With my new location came a new sense of fight within me. I will get out of this bed. I will eat a cheese burger. I will hold my son. I was, however, terrified of sleep. I feared that I would not wake from sleep. A genuine, all-encompassing fear. So I made the simple decision not to sleep. Lunch time had arrived and with it a tray of treats for my indulgence was placed before me. A bowl of transparent, yellow chicken soup, a bit of green jelly, a tub of ice cream and a box of apple juice. My nurse was a pleasant one today. The initial grump who gave me water to drink? It was her. I was grateful. She was patient and understanding. She did not talk much and I was okay with that. She asked me what I would like to eat first and I murmured soup. My voice was returning. The soup smelled divine though it looked like water with a tinge of yellow food colouring. I could smell the salt and feel the heat escape the bowl. I salivated. She carefully brought a spoon up to my mouth and I drank the embracing warm liquid. The aroma told me what it should taste like but my mouth was telling a story far different. Burn. Char. Smoke. That was all I could taste. I cringed my face and she pulled back the spoon of empty promises. My taste buds have not yet woken up. She suggests ice cream. What could go wrong with ice cream? This also tasted of burn, smoke and char. I ate some of it and the vomit ensued. Apple juice? Will you accept this as an offering, wretched, cursed, deceitful body? More vomit. I feel defeated and hungry. In walks a female doctor. One I have not seen before. She has an assertive demeanor and the nurses clear a path for her. Her phone rings a familiar ringtone. It’s an enchanting melody and I wonder where I have herd it before. Nothing comes to mind. She has a professional disposition as she chats on the phone. A soft, brown leather bag is draped diagonally over her chest. Jeans, boots, cardigan, blonde hair. Practical attire for a lady constantly on her feet. My nurse stands at the edge of my bed, chart in hand, waiting for this doctor to finish her call. She walks over with a smile on her face but hesitation in her eyes. I panic. I want to ask so many questions but one worded replies are my current forte. She says I am looking well, I roll my eyes. She asks if I can move my hands, I try and the left one lifts up a bit. Progress. She asks how the food was going, I cry. She says she will get me a nutritionist but I wonder what help that would do… Everything tastes like cremation. I start to cry uncontrollably. Emotions are difficult to control. My crying turns to painful sobs. I want my mom. I want familiar faces. I want to eat. I want to be a mom. I want to shower. Nothing she says consoles me. The nurse draws the blue curtains around my bed. I am upsetting the other patients. I have made up my mind. I want to go home. None can dissuade me. She says she is going to call my husband but I know he is with the baby. I am a second thought governed by visiting times and bedpans. They leave and I am still crying. It won’t stop. I have had enough. A lady peeps through my curtain prison and rushes over to hug me. I want to push her away but no body part complies. She starts to cry with me and I want to tell her to fuck off. She takes out a photo from her bag. A photo of my son. She puts it on my bed and says that I should look at him. I don’t want to. I can’t. She leaves the photo there and asks me what’s wrong. What a stupid question. I can’t walk. I can’t eat. I can’t talk. I can’t even go to the loo. She says she is going to help me. I don’t believe her. How could she possibly help me? What could she possibly do?
This lady turned out to be an occupational therapist and she would go on to help me more than I could possibly say or give merit to on here. My breakdown was still prevailing. I cried uncontrollably for roughly 3 hours. The whole time catching glimpses of my son’s picture on my bedside. In the mean time, my doctor had called several therapists and specialists to visit me in the course of the day. I was broken. Mentally and physically. She desired to mend me. I did not understand this at the time, but this breakdown was necessary for me to move forward and reclaim humanity.