My assistants pull me up by my arms until I'm sitting upright on the side of the bed. The head nurse pulls over my medicine tree, and starts to discern which tube goes to which needle. In the meantime, another nurse is detaching all of the wires from the sticky electrodes on my torso.
One by one, the IV feeds are pinched off with small valves, and the nurse begins to detach them from their respective lines. She leaves the intravenous needles in my arm with four inches of tube hanging from each. I am now free from the machines. Consequently, I am on a space walk with no way to talk to the crew. If something goes wrong, will I be able to let them know in time?
Now is when 21st century medicine really shows off. My safety inspector puts my hand in a plastic bag. Its pulled up to my elbow, and wrapped in a redundant amount of packing tape. Now, that I am graded water-tight, its time to make some moves.
Instead of using a walker, the nurses surround me. I am providing little help even though I'm giving my all. All the while, they are coaching me along.
"Alright. Come on, now. You're doin' good. Almost there. Whoop. Careful. Alright."
The largest nurse helps me to my seat in the shower, and I give her my hospital gown that would suit Scarlett's dear Tara. I am ready to hose down, except...
"Okay baby. I have to take that catheter, now."
Crap. I should have known this was coming, but it has to be done. I have a feeling that I will remember its removal this go around.
My caregiver is gentle while she tries to extract the intruder. All I can do is close my eyes and point my chin toward the ceiling. I'm shaking. It could be the pain, the nerves, the cold, or the weight of my body on my palms that's causing the tremor. Or, it could be the detox.
No matter. Its done.
I stretch my right arm to the opposite wall of the shower, and crank the faucet with my left. It is now, that I'm most vulnerable to the first blast of frigid water from the shower head. I just lean back and wait, hoping that the water doesn't scald me when it adjusts.
It doesn't. Its perfect.
I lean forward with my elbows on my knees and let the water run over my head and down my face. Just when I'm getting comfortable, I begin to notice a burning sensation on some areas of my skull. Not heat, but like a rug burn. When I run my fingers through my hair, there are some bald spots. I feel around, and the sores run from my neckline all the way to around to my frontal lobe.
Frontal lobe? I totally forgot I ripped out the electrodes that they had attached. I remember doing it now. They didn't come out easy. It felt like they were hooked into my scalp and not glued to me. I recall pulling them out like I was ripping off a bad toupee. I was fed up with all the junk on my head, and I pulled the bullring like clamp out of my nose. I'm certain that my method was not protocol for their removal.
No matter. Its done.
With much effort I towel off, and the ladies help me back to my warm and clean sheets. While the nurse is hooking me back into the grid, I glance up at the television. Why is it on Fox? There is a world series game tonight. I thought that was over and done with a long time ago. I don't even know who made it, I just know that the Atlanta Braves didn't.
'So Fresh, and so Clean' runs through my internal radio.
I spy an unnoticed bottle of water while the nurse is getting my meds ready. I quickly stuff it under my blankets. Its cold and wet with condensation, but I'm thirsty. I have to admit, I'm still pretty good at hiding a drink. Its clear, but it not vodka on this go around.
When my in-house dealer gives me the cup full of legal dope, I tell her I'll need a bottle of water to wash all of the pills down. My sneakiness is successful, and she brings me more H2O. I choke down all of the meds, and the nurse has to step out.
"I'll be back,"she says. "You have some family here to see you."
"Thank you, I'll see ya."
"You can have that bottle of water you're hidin'."
"Thanks, again ", I chuckle.
What the hell? Why is my family wearing yellow paper suits?