The lights in the hallway were dim. I was up in bed, forcing myself to vomit all the morphine out of my system. I wondered why some people like it; it made me feel so ill.
Then a shadow appeared in the doorway, with a coat in his arms and luggage in tow. My father had rushed straight out of a meeting on the other side of the world, and had spent the past 24 hours or more travelling straight to the hospital. He sang me to sleep that night like a baby.
The doctors had discovered numerous blood clots in my legs, which had broken apart to travel up that dangerous path towards the lungs, cutting off my circulation to life. I hadn’t gone to the hospital right away, as the GP I saw days ago had diagnosed it as a muscular cramp in all carelessness. Gallons of water had accumulated by then, and my lungs had collapsed from the weight.
I couldn’t remove my shirt due to the excruciating pain, and they had to cut it up with a pair of scissors to dress me in the luminous green hospital garb, marking me as one of theirs.
They drove what felt like pliers in between my ribs to push them apart, so they could insert a drainage tube that reached into my lungs. I remember screaming when a technician asked, “Is it really that painful?” I should have bit her hand off or something.
An endless flow of water mixed with tainted blood was drained out over the course of a month or two. My body had gotten used to bearing that heavy load, and would have gone into shock were it to be removed with haste.