happens to be a girl? Yep there was one.

The rest they say is history, but now if anyone asks what happened, you know part of the story. The part that hopefully make you appreciate well written episodes of Grey Anatomy.

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